Sanctimonious post about something that, strangely enough, just occurred to me: normal people can easily turn into soulless sellers, casually dropping ridiculous corporate jargon while taking money out of the same group they call community.
Yesterday I watched a few videos from well-known professionals in the music production field, which left me stunned. Not sure if it was the language, or the way they were taking the topics so seriously, but the struggle to properly understand was real. They were waffling on about the reasons for having failed to release new videos in 2024, or what upload schedule works best, or ways to complement their income with online courses, Patreon, up to bragging about their considerable YouTube earnings in the name of transparency.
Aware of the fact that I can’t possibly understand what’s involved with maintaining social media accounts with millions of subscribers, I felt so alienated that I jotted down a few key phrases out of their influencer’s vocabulary:
The audience is everything.
The audience is everything.
The hole in the video release schedule caused the channel to suffer.
I failed to keep momentum for the channel.
It’s going to take months to recover.
I don’t have a buffer of videos.
The biggest YouTubers have upload schedules, they release videos at certain times of the day.
I’m a YouTuber, it’s not an hobby anymore.
How many people actually live in that sort of bubble? One of them has started paying a small team of employees, so they can treble the amount of videos for the channel. Referring to the fact that there’s been a flurry of famous “YouTubers” leaving the platform or taking a hiatus — apparently there’s a burnout crisis in the “creator economy” — they unironically stated I’m a content creator. What does that even mean?
They all seem to have a few things in common: beside the obligatory
exaggerated-idiotic-face-glowing-on-the-side-of-huge-clickbait-title YouTube thumbnail, they talk an awful lot about themselves while insisting on the assumption that they’re running a community. Of course, this requires applying several degrees of gaslighting to cover the indisputable fact that they’re making money off it, while contributing to the ads-driven corporate web that has turned the internet to shit.
Yeah, I really am this naîve about people getting rich by exploiting social media platforms, probably because I’ve never believed in setting up a lifestyle on tools that are ephemeral by default. Concluding on this self-righteous half rant, I’d like to quote Jennifer Del Gato, who perfectly encapsuled the same concepts a few days ago in her entry for this month’s IndieWeb Carnival:
If you choose to monetize your online presence, which is your prerogative, then don’t mistake your relationship with other Netizens as being a “community.” A parasocial relationship between an influencer and her audience isn’t a community, it’s a fandom.On Influencers and Parasocial Relationships