Everyone nowadays strives to be famous. I am not an exception. I have a Youtube Channel with (as of today) 893 subscribers. I more recently made an instagram to go along with my youtube as well that has 146 followers. First off I would just like to say that making youtube videos is a lot of work. Most people think ‘oh look she’s just talking in front of a camera I could do that it’s not hard.’ This is a common misconception, youtube takes many hours of work for only one video. You first have to brainstorm an idea worth talking about, a makeup look worth creating, or even an outfit worth styling. Once you come up with the idea it’s time to get started on executing it, for example let’s take a rant video due to its simplicity. I would first have to figure out a time to film because depending on the season daylight only lasts so long, or you buy a lighting system this way you can film whenever. Next, you have to find a spot with an appealing background. Then, you start setup your tripod and camera. Afterwards you then physically get ready and pick out a shirt to wear that looks nice. Now you are ready to film. Multiple takes are also done this way you can assure yourself the video will have substance. Finally comes hours and hours of editing. This so called ‘easy’ lifestyle is not really a lifestyle but a job. A job that if you take a break from people get angry. I am a college student who has a job and is in a sorority. I love making youtube videos but it is not my main concern. I have many friends who enjoy my videos and get angry when I do not post regularly. It makes me feel bad for disappointing others even though youtube started out about doing something I love.
Youtubers are constantly portrayed as these people who make so much money, although true for some very famous youtubers, that isn’t the case with most. I have a socialblade profile which is basically a website that gives analytics for any social media outlet such as youtube, instagram, twitter, etc. The website says I make from 63-1,000 dollars a year. In the 3 years I have had my account made 163 dollars collectively. Many beauty bloggers are claimed by certain networks for example RCLbeauty101. In her socialblade account it says she makes $257.4K – $4.1M. Which when I was approached by the same network made me think ‘wow I could be just like her’ I could make 4 million dollars. Although approached by broadband TV’s network I declined. Why you may ask? Over the phone with one of the representatives they promised a library of copyright free music, algorithms to run on my videos, editing software for the thumbnails of my videos and so on. I was ready jumping at the bit to just say yes because all I saw were dollar signs. All I can say is thank goodness my parents had a lawyer look over the contract. The representative was upfront and said in exchange for their services wanted 40% of the revenue I make from google adsense. What the contract actually mentioned was nothing, not one specific thing the company would give me but rather how much money they would take from me and if I were to be sued from something said in my videos the network would not be liable but still take that 40 percent. If this were something I almost went through I think it is safe to say some youtubers have done the same thing and most are losing a big chunk of that income.
Another issue that other youtubers have and even written articles on is that for the ‘middle-class’ youtuber who has a bit of a following but not enough for brands to sponsor them do not make enough money to sustain themselves from youtube alone. They need another everyday job. The problem with this is people will recognize them or maybe even memorize their schedules so how are they suppose to make a living? Youtube is not a stable income, sometimes you’re in. Sometimes you’re out. You need something dependable but as I mentioned earlier Youtube videos are an intense amount of work. So how is one supposed to hold down a job Monday through Friday and continue to put up videos so they don’t upset fans? This is the conundrum. Again most people yearn for this lifestyle, yet when you’re not quite famous but also not quite a nobody how are you suppose to go on in everyday life.
Finally, to wrap this up youtube and instagram are all a show. Most of the time when beauty bloggers are posting a photo and tagging brands it is a sponsored picture but who knows if the blogger is actually being paid money or just the clothes they are wearing. I personally cannot afford to buy a 100 dollar jacket, a sweater from urban outfitters and boots from zara everyday for a new outfit of the day picture. Which brings us back to sponsorships. There was an 18 year old social media guru Essena O’Neill who was constantly paid for sponsorships on instagram for clothing and other material items. However, she was thought to have to most ‘perfect life’ she was one of the most miserable people out there. Sure from your side of the screen she had it all, but the photos lie. Her self esteem was dependent on those likes, there was one picture that she mentioned it was the only thing that made her happy that particular day. If you search deep enough into youtuber’s videos, a lot of them suffer or have suffered from depression. This is because we see social media icons as we want to see them a certain way with this idea of perfection, fame, and money, just plain and simple ‘having it all’. Youtube couples are forced to share their breakups not only with friends and family but also with their entire fan base and the internet. It just goes to show that not everything is as it appears especially the side effects to social media fame.