Making your life look fun is hard work
Popular YouTubers build their audience by making videos that look fun and entertaining. But you don’t see what happens behind the scenes. The best YouTubers make their work look effortless, but there are a lot of technical skills to producing a good video. In particular, vloggers (who publish footage of their everyday life) need to be constantly switched on, thinking of whether what they’re doing could work for a video clip, or how they can fit filming into their day.
YouTube ‘personalities’ are carefully edited
Every successful personality that you see on social media has been edited to create an image or lifestyle that will appeal to others. On YouTube, you aren’t seeing a realistic look at someone’s life, but a series of videos that they (or their team) have carefully chosen, much like celebrity photos in a magazine. So if you feel pressure to live up to the life of your favourite YouTuber, remember: they probably do too!
When a lot of people started YouTube, it wasn’t a job
As a teenager, I discovered YouTube back when most videos were shot with blurry webcams and no audio. A lot of the big-name YouTubers started their channels around this time, when there were a lot less people using the platform, you couldn’t make money off ad revenue - and there was no such thing as a ‘YouTuber’.
Nowadays a lot of YouTubers have whole teams dedicated to growing their brand – and through company sponsorships, ads and partnerships, there are clear ways to turn a hobby of making videos in your bedroom into a job.
If you want to succeed at YouTube, you have to work harder than everyone else
Like any popular career choice, the people who succeed are those who work the hardest, making their videos the best they can be.
This is the myth of the easy ‘YouTuber lifestyle’. Many YouTubers work incredibly hard, and deal with a lot of stress, to make their lives look as fun and effortless as they do online.
YouTubers are real people too
YouTubers share a lot more online than traditional celebrities, so it’s easy to feel like you know them personally. There’s been reports of fans turning up outside YouTubers houses, demanding to be let in – and countless impersonation stories.
YouTube is a career. It’s worth remembering that although you may feel as though you are friends with a YouTuber, or know them personally, you are only seeing a curated side of their life that they want you to see. All internet celebrities keep elements of their lives private, and so they should. We all put on a front when we go to work each day, it doesn’t make us bad people, it’s just makes us real.
When you’re comparing yourself to someone online, remember that what you’re seeing are the highlights of their life, not the uncut bloopers.