YouTube is an American video-sharing website. YouTube came about in the year 2005, and I do think that’s all the history you need to know about it. You know what YouTube is. YouTube is where Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Carly Rae Jepsen and some major artists started their career. YouTube was a crossing-your-fingers, hoping-to-get-discovered platform, a platform, that has no doubt contributed by giving the world a few hundred truck-loads of talented and melodious voices and words which impact millions of hearts. Also, cat videos.
I have been an avid viewer of YouTube since I was about 11. I can’t help but look down on how the YouTube world has completely changed and went from showcasing hidden talents and absolutely heart-warming, down to earth millennials to money/view/fame-hungry kids. This, of course doesn’t apply to every YouTuber ever. But, I’m sure if you watch even a few people on YouTube, you KNOW who and what I’m talking about.
My YouTube journey started with watching late Christina Grimmie who did covers with a keyboard and her strong voice with nothing but one sketchy, digital camera. I watched her on my old box of a computer, which now sits at my grandparents’ house probably covered in about 60 layers of dust. I usually only watched covers on YouTube as I, myself wanted to do something like that once I was a little grown up. Make simple videos of myself singing, without really caring how many people are watching. Just to get my voice out there.
YouTube is a really intimidating platform now. Starting from scratch, having to be dedicated because of the quite high- REALLY high level of competition. I found myself watching videos of people other than people who just sung or played an instrument. My brother and I would spend evenings watching Smosh and NigaHiga. I then came across Miranda Sings and got addicted to watching her, a few familiar, warm-hearted names that come to mind around that time are Zoella, Lilly Singh, Joey Graceffa, Troye Sivan, Tyler Oakley, Shane Dawson and so many just pure-hearted fun people. People that never showed they were in it for the money or they fame. People that just genuinely enjoyed entertaining and making their audience happy. At this point, I’m not sure I even knew how much they earned off of it just because they never seemed to care about the money or take all that love for granted.
Now, excuse me, if I sound a bit hateful. But as soon as Vine stars started taking over YouTube, the aura of YouTube didn’t feel all too warm anymore. Now, Vine was also a video sharing platform, of six second videos on a loop. Vine was shut down in 2016, everyone who was from Vine shipped on to YouTube. Again, a little recap of internet history that I’m positive you all are already aware of. Vine brought to us Jake Paul, Lance Stewart, Cameron Dallas, Logan Paul, Lele Pons, King Bach to name a few. I can’t help but feel, as soon as Vine started dying down some of them just jumped up and down in a state of what-now and retired to YouTube. Jake Paul is described as one manipulative, materialistic, hate-on-me-but-I-still-make-money vlogger (video blogger) who is mostly loved by 10-year olds that watched his Disney show Bizaardvark. He lost his Disney contract due to his recklessness I reckon though he didn’t put it in as many words. They are so blinded by his Disney character, Dirk, that they don’t see what he really cooks up behind the scenes. He just seems, really, hungry for views. This generation of YouTube is what really let “Adsense” out to the first world. Adsense being how YouTubers make money off their videos. Lance Stewart was one of the Vine stars that was quick to start a YouTube channel but has been left behind by the Paul brothers and now makes fake videos of paranormal activity in hopes that people would believe him and his videos would blow up. He recently got into a tiff about this with one of his best friends Chris, which also I can’t tell if it’s fake. They seem to try too hard to divert the internet’s attention from the “Paul Brothers”. Jake Paul and Logan Paul also seem to cook up a lot of fake drama for views and entertainment to their audience to some extent but mostly, it seems, for views.
YouTube was once a warm platform that showcased nothing but talent. YouTube is now continuously turning into a drama hub between brothers and friends who claim to want to spread positivity but I don’t see how if they don’t themselves know the true meaning and honour of being an influencer. Can anyone do YouTube?
By Aayushi Khanna (Editor, Non fiction)