YouTube, Relationships, and Humor: An Interview with That Catholic Couple
YouTube has offered us as evangelists a potent opportunity to produce content in a space where we can reach beyond the periphery. Today, Jared Zimmerer sits down when Daniel and Ana Glaze, or as they are better known, That Catholic Couple. Daniel and Ana have creatively and effectively used YouTube as an opportunity to display an authentically Catholic couple who seeks to be a good husband and wife, good parents, but most of all, showing the seeking of holiness as a path toward true happiness.
Can you tell us a little bit about you both as a couple and how it is that you decided to create the That Catholic Couple YouTube Channel?
Daniel - As a couple, Ana and I might be the most fun people you've ever meet. We love Christ and His Church and we really like having fun in our Catholic faith (respectfully) - I mean, our tagline is "Fun is Universal." The main reason we created our YouTube channel, That Catholic Couple (TCC), is to live authentically as a young married couple and family, and show how much fun it is to be Catholic. TCC was the brain child after we noticed how many channels were 'of the world' and didn't showcase how to really live out a true Christian life. We saw a void which needed to be filled and listened to God's call to start our own channel.
Ana - There were so many times when we were dating and engaged when we wished we could take a peek into the lives of other strong Catholic married couples. To have a channel where a Catholic married couple would open the door to their home and let us in to see how they lived out their lives and kept Jesus at the center was something that we wished "someone else" should do. After being married for a couple of months, we found that no one was really creating the idea we had so we (prayerfully) took matters into our own hands and decided to create the channel. Daniel and I really do love sharing our home and our lives with others in order to build authentic friendships in our real life, so Youtube for us, felt like a good place to share that part of us even more.
You’ve mentioned the necessity of Catholics using social media for outreach, what advice would you give to our readers to get involved? What would you say are the best practices of getting on YouTube?
Daniel – There’s a growing trend of people viewing social media as a breeding ground for lies, inauthenticity, and separation from reality. Though this is somewhat true, there is a culture around every social media platform and where there is culture the Gospel is needed. The advice I have for anyone who wants to get involved in any type of social media outreach is to be truthful, authentic and rooted in reality. The best practice of getting on YouTube would be to subscribe to That Catholic Couple (Hahaha)! Honestly, if you wish to watch YouTube more regularly, I would do proper research on which channels to watch. If you would like to start a channel yourself, that's a whole different ball game that would need another interview to accurately answer.
Ana - I think we do need more people to save social media from itself. Right now our culture is somewhat driving it into the ground with how negative it can be and I really do feel that it has the potential for something greater and even unifying if used properly. I also believe that we should use our gifts to share God's message online as often and as pristine as possible. Not just by fighting people on Facebook (which I don't recommend) but by supporting good social media that is already out there, or by finding creators who are doing good things or maybe even finding what you can bring to the table by means of creating yourself. Plus, St. Paul would have had a field day in our day and age with the advancements in technology and communication, we really shouldn't let him down! Let's preach the Gospel as well and as often as possible in that realm!
As a couple, how has your faith and relationship been affected by your use of social media?
Daniel - I would say we have a healthy balance of using social media. Strictly speaking in terms of our use of YouTube, overall, it's brought us closer to each other and God. It hasn't come easy, though. When we decided to create our channel, there were a few struggles we weren't anticipating. One of the major reasons why social media doesn't affect our faith or relationship negatively is because we are the same people on and off camera. Also, we regularly pray for this channel. I know praying for a YouTube channel sounds weird, but we really do want the Holy Spirit's guidance for our channel.
Ana - Full disclosure: I hated this channel when we first started it because it takes so much time and effort and commitment to keep going with it! And even now, almost two years later, I still have strong feelings about it, but within our marriage, I really have seen a change in how we interact. I jokingly told a friend one day "I guess marriage and parenthood wasn't enough to bring us together, we needed another project to keep us tight knit!" And jokes aside, I do feel that way sometimes. Daniel and I love social media so much that it's fun when we get to come up with content and ideas together. This channel helps rekindle our friendship and companionship since we have this common love for social media, for our Catholic faith and for each other.
I think my favorite aspect of your channel is the obvious authenticity in the videos. You share your struggles, your victories, your joys, and your sadness, but wrap it all in good humor. What drives you to stay so authentic and why is that authenticity so attractive to viewers?
Daniel - Thank you! I don't know how to be anything other than myself - that's my drive to stay authentic. When we decided to turn our channel into a vlogging channel, our desire was to share more of who we are and bring our audience into an actual relationship with us (for those reading who don't know what a vlog is - it's short for 'video log' which essentially is a video showcasing your life. So, a vlogging channel is more about documenting someone's life as opposed to scripted video content). I would say our authenticity is so attractive because our channel isn't a typical Catholic channel - many Catholic channels teach about the faith and our channel showcases us living out our faith. We're also really funny, so there's that.
Ana - Yes, to reiterate what my hubs just said, I think we both always had in mind that we would never be fake with what was going on in our lives when it came to the channel. We would be true and honest and not lie about what's going on to our viewers. We obviously still try to maintain a good sense of privacy and prudence for the sake of our marriage and our family but to be honest we strongly cherish inviting people into our lives because we genuinely appreciate good friendship and community. And yes, we really laugh as much in real life as we do on the channel! Daniel and I, respectively, have fallen so madly in love with the Gospel that there's nothing more joyful than being confident in Christ's love for us and knowing that we have been claimed as His own. Call it childish if you will, but we prefer the term childlike!
In your videos you discuss a range of topics. From family life, to husband and wife issues, birth control, and the roles of men and women in relationships. What do you hope is the biggest underlying message your viewers receive?
Daniel - Fun is Universal. We are on a personal mission to prove how much fun it is to be Catholic - and fun doesn't always mean being positive. Fun is understanding how difficult and amazing life, and in our case marriage, truly is. So many people have this stereotype of how Catholics are old, stiff, and boring. My wife and I are none of those. We really want to break those stereotypes by showing how to have fun in the Catholic faith without compromising it and adhering to the teaching of Mother Church.
Ana - Yup! Being Catholic is amazing and inspiring and people need to hear this. I would also add that we really want other young Catholic couples out there to feel embraced and acknowledged in this channel. Our hope (aside from what my hubs said) is that young couples who are embarking on this journey will look at us and say, "Ok we're not weird for choosing to live out our faith and be countercultural! The Glazes are doing it too." We really want to help build a small supportive community online and not just so they interact with us, but so that other couples out there interact with each other, no matter where they are and help support one another in this beautiful vocation.
You are both a great example of a good, Catholic couple who gets real on a regular basis, what advice would you have for couples and what advice would you have for men and women who are seeking out a future spouse?
Daniel - You know, we get this question all the time. Drawing from our story, I would tell any couple or single person to learn how to place Christ at the center of their life. Ana and I even took a whole year with no communication to ensure we were doing that exactly. Also, learn to sacrifice. Any successful relationship is built upon a loving self-sacrifice.
Ana - For couples, I'd say to be very aware that the evil one really does want to destroy our holy marriages and we need to love our spouses and our faith even harder in those moments where division might surface. Oh, and always remember that the only person you can change in a marriage is yourself. It's so simple, yet I still have to remind myself of it very often! And for my single brothers and sisters, take a step (or maybe even a couple) in a certain direction and trust that the Lord will guide them. Yes, discernment is a great thing and is so needed, but if you are solely doing that and not moving in any direction, start moving. Ask the cute girl from the library out, say yes to a spontaneous date by a guy you maybe never considered before, start acting in that discernment, prayer can only take you so far.