It seems I am not the only one who feels this way. Considering "why Benedict XVI has youth on his side," Milo Yiannoupolos suggests, with my emphases:
Now, it’s true that young Catholics were pretty keen on John Paul II as well. But I sense a peculiar sort of affection for Benedict XVI from young people; something that goes beyond the enthusiasm for John Paul II. For one thing, the present Pope is easily as charismatic as his predecessor. But while John Paul II was a skilful media operator who revelled in his frequent “photo ops” with the likes of Princess Di, there was always a feeling that JPII the man wasn’t quite the same individual as JPII the Pope. You might even go as far as to say that his personal charisma and his office were in tension with one another.
John Paul II’s Masses were sometimes uncomfortable marriages of prescribed ritual and modern culture, but there’s a particular genius about the way the present Pope interprets his role. And observe how, acting through his master of ceremonies, Mgr Guido Marini, he stamped his authority – and, at the same time, his personality – on the papal visit to Britain. That authority came across as authentic and compelling. And young people have natural desire to attach themselves to such charismatic figures.
In Benedict XVI, the public and private seem to be in much closer harmony. His ability to blend his own personality with the grandeur of his office seems to be leading young people to feel a personal connection with him that they don’t with a faceless diocesan bureaucracy.I couldn't agree more.
His kindliness and grandfatherly demeanour appeal to them, because they seem more genuine than the cringeworthy attempts to “reach out” that young Catholics are so often made to suffer [more].