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Right so yes I will start this off by saying I AM a YouTuber … but I am not a full time vlogger, I don’t depend on YouTube to pay my bills, I’ve not had a viral video (what the YouTube gods would call a viral video but some are pretty viral to me!) and I am most certainly NOT a millionaire from YouTube…! I absolutely love the creative side of YouTube! That’s specifically what I LOVE about being a YouTuber as you will probably be able to tell from every single one of my videos be it one posted last week or 5 years ago! I didn’t ever aspire to be a YouTuber but I’ve forever had the aspiration to do something creative.
Oh and I’m also not someone that can walk into Krispy Kreme and bag myself a box of doughnuts because of who I am (that and the fact I wouldn’t go in anyway as Krispy Kreme is bloody expensive!)! It’s probably quite obvious who i’m referring too here but following on from the PointlessBlog £1 challenge bullshit; it’s really made me sit and wonder what these big ‘lifestyle’ YouTubers are actually teaching our children.
This post has actually been in my drafts for a while because I wasn’t 100% sure on whether to post it or not but since another YouTube ‘scandal’ has in the last few days popped up in my subscription feed I’ve felt it now more necessary to post than ever. I am also relating to lifestyle daily vloggers. Not people that provide their skills to other via YouTube such as fitness instructors or those that provide intentional comedy sketches; basically those that provide their audience with useful information or pure (obvious!) entertainment. Nor am I referring to those whose YouTube channel is just an extra social platform to their business or brand.
Children, particularly teenagers, look up to these people and it’s not right.
Cue the ‘but it’s not like they are stripping off, having sex and going around breaking the law….’ no there not but what is being put into our children head about the unrealistic take on ‘life’ does NOT set them up, in my opinion, for what their adult life is going to be like…. not one bit!
My kids don’t watch anyone inparticular on YouTube. They LOVE to watch themselves and sodding playdoh videos but no ones ‘real life’. I thought the other night though what if they did… what would be going through their heads?
I know some kids that watch YouTubers religiously and wear their merchandise day in day out but at what age are they going to understand that the likes of Casey Neistat have a skill and that is why they are where they are today.
I 100% feel there are YouTubers out there doing it because they are naturally creative and enjoy it. Yes the money I’m sure is awesome and the fact they are doing what they love for a living must be such a good feeling but then there are those doing it solely for a ‘big break’ and the money!
Then you have the now YouTube obsessed… the ones that have maybe had their break but are now struggling to come up with creative ideas and uploading the same old same old style vlogs day in day out. Spending money to just create videos with the only difference being a creative eye catching (clickbait!) title just for views. These tend to be the ones that are trying super hard to get another viral vlog (for money and exposure!) but end up being so unnatural it’s laughable.
There are other YouTubers out there both British and American that have just ‘got lucky’. Yes they may have worked hard for a short period of time and have a little bit of creativity but ultimately their ‘big break’ was because they did something (just one thing!) that made them go viral. Chances are their viral vlog was NOT natural and completely set up.
How healthy is that for our children?
Children don’t understand the hard work that goes into creating a channel, building an audience and editing videos…. all they want to see is what’s in the box or what we didn’t get them for their birthday! You might say they don’t have to understand all that rubbish; they are teenagers let them just watch what they want to watch but it’s surely at least our job to make sure what they are watching is as realistic as possible?
On the flip side (and I’m certainly NOT defending Alfie Deyes in his or anyone else vlog for that matter!) but I have to say; I do feel it’s genuinely extremely difficult for some YouTubers to keep ‘being themselves’ particularly when they have gotten that viral video and are now using that as a platform to boost their channel.
They’ve set a standard.
They’re now having to try and please their audience, the people that are paying their bills even if that means they aren’t necessarily being their true self or they end up turning into someone even they don’t recognise (like Alfie… saw no wrong in that £1 video he did… I think THAT’S what upsets so many people)!
I am super proud of my channel… my audience know if there’s not a video there’s not a video. They know that if I do an #ad or a sponsored post then I am doing so because I want to provide for my family. And they know we will say it how it is.
I don’t get ‘free things’ – something that people seem to associate YouTubers too and when we do it’s because we are providing the brand with a service. They either like our creative style or want to reach our audience which is really quite flattering but I for one won’t just share something for the fun of it … I have even turned things down that are totally not relevant to either us or our channel.
Thats probably why Krispy Kreme gave Alfie those doughnuts to be honest… they too were clearly pretty ignorant to what he was doing… does that put them in the same bracket as Alfie Deyes? How often do they give their doughnuts to the homeless guy sat outside M&S a couple of doors down?
Anyway thats a story for another day but i’d love to hear what you think.
I’m super proud of my channel and get messages all the time saying how people can relate… because it’s REAL LIFE… this is what we should be teaching our children. If they want to grow up to be an artist, photographer or videographer than amazing, I truly hope they do and I’m all for encouraging our children to pursue their dreams but be sure to let them know that they can’t aspire to be a YouTuber!
Thanks for reading!!