YouTube as a platform has grown exponentially since its formation in 2005, particularly with younger audiences who not only use the platform as an entertainment purpose but also use it as a form of escapism and in many cases idolise the figures they see creating videos and posting them online. I myself am included in this category and over the last few years I have developed a kind of addiction to YouTube watching up to 4 hours of content per night, (yes I know I need to get out more). Is that a bad thing, in my opinion no as the majority of content outlines a positive message and the most YouTuber’s are more relatable to audiences than mainstream celebrities and therefore act as more suitable role models. The vlogging community in particular has exploded with popularity since it’s carnation with figures like ‘Zoella’ now being considered actual ‘celebrities’ and featuring on mainstream media such as Loose Women. Unfortunately with this great popularity comes barrards of hate and whilst many would argue that it is in the job description and what you sign up for, in my opinion there is no excuse for cyber bullying and that’s what it is, cyber bullying. Ironic because a lot of this abuse is coming from traditional, mainstream media and the same platforms that promote anti cyber bullying campaigns. I came across this article from the Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/sure-teenage-girls-need-role-models–but-not-of-the-zoella-kind-9809136.html which aims to alienate viewers from looking up to her as a role model from a feminist standpoint. Unfortunately for the author, the lack of research into the topic, bigoted views and personal insults come across as hypocritical and jealous. Not only this but it is clear cyber bullying and abuse for example: the article starts with the quote ‘Her eyes are enormous. She looks like a startled bird; albeit a bird with the gorgeous, flowing locks of Rapunzel, the high-pitched giggle of Tinkerbell, and a name so irritatingly Disney-fied it makes my stomach churn: Zoella.’ From the word go the writer is showing vendetta against Zoe and her naivety towards the subject. The main point made by the article is; how can Zoella, a girl who posts beauty videos online, encourage her viewers to not be self-conscious. And whilst this may sound logical at first if the author did actually attempt to conduct any research to contribute towards this click bait article she would know that Zoe uses makeup as an artform and genuinely enjoys making the videos, videos which her audience request. Surely a feminist, as she claims to be, would encourage a young girl to pursue her passion and become successful because of it, no?. Overall this article is an envious attack on a young girl who really hasn’t harmed a soul at that and feminists should be ashamed on this attack on, possibly the only platform, that does actually allow gender equality, or maybe I’m wrong again and that’s not actual what feminists want. Who knows. This blog post by Zoella is not directly linked to the article but does relate to the cyber bullying as mentionedhttp://www.zoella.co.uk/2014/11/why-i-stopped-daily-vlogging-hate-on.html.
I apologise if this was poorly written but when I’m passionate about something I ramble, as you have probably guessed and i’m not sure if the point i’m trying to make comes across very clearly, and for that I apologise. Let me know what you think about the subject surrounding hate on the internet and whether YouTuber’s are actually valid role models for teenagers.
And remember, Keep Smiling, Harrison 🙂