In a world where the internet is the centre of people’s lives, is it surprising that some of the biggest celebrities of this day and age come from that very place? YouTubers have taken over the world, and have become some of the biggest influences for young people. They’ve done this by creating a connection with their audience, by inviting them to view their lives through the videos or ‘vlogs’ they post online.
I’m guilty of being sucked into the world of YouTubers, as I regularly visit my favourite channels to see what they’re up to; this is normally some kind of red carpet event or yet ANOTHER trip to Disney World. I didn’t think I minded seeing these nobodies climb to fame by just filming themselves, and I didn’t even mind the fact that I couldn’t go a day without seeing them on an advert or a television show. However, as I’ve grown up, one thing that has always hit a nerve of mine is their ability to receive opportunities which would normally take people like us years to gain.
Next time you’re in a book shop like WHSmith or Waterstones, count how many YouTuber books you can find. I promise you that there’ll be an entire section just for them, and they’ll be at the forefront, publicised in as many ways possible. So for me, the main issue has always been the idea of these YouTuber books, whether it be an autobiography like The Amazing Book is not on Fire by Dan and Phil or a fictional story like Girl Online by Zoella. I don’t doubt that they have worked very hard to reach their current level of fame, but it’s taking away the sense of pride that comes with writing something just with the hopes of getting it published.
As an aspiring author I’ve spent years on my laptop writing story after story, with the hope that one day I would send it to a publishing company to try and get it into print. I know that the process is going to be long and that I’m going to get turned down a few times, but I hope that I’ll eventually break into the industry and write a bestseller. Nowadays it looks as though all this hard work is pointless because YouTubers are getting book deals and publicity handed to them, making their success inevitable. They may have worked their way up in the YouTube world, but so many people have been working their entire lives to even be given an opportunity to get their book published; some of whom have even done degrees and work placements just to get their foot in the door.
By watching YouTubers am I being a hypocrite? Am I just being bitter or jealous? Maybe a bit of both. I feel like my view stems from my desire to succeed in the world of publishing, and I feel like the chance of getting a book out there is losing its importance, as YouTubers are releasing books at the same level as videos.
It seems as if YouTubers are taking over, even in the seemingly opposing world of books. It seems as if the only way to make it anywhere is by having a video camera and the confidence to put yourself out there. A polar opposite to most authors who choose writing words as their preferred form of expression. Are YouTubers discrediting the art of writing, or do we have to face the fact that the world is forever changing, and fame is a lot more fickle?