Dad’s how-to YouTube channel brings virtual community together

Rob Kenney started his YouTube channel, “Dad, How Do I?,” in April 2020. Two months later, Kenney has been dubbed the “internet’s dad” and has over two million dedicated subscribers, which he considers part of this growing online community he never thought would stem from his how-to videos.

“I’m blessed to be a part of it, I’m humbled by it,” Kenney told In The Know. “I’m just along for the ride.”

Kenney is the dad to two children, now young adults, but grew up without a father himself. His channel was inspired by his relationship with his kids and dedicated to anyone who doesn’t have the privilege of calling up their own dad to ask a question.

He covers broader topics like how to unclog a shower drain or how to use a stud finder and more intimate ones like how to tie a tie or how to shave your face. They’re filled with dad jokes and entirely filmed on his phone, which he says he just props up on a shelf. But his intent behind these videos goes beyond giving people instructions.

“Being a dad is more than just, ‘how to fix your running toilet.’ It’s walking alongside them and sharing some wisdom,” Kenney said. “That’s my view of the channel.”

Kenney always had this idea for a how-to series in the back of his head, but quarantine forced him to run out of excuses to procrastinate starting it. The goal was never to earn millions of subscribers or to monetize his videos — he initially thought he would reach 30 to 40 people, tops.

“I’m just a dad trying to show you how to do some stuff,” Kenney laughed.

Kenney’s favorite perk of rising popularity is now he feels comfortable sharing a little bit more of his heart in posts.

In a video uploaded on May 21, Kenney opened up about how overwhelming the response has been to his videos and how much he appreciates comments and emails of encouragement. In true dad fashion, he followed a corny joke with a nugget of wisdom about how to live without worrying over criticisms.

“I’m not even a kid anymore yet I cry my eyes out when you say ‘I am proud of you,'” one commenter posted. “Thank you for being our father figure we all need.”

Kenney also gets a lot of messages from fellow dads.

“One [response] — just today — I loved was from a dad just saying, ‘Hey, I love what you’re doing,'” Kenney said. “I want to encourage dads, there’s good dads out there.”

Kenney’s audience continues to grow as more and more people tune into his “Tool Tuesday” segments and “How-To” videos every Thursday.

In terms of receiving so much attention online over the last few weeks, Kenney said, “It’s kind of unique because it’s helped me with my confidence. It just feels natural.”

If you enjoyed reading this article, you might also like this adorable TikTok, which serves as proof that daughters have total control over their dads.

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