Vloggers: the celebrities of the internet

Image by puck90 via Flickr

Jessica Soler | Contributing Writer



The popularity of social media can be credited either to society being so bored that anything will entertain them or, perhaps, that there really is some visceral connection created through computer screens.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, the list goes on. There are so many social platforms created to communicate with others. The face value of these services is beneficial; keeping in touch with friends and family has never been easier.

However, there are those who make a living on these sites. This occurs particularly on video sites such as Vine, Snapchat and YouTube. These people are known as “vloggers” or video bloggers.

Focusing on YouTube, there is a large array of content. The “beauty gurus” who provide in depth makeup tutorials, product reviews and fashion advice; the “sketch comedians” who perform rehearsed skits and the “gamer” channels that have series dedicated to play-through of different video games. There are crossovers, or sub-genres, within each of these categories.

The conundrum of these entertainers is the success of their vlog channels.

Many vloggers have a main channel focusing on their specific skill set with millions of viewers subscribed to them. It is comparable to a television series, where the audience can reasonably expect a video according to a devised schedule the vlogger has set. Popular channels get views in the hundred thousands.

On their second channel, however, vloggers upload videos of their everyday lives. The videos usually range from 10 to 30 minutes and the upload schedule can be daily, weekly, monthly or sporadically. These videos could literally be anything.

The vloggers take their audience with them everywhere! There are videos of special events, scenes from their work, vacations or even shopping trips. While this concept seems silly on paper, the vlogging videos generate as many views for the vloggers as their main channel videos do.

Perhaps it is the glamour of editing that makes the mundane seem appealing. Close-ups, musical montages, fast-forward and jump cuts allow for a smooth transition from scene to scene. However, there are some vlogs that feature very few of these special effects.

So, what is it? What makes the ordinary life of another person so interesting? The answer might be two fold.

Like reality TV these vlogs are numbingly entertaining. Watching another person’s boring life might be the pick-me-up needed after a hard day. The viewer can unplug from their life and veg.

Unlike reality TV however, the element that draws viewers to these videos is the connection they feel to the vloggers. It’s one thing to watch reality stars hash out their drama over a five star meal, it is another to watch an everyday person do things we would do. These videos are so open and engaging the viewer feels like the vlogger’s friend, a part of their life. Throughout the video the vlogger is constantly addressing the audience and positioning the camera to where they would be standing and what they would be seeing if they were there.

The audience can even have an impact on the vlogger’s life. In a video, popular YouTuber, Alfie Deyes, said, “If somebody in my comments was like ‘Alfie, your new hair cut was rubbish please don’t cut it like that again’ I would probably think maybe I won’t cut it like that again, maybe it doesn’t suit me?”

Even the vloggers themselves seem mind blown by the success of their second channels. Recently, the popular YouTuber, Zoella, began vlogging again after taking a hiatus from the practice. In her latest video she asks her audience why they enjoy vlogs so much?

The majority of the responses had to do with how relatable the vloggers are in their vlogs as opposed to how they act in their skits or tutorials.

Zoella, herself said, “I feel like I am there with them. I can appreciate that it’s 10/15 minutes of someone’s day and things can get massively blown out of proportion, tiny teeny tiny things because that’s all they have got to work on and I really enjoy watching people live.”

Watching another person struggle through similar problems makes us feel as though we are not alone. Seeing someone else break down and overcome that problem make us feel hopeful. Hearing words of encouragement is a comfort that helps us to try again. This is what vlogs can do.



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