The Youtuber Phenomenon

They call him Pewdiepie.

He’s currently one of the most subscribed to people on Youtube, and the most subscribed to Let’s Play channel (a channel devoted to playing video games while someone makes commentary over it).  Now, depending on your position, he’s either someone who brightens your day and makes you laugh, or someone who raises your blood pressure from the mere mention of his name.  But that’s not what I want to discuss today (like or don’t like whoever you want, but don’t push others around because they disagree with you…that’s just stupid).  Really, he’s just one part of a phenomenon that has taken the internet by storm in recent years.

They call him Pewdiepie, but they also call him a Youtuber.

 

That face though...

That face though…

 

In the most basic sense of the word, Youtuber is slang for someone who creates videos and then uploads them onto Youtube.  But there are certain connotations to the word.  Namely, it’s that Youtubers are consistently generating content on a regular basis (I mean most people wouldn’t consider someone who uploads only two or three videos in the span of ten years a Youtuber, let’s put it that way).  But what interests me the most is not what these people do, but what they represent.

It’s hard to deny that there hasn’t been a major shift in our culture over the last few decades.  Just looking back at the 1990s, you can see a world of difference in how we handle ourselves.  Technology is leaps and bounds above what I had when I was growing up.  It’s amazing, terrifying, and brilliant, all at the same time.  One of our major cultural shifts over the years has been in how we determine what is and what isn’t a job, and how we work these jobs.

If you look back at the generation before mine, people were often molded into specific roles.  The old cliché goes that the husband works and the wife stays at home, which has fast become little more than an old stereotype often played off on in sitcoms and the like.  But more so than that, we had the notion that you go to work a nine to five job, go home, eat dinner, sleep, and then do it all over again the next day until the weekend.  It was very structured and repetitive like that, which is what a lot of people wanted (and still want).

Things are different today.  Many people, instead of working one full-time job, take on two part-time ones to make ends meet.  The economy has shifted, and our perceptions have shifted along with it.  Still others will work out of their homes, freelancing stuff out for people and companies on a job-by-job basis.  We can no longer adhere to the nine to five, full-time employment idea because there just simply aren’t enough full-time jobs out there anymore.

This is where things like Youtubers come in.  They are proof that even as the world economy is in dire straits, there are still ways for people to live a fulfilling and successful life for themselves, doing something that they truly enjoy.  They’re not necessarily the easy way, but life isn’t easy right?  Life is full of struggle and joy, success and failure, happiness and sadness.  Life is a journey, and no journey was ever said to be easy.

Youtubers are a sign of the rapidly changing times.  Look at Pewdiepie for example.  He went from having two million subscribers to having over twenty million within the span of a year.  I can’t say for certain what sparked such an explosive growth, and I doubt anyone really knows for sure.  I’m guessing there were a lot of different factors in play: the growing popularity of Youtube and Let’s Plays, the growing number of people with access to internet, and even something as innocuous as Google changing the algorithms behind its search engine (Youtube is a subsidiary of Google by the way, has been since 2006).  Regardless of the reasons, his success sparked the creation of probably hundreds of Let’s Play channels on Youtube, full of people who just want to make money doing something they love.  Unfortunately, many of them probably discovered, that was incredibly difficult due to the over-saturation that occurred.  The problem with change is that you can’t predict it.  And sometimes, if you’re not ahead of it, you get left behind.

But don’t be discouraged by that.  Things are constantly shifting, the gears are always turning, and the landscape is always transforming.  Much of life is about finding your place in the world, finding somewhere where you are comfortable.  Maybe sometime in the future things will shift back your way, bringing you success beyond measure.  And maybe you’re just comfortable working two part-time jobs.  Who knows?  No one can tell you how to live your life, so on and so forth, blah blah inspirational message blah.  But in all seriousness, just be happy with who you are.  That’s all you really need in life isn’t it?

 

Well that’s all I have for this week.  Tune in next Wednesday for the first post of 2015 (woot woot).  As always, have a wonderful week, and have an awesome New Years.

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