Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Response to YouTube Culture | Sprinkle of Glitter

LONG POST ALERT - CANNOT GUARANTEE ENTERTAINMENT

Louise, AKA Sprinkle of Glitter, AKA the lovely lady in the frilly skirt, made one of those video things. One of those video things that is on a scary topic - current YouTube culture.

In her amazingly honest video, Louise spoke about the changes she’d seen in the community, specifically the changes affecting YouTubers whom have a larger audience. She was talking about gatherings and meetups, and how she finds it difficult to handle as her audience has swelled and her popularity has soared.

YouTube is becoming increasingly popular with more and more creators reaching subscriber numbers in their millions. Many of these YouTubers are viewed as idols, as ‘perfect’ (the ‘p’ word). But, as Louise said, there’s a problem here. These creators might appear to be sharing an awful lot of their lives online, but they aren’t sharing everything.

By saying that 'they aren't sharing everything', I mean that in pursuit of being 'perfect' for viewers, creators may choose carefully what they share with their audiences (hey, no one wants to know about your dodgy bowel movements, or your weird ability to bite your own toe nails!) We all want to appear to be as close to the idea of 'perfect' as possible. For someone with so many viewers like Louise, I cannot even begin to imagine the pressure. I've met creators, even with an audience on the same scale as mine, who feel restricted by 'perfect'; will choose not to do certain things through fear they won't appear 'perfect'.

We’re all human, though. We all have our human problems and human worries and our human faults. It is these faults that mean creators, and their viewers) are not perfect, and that’s a good thing (myself and Niki always want to appear just as we would to friends, and hopefully we’ll never feel pressured to change the way we present ourselves! But, obviously, there are things we can't share or things you won't want to hear, and that's totes cool)

I am in no way comparing my experiences with someone on the level of Louise, but even myself and Niki have received messages, tweets and comments telling us that we’re ‘perfect’ (I want to stress that if there was ever an anti-narcissist, that’s me!) I know I am so far from being perfect it's unreal, and hopefully the majority of you guys see that too! I regularly make a fool of myself, and I'm so okay with this.

There has to be a way around this, but what? Allow me to deconstruct any sense of ‘perfect’ that you thought I had... (A WILD REALITY APPEARED)

Here’s me:
I’m Sammy Albon, a 22 year-old Librarian university graduate that lives at home with his parents, permanently in his overdraft. I moan more than I should, do less than I could, and sometimes I don’t brush my teeth until after lunch. I could quite easily eat a tub of peanut butter to myself, and I bite my nails. I’m so lucky to have a loving girlfriend, but I know I could definitely be a better boyfriend. I get sad, I get angry, I can be obnoxious, I make mistakes. I don't want to, and never want to, be 'perfect'. Perfect is boring and it's our little differences, faults and problems that make us so special and I wouldn't change them for the world.

(Oh, I also, sometimes, infrequently, fart (unmercilessly) in public and blame it on old women. WE ALL HAVE OUR FAULTS!)

I suppose the main reason I’m posting this is because I don’t want viewers to get hurt, or disappointed, when they realise their idols are just human. I also don’t want creators to feel crushed under an overwhelming pressure to be ‘p’. Perfect is an illusion, but the true glory of a YouTuber is their relatability - creators and viewers are one and the same, so it’s our responsibility as members of this community to bridge the gap and get closer to one another. (ONE BIG HUG!?)

∆ Hi, I'm Sammy. I'm far from perfect (sometimes a little bit shit) but I am definitely okay with that. Who are you?