A few weeks ago I wrote a response to Louise’s video about YouTube culture which you can read HERE. Since then a lot has taken place on the site I love so much. Yesterday, incase you weren’t aware, my favorite male YouTuber, Connor Franta, quit his collab channel Our 2nd Life (O2L). He made a video that made me cry, not because he was leaving O2L, but because he revealed that he has been unhappy with working on YouTube for six months and it felt to him that it had turned into a job. I think that’s something that’s starting to hit a lot of YouTubers, especially the ones who upload more than once a week.
With gaining over over 4.5 MILLION subscribers in the past year and a half Zoella, or Zoe Sugg is a perfect example of the rapid growth in the YouTube audience. One of my favorite YouTubers named Lex (check her out here) made a video after Vidcon (the largest YouTube convention) revealing some disappointment that it’s a signing instead of meeting and talking to your favorite YouTubers, but what else can you do when 20,000 people buy tickets? Anyway, I’m sorry I’m getting distracted from the point.
The point is when this was a career for most YouTubers they stopped their other jobs when they started getting sponsors and most likely hit 20k subscribers (when you start getting paid per subscriber) not when they hit a million and are most likely making buckets of money. This is different than being an actor or actress in Hollywood though because you don’t have that constant protection. You don’t have someone holding off people at your house, when they ring your doorbell for an hour- Alfie from PointlessBlog tweeted that there were girls outside of Zoe’s apartment for over an hour, that’s not okay. They also aren’t prepared or ready when they go out in public to get mobbed by viewers, the viewers should maybe say hi, and if they aren’t busy ask for a picture, but they shouldn’t stalk their favorites.
This is also different than Hollywood because “the fans” are also the critics and they have a lot more control over the content of what a YouTuber makes rather than what an actor or actress stars in, but they also have a lot of control over a person’s emotions. Personally, I’ve never had to deal with any sort of hate on WordPress from anyone, let alone a complete stranger halfway across the world. I know Alfie recently was feeling the pressure of this, actually Zoe was too. Alfie was tweeting about how sorry he was about the lack of videos, but he was traveling to visit fans. He can’t please the whole world, and I think that’s what’s expected of YouTubers sometimes. Zoe did a whole month of daily vlogging and the one day was her just basically crying, I don’t think she was throwing herself a pity party or anything, I think she was genuinely upset about how things were going that day. I think the whole new fame thing is a lot to handle for a lot of these people who never intended to have millions watching their every move.
I really feel and I will never understand the whole sending hate thing. It’s one thing to send hate to a celebrity on TV, they probably aren’t going to see it. They have other problems than a troll commenting on videos that they didn’t put up themselves. YouTubers on the other hand have both problems, they see all of the comments that their viewers post, good and bad, as well as seeing all of the hate that is starting to leak into mainstream media about them. Tanya Burr was on the list for worst dressed at an event, so that sucks, and then she gets to go home to look at the latest comments on her videos and there’s hate. I can’t even imagine what life would be like for them.
When it’s starting to come down to it, I think a lot of the reasons people started to YouTube are fading and it is becoming a job, and a chore to a lot of big YouTubers. That brings me to my last question, how long is this going to last? Let me know what you think in the comments. And just a heads up this is probably going to be my last post about this whole evolving YouTube stuff, I know it’s not that interesting to most people.