YouTube has become one of the largest vlogging platforms online. Some of the biggest YouTube stars such as Casey Neistat have over 5 million subscribers and garner over 1 million views in just one day. After watching videos every day about someone’s day to day life for months on end, how does one not feel like they personally know the vlogger, even consider them a friend? Is this mindset healthy?
I am all too familiar with this. I frequently watch a channel called Just Kidding News while at work and it is difficult not to feel a sort of bond with these people, despite the fact that they have no idea who you are. But is this any different than those who frequently watch TMZ? The gossip alone is evidence of this happening in Hollywood; "Did you hear about Brangelina getting a divorce?" People think they know these stars.
Is it healthy? I would suggest that if one has an active social life, sure. If one's source of interaction between others is solely coming from this medium, however, that is when it becomes a problem. Very, very interesting topic and I believe it is one that should be addressed due to the ever-increasing popularity of this medium and the possible adverse effects it could have. I would suggest implementing examples of psychology if a claim was to be made here. Good Luck to whoever grabs this. I look forward to reading it.
-Brad – Brad Hagen5 years ago
This is an interesting topic, and I feel it coincides with similar topics involving how people portray 'celebrities'. With YouTube as popular and widespread as any other form of media entertainment, it is no wonder that the more popular users are being treated like movie stars. Like the movies, YouTube has become a place where people escape from reality by watching others do things they want to do or wish they had the ability to do. It is unhealthy in the movies, and I feel it is quickly becoming the same with vlogging. At least with movies, actors/actresses take breaks between acting, and can escape the limelight. With vlogging, however, most of these people have to be constantly producing media in order to maintain the status quo, therefore making them more visibly accessible to the public. Couple that with the fact that you can more readily access a vlog than you can movie, you can see how these vlogging stars are more popular then some movie stars. – MikeySheff5 years ago
I think this can also be dangerous. Because some fans might feel entitled to know everything about vloggers and boundaries might be crossed. – seouljustice5 years ago
These are called parasocial relationships and I'm pretty sure that there's a decent amount of research out there on them! – phaasch5 years ago
I think it is impossible to pin down an answer for all. Each individual would make sense of their experience with a vlogger, wildly popular or not, based on their own circumstances. I must say some could get a lot out of such an interaction, however lop-sided it may seem, like courage, solace, inspiration and entertainment. Besides, friendships are very much possible in form of exchange of comments and messages where fans get in touch with their idols and what not. Of course it is impossible for anyone to reply every single comment (complaint/compliment/sharing) they get, which is pretty much the case for most of us. How many friends do you have on your social media accounts and how many do you actually talk or respond to? It's just the matter of perspective and although it is fascinating to ponder upon topics like this we really should avoid making blanket judgments that rule out possibility for good things to happen. – rubynvm5 years ago
Since you mentioned Casey Neistat, he talked about this one-sided, always appearing happy type of relationship in one of his latest videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVnI_2JgXGY. – KennethC5 years ago
It might also be interesting to explore if such celebrities feel a responsibility to act a particular way once they have a large audience who assume they can predict their actions and if this leads to restricting, rather than empowering, a vloggers future explorations of their own craft. This may be particularly relevant here as their roles are often be portrayed as "This is the real me," rather than "I am pretending to be this character." – trevajc5 years ago
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