Just a disclaimer before you begin… I wrote this as some homework but I thought it might be interesting seeing as a lot of bloggers/YouTubers follow me. I absolutely love people like Zoella, and find their videos really entertaining, but if I have to be honest, these things do annoy me. Everyone has their opinions, and I’m happy for you to comment but if you want to say something rude or harsh, please just don’t, I want the comments to be a happy place on my blog. Thank you!
In this day and age, a lot of people watch YouTube. Whether it is for daily entertainment or just for help on a one off do-it-yourself project, the online site is very useful. More recently, YouTubers have in fact been seen as celebrities, with the most subscribed user having over twenty-six million people watching their videos, but a few points have irritated me when it comes to successful internet publishers.
The main YouTubers I am pointing my fingers to are ones like Zoella (currently at over four million subscribers), Pointless Blog TV and all the other main British uploaders. People like Zoella, sit down in their bedrooms whenever they can after answering all their emails, checking their PO boxes and Twitter mentions, pop up their soft box lighting and tripod, focus their expensive and high quality DSLR camera, and talk to themselves. After filming, editing comes around, according to many articles, sometimes it can take them sometimes two days to complete for a fifteen minute video. Finally, it’s time to upload, and watch the hundreds of views and comments flood in.
For me, this isn’t really a talent, which brings me to my first irritation.
These YouTubers, who live off the income they get from sponsored videos and advertisements, tend to show off that they have a exceptional talent, like a musician who can play Mozart with their eyes closed, or an artist who can paint the most amazing masterpieces in a day.
Last year there was a YouTube tour, where viewers of these young adults, could pay a set amount of money, to come and watch them perform live… and by perform I mean, sing, dance, tell jokes and perform acts which they are not necessarily known for at all. It’s not anything similar to what they are successful for doing. The people who watch their videos range from around thirteen years of age to early twenties, most of them on average budgets, so why on earth do they think it is acceptable to let these people buy expensive – $80 – tickets to see something… they don’t actually do anyway?
If these YouTubers did these wonderful ‘Mozart’ performances, then I would understand, but they don’t. They sit in their bedrooms completing dares like having their leg hair removed via waxing, and talking about their new favourite mascaras.
This whole matter brings me to the fact that they think they are superior. I don’t think this about all my favourite YouTubers though, there are some like Essiebutton (who just reached 500,000 subscribers), who stick to their guns, and know that they are just doing it as a hobby, but it seems like as soon these thriving online stars reach the millions, it’s like they have done something motivational and inspiring.
When I was watching a ‘vlog’ (a video about a YouTubers day to day life) about Zoella or Zoe Sugg’s, trip to a YouTube convention called Playlist Live, something hit me right on the nerve. Zoella and her friend Colleen, more commonly known as Miranda Sings, were getting ready to go outside and find the nearby bouncy castles… they first of all decided to put on ‘professional’ disguises, which included assembling moustache beards out of their hair, and adding a beanie hat on top. For me this really made me angry. I understand that they have a lot of subscribers and that being at a convention all about their occupation, it could cause them being trapped in a corner surrounded by screaming fans and anxiety prone Zoella, to dramatically faint on the floor and have to be contained in a private room, but if I were them, I would have simply slipped out the room and quietly walked out, blending into the surroundings like an ‘ordinary’ person.
The next step for the YouTubers was to find the bouncy castles, which took a few minutes’ walk, causing a trail of subscribers at their backs. When they arrived at their designated destination, the bouncy castle was surrounded by people, screaming and reaching out for the stars of the show. Unfortunately, Zoe and her friends didn’t stop and talk to them; they went on to the bouncy castles, like it was a show. It made them look like they were superior and an act, when really they are just like their viewers, but with a few more numbers on their YouTube channel page. Due to the way videos are edited, I couldn’t see whether they did talk to the subscribers, but what they portrayed infuriated me. Just because they are followed by lots of people, doesn’t mean they can act like they are higher than everyone else, and act like they are doing something extraordinary.
Even more recently, I have seen that a lot of successful publishers online, not specifically YouTubers, use their followers to gain themselves more publicity as well as new opportunities. In my opinion, their followers have already done a lot for them, like bringing in a monthly income, and having their face printed in magazines, so asking them for more is disgraceful. An example is when Alfie from Pointless Blog TV was getting wound up that he wasn’t verified on Twitter, with tweets to friends that had been verified the same day, saying ‘WHAT! HOW COME?! Twitter must love you more than me.’ He asked his followers to tweet #AlfieWantsALittleBlueTick and within a few moments it was trending.
It makes me feel uncomfortable that firstly, he was annoyed that he didn’t have a ‘pointless’ blue tick next to his name, and had to share his frustration to all the world in such a childish manner, and secondly that he asked his followers to get it for him. I recognize that it is helpful for people to know what account is real on social media, especially when the world’s most subscribed YouTuber, Pewdiepie, was anticipating his blue tick, but the way these YouTubers go about it, can be at times, sickly.
I previously mentioned that successful YouTubers gain most of their income through publishing online, and that can lead to controversy in the way they promote products, whether they were sent through PR, or bought with hard earned – or easy earned, in this case – cash. I also mentioned that most of their followers are between the ages of thirteen and about twenty five, which means, when vlogging that you have surprised your YouTuber best friend’s three year old daughter with a mini ‘Mini’ car which she can drive, as an early birthday present, surely you should do it a little bit more slyly than ‘Oh, we just got her a drivable car!’ Upon research, I found out that the gift cost more than £250 which many young adults would be saving up for bills. Both Zoella and Pointless Blog TV, who are in a relationship, recently moved to separate seaside flats in Brighton, which can be in the £2000s to rent each month.
As an online publisher myself, it is vital that you remember that not everyone will want to see you spoiling yourself rotten, or talking about a luxurious product in such a casual manner, and I feel when YouTubers get successful, and it becomes the norm, they can forget about this.
All in all, I am aware that the whole YouTube process can take hours to get right, and will take a few years to actually become ‘something’, but it’s not an occupation that should be elaborated to a celebrity status. Anyone can sit down and film themselves, or write a blog. A talent includes inspiring people, or doing something no-one else really can, and by and large these YouTubers are doing an easy job.
If I had to name a YouTuber who is successful, and doesn’t irritate me in any of these ways, it would have to be Pewdiepie. Even with his bad language, and occasionally inappropriate humour, he comes across just like everyone else, and doesn’t ever show off what he has achieved. To me that is what YouTube should be like; a place for everyone to be on the same level, no matter how many pairs of eyes are watching your videos. Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx