Are internet celebrities attention hogs?
And I mean this in the nicest way possible… but…
So there’s this YouTube star, internet personality, content creator, influencer who is feeling bogged down by social media. They feel a little depressed. But they also feel a little trapped by the system in which they work. They might not be enjoying things as much as they used to. They probably want to give it all up and get away for a while. They’re not sure where their future is headed, and they’re unsure if they can trust the ones traveling with them. They are burned out and in desperate need of a getaway.
Who are you picturing?
I ask because I can name several YouTube stars who have voiced these thoughts. And I’m starting to wonder just why so many of them aren’t enjoying their fame? Realistically, they have friends, money, supporters, a fan base, connections… they should not only be happy, but they should feel secure knowing that they will probably have work and income for the foreseeable future. But they aren’t happy. And they’re not secure… emotionally at least.
So what’s up with that?
We all tell ourselves that we would be so happy if we were famous and rich. But one look at the statistics, drama, and actual lives of rich people and it’s pretty easy to see that it’s not easy being rich. It’s not easy being famous. For every ten followers you also get a complimentary hater. And as we all know, haters gonna hate, but that doesn’t make the angry sounds of thousands of pathological rage mongers any less anxiety inducing.
Believe me, I know.
I know what it’s like to be a kid who has a few good friends. And then one day you don’t. One day someone says something so mean, something that isn’t true or doesn’t matter, and it wrecks you. You were just sailing along enjoying the fresh sea air when a kraken fell from the sky riding a UFO and smashes your ship into a billion pieces before eating you and then the UFO explodes with the force of 10 atom bombs. And you still have to go to school the next day.
Have you ever been in front of an audience, maybe giving a speech or acting in a play. Then that one person who shall remain nameless calls you out or makes fun of you for something so incredibly minuscule that of course he’s the one who would see it. An entire painting so marvelous and magnificent! The colors! The shading! The imagery! The way the piece evokes feeling and thought at once! And then jerk face points out that one of the subjects in the background looks like she’s cross eyed… and that’s all anyone sees. Cross eyed baguette lady pushing her monkey child on the swing set…
I have done many things over the years. Almost every job I’ve had I did not feel respected or appreciated… at least to an extent. I know what it’s like to get to the end of your rope with that urge to jump. But instead you run away. You stuff some clothes in a backpack, along with some snacks. And you just walk.
That’s not called being lost. That’s called running away. That’s chickening out. Failing to face your fears and turning mundane responsibilities into traps the world keeps setting for you. But they’re not traps. It’s just things that happen. Its sin. Not even necessarily your sin, just sin in general. It permeates every facet of our world, eager to engulf our lives and pull us away from our true destiny.
And I see YouTubers fighting this battle time and time again. James, Twintendo is just the latest, and his tweets are what sparked this post.
In his tweet thread he mentions not being able to trust anyone and how he feels like he has to fight this battle on his own. But why tell anyone this? Stupid question, probably, as therapists and counselors base their livelihood on “talking through your problems” with another person. So, yes, it is good to get it out there. It is good to talk about it. But on Twitter?
And he’s not the only one I’ve seen go through this, as I’ve mentioned. And it almost always goes the same way:
They love what they’re doing.
They start to feel the pressure.
They fight back.
They love what they’re doing, and the pressure is seen as part of the gig.
But the pressure gets higher. The gig becomes heavier. The fans demand more. The expectations become more grand. The world expects them to become more extravagant.
And they hide it.
Until they can’t, anymore.
That’s usually when you see the “burn out” tweet. You know something is going on, but seeing as it is as very personal thing to be going through, you don’t know the extent of it.
Not until they post the “reform video” where they tell their followers what has been going on and what it means for them going forward.
After a huge wave of positivity, prayers, support, and sympathy comments everything gradually goes back to normal. The content returns, or sometimes becomes better. The personality returns, and sometimes becomes more lively. Sometimes things simply return to normal. And sometimes things blossom into a whole new chapter.
I’ve watched this happen with many YouTube personalities. As I’ve mentioned James from Twintendo is going through this now. But I’ve also seen JackSepticEye, AntVenom, TrainerTips, Austin McConnell, CGP Gray, Evan Edinger, Linus from Linus Tech Tips et all, Matthew Santoro, and a few others I can’t name because I either wasn’t a fan at the time or I’m still not. And they all went through some sort of overpowering dread… and came out better on the other side.
So, attention hogs? Not really, I guess. Maybe they’re more typical internet users than we want to believe and they want to admit. They’re just out there looking for acceptance. And one day they think “is this the real me, or the me everyone will accept?” Enter dread. However, they unknowingly built themselves a backup plan. Their fan base. And usually the fan base is not only supportive of their need to take a little time off. But more often than not I see comments where devoted fans, who won’t know what to do with their time if they can’t watch the latest video, telling this YouTube star to take time to heal… and we’ll wait for you. And then they do! They wait and wait and once the YouTuber returns everyone comes back in full support. It’s the scariest and most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.
I still wonder if they are just like me… or if it’s actually the fame. But either way, it seems to happen all too often, and someone should figure out how to spot the signs before it gets to the point of a Twitter breakdown.
P.S. – I know I started off really harsh, but I just want people to read my stuff. Hooks like that pull people in. Then they read my post and get hooked. Then I get the likes and comments and reads and shares and the internet loves me and everyone wants to be me but do they love me me or the me they see and who can I trust… I might need a vacation. 😉