YouTube Daily Vloggers: My Guilty Pleasure

by - April 05, 2016

I'm sitting at my kitchen table drinking hot chocolate watching someone else in their kitchen drinking hot chocolate when these thoughts flood in...
What am I watching? 
Maybe I should click off to a make up tutorial?
It's 7pm, the news is on.
37 minutes in and I'm still watching.
How is this even interesting? And yet it is interesting!

YouTube video bloggers have been a guilty pleasure of mine for quite a while but finding myself engrossed in someone else's weekend errands is still mind boggling to me. So here's my two pennies on vloggers and making sense of why people, like me, enjoy them so.

I recently started watching Erik Conover who documents his daily life in New York and he's now become my favourite vlogger to watch. A typical Erik Conover vlog consists of walks outdoors, a quick coffee at a local deli, and coming home to his humble New York apartment that he shares with his girlfriend Jessica. Watching their latest vlog while thinking about this I've been surprised at how little actually happens. Yet why is it that so many of us are interested in the lives of others we don't know? 

I love how Erik and Jessica capture places they visit in Boston or New York so beautifully and I enjoy being a part of their conversations 

'vlogs are life in beta'

Here's my theory. Television is very structured, all shows including chat shows spend millions planning and curating everything down to a tee for entertainment while vlogs are life in beta. Vloggers stumble over things (I mean this both literally and figuratvely), they make mistakes, they're human! We watch them laugh, cry, fall and pick themselves up again. We watch their weddings, child births, failure and successes. 

Even if you're watching someone seemingly untouchable and incredibly wealthy, the curtains come down on a vlog. It is a reminder that everyone has good days and bad days, joys and worries. Vlogs are a leveller because we see that everything isn't perfect, there aren't many of us with mansions or expansive wardrobes but underneath it we're all essentially the same.

'Vlogs take us back to caveman days'

Vlogs take us back to the caveman days of sitting by the campfire sharing our own life stories because we had nothing better to do other than chase off a boar or go hunting for our next meal. Think about why you enjoy a brunch with your friends. You might share some news, talk about the neighbour's cat or just your coffee. The simple answer is that people like people. We find other people's thoughts and lives interesting, especially if that person has a unique perspective or experience to share. 

If you look at some of the top vloggers, they typically have a particular talent or quirk that establishes who they are and what they do. We all have our things and vlogging brings that to light often unintentionally letting the vlogger provide value, insight, entertainment, inspiration, knowledge, or just a humble opinion. 

Vlogging is Organic

Erik and Jessica are both models who sometimes share their cringeworthy modelling photos or situations. For viewers who've never been in the modelling industry, that's most of us, it's entertaining. They live in New York so can provide valuable insight into what life if like in New York to someone considering making a move there. I don't think they set out to do this, none of us are when we tell others about our lives, which is what makes vlogging all the more beautiful.

There's also a social aspect to vlogs and YouTube as a medium which I guess helps in the campfire aspect of things that doesn't exist in scripted television. We feel like we know the people on our computer screens because we can interact with them directly from the comments section or via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. It's a kind of community. People identify with other people's real life experiences as they are happening.

Photo Credit: Firza Pratama

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