I’ve got some YouTube related rambling to do today. I probably do that too much, but I’ll continue on with it anyway.
One thing that’s been on my mind is the recent trend (I’m not sure if I can call it that. I just know it’s being talked about around the “community” these days) of YouTubers talking about how depressed they are, or that they aren’t as happy as they appear to be. First, I’d like to start with some criticisms, since you all know I just love to run my mouth. While I’m not against sharing and opening up, I also feel it’s a little pointless to make a video just to tell your audience you aren’t as “happy” as you seem. If you’re a YouTuber, hear me out. You know that your audience won’t be able to relate to you. The most they can give is blind support, or tell you to suck it up. Either way, they really aren’t getting the message. It’s sort of like if you went to watch a movie, and before it started, the actors just stood in front of the camera and explained how depressed they really were. I mean, no shit. Famous people are human, and therefore have a wide spectrum of emotions. I’m not even going to bother going into the “first world problem” argument this time. If you feel like shit, then you feel like shit. It’s human. But going “YouTube is a depressing career” is a bit silly.
Now, with all that being said, I want to clarify that I am not saying I disagree with their points. In fact, I relate to most of them. I just don’t exactly see the point in sharing it with people who don’t ultimately care. That’s one reason I prefer to write my thoughts. If you’re here now, reading this, then you must want to be here. So, is there any truth behind what these people are saying? Absolutely. I’m not about to play some sad music for you and ask you to feel sorry for us. What I will do is explain it from my perspective in case you’re interested in becoming a YouTuber, or you’re one of the few who is actually interested in someone other than yourself.
YouTube is probably every modern-day teen’s idea of a dream career, so how could it possibly be bad? To be blunt, it’s just like any other job. The only difference is that it looks more appealing on the surface than others do. Every career path has its sets of challenges and perks–YouTube is no different. Yes, you can make great money here if you get big enough, but you will damn have to work for it. I’m a horrible role model, as you probably can tell, so please don’t take me too seriously. Anyway, back to my point about YouTube being like any other job. I’m sure if you saw a doctor’s salary, the idea of becoming one would most definitely cross your mind–but then the idea of medical school would probably turn you off from it. Reality will hit you. This sort of thing really hasn’t happened in YouTube land yet. People only see the “good” about the job and don’t consider other factors. One huge YouTuber I follow made a video talking about how lonely this job can be. That’s a fact, and it seems like a small price to pay for what you get in return. It absolutely is, but it’s not for everyone. You’ll spend long hours alone, locked up in your room. Want to upload on time? Well, you aren’t going to that party you thought you’d have time for. People think YouTube is a “get rich quick” sort of thing, but when reality hits you, you may find yourself somewhere you don’t want to be. I believe the same applies to any artistic or creative field. Think of Hollywood. Everyone’s fantasized of being a famous actor at one point or another, but are they willing to endure endless auditions and rejections, lack of financial stability, and eventually maybe paparazzi? Perhaps not.
I think YouTube should be approached as any other artistic career. If you’re willing to starve until you hit big, then all power to you. Now, what happens once you do find “success” or whatever you want to call it? That’s when another phase kicks in. Once you start making money and being able to play around, you’ll grow paranoid at how long you can keep it up. How many washed up Hollywood actors can you name? One minute the world loves them, then before you can even blink they can’t land a gig. What about all those 2D animators who were put out of work when things switched over to 3D? What about one hit wonders, and forgotten pop stars? All these thoughts weigh down on you when you create for a living. Everyday you beat yourself up over the idea that your 15 minutes are over. Of course, when it comes to YouTube, it comes in the form of a disproportionate amount of dislikes, or a drastic drop in views, or maybe a new series that didn’t quite work. You’re always waiting for the day people aren’t interested in clicking on your name or face anymore. There’s also the constant grind of seeing and hearing the same things. Comments all sort of melt into each other. Positive ones all sound the same, so do the negative ones. At some point, you get sick of the redundancy. Again, it’s just like any other job. I also just jokingly Tweeted about YouTubers needing anger management–because this job does piss you off at some points. I suppose the unique factor when it comes to creative fields is that you’re constantly barraged by the very people paying for the roof over your head. Should you bend in their direction a bit, or do that really out there project you don’t even think they’ll like? Of course, it’s important to find a happy middle ground, staying fresh without sacrificing your identity. If you create for a living, you will go through some kind of identity crisis at some point.
So, yes. YouTube can be a depressing job, but if you take all of this into account and still want to do it, I think you may find it to be incredibly rewarding. This is something that every artist has to endure and figure out on their own. There really isn’t a right or wrong choice when you get to this part. I think the main thing to stress here is that YouTube isn’t for everyone, and that’s 100% ok. Being a YouTuber won’t make you better than anyone else, or buy you happiness. If it doesn’t work out, there’s probably something better waiting right around the corner. I’m by no means saying you can’t handle it, but perhaps it’s important to sit down and really think of what you want.
And now, because I’m me, I just want to point out that there are way too many people in the world who simply read headlines and react without thinking. The title of this post is a little out there, and I know people will respond without even reading the article. I’ll admit, being a YouTuber has exposed me to a lot more of these morons online, and I’m sure we can all agree that they need to fuck off. Good thing they’ll never read this last paragraph anyway. :p
Anyway, I’m off to work on some stuff for the channel. Have a great day.