The Spectator

I WROTE ABOUT VLOGGING (*not-clickbait*)

A deeper look into "vlogging": A trend that's running YouTube.

Max Hayes, Editor-in-Chief

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“WHAT’S UP YOUTUBE?!”

 

Many children under the age of 12 are extremely familiar with these infamous words commonly used by the thousands of “vloggers” that have seemingly taken over YouTube. Infatuated with these “vloggers” lifestyles, tens of millions of subscribers avidly watch their daily videos. Some of the biggest vloggers, including big names such as Logan Paul, Jake Paul and Roman Atwood have subscriber counts ranging from 13 to 16 million subscribers. With raunchy and “click-bait” titles, big name vloggers get millions of views on their daily episodes of their life.

 


But are these videos just harmless entertainment? Or does the motivation to get as many views as possible cause vloggers to manipulate their young audiences?

 

Watch any of Logan Paul or Jake Paul’s vlogs, and you will be bombarded with “plugs” for their merchandise and social media handles. It’s almost non-stop. Selling merchandise as a way for fans to support their favorite YouTuber’s channels is one of the most crucial sources of income for many vloggers. Logan Paul’s “Maverick” apparel has hoodies that sell for around $55, no slouch of a price considering his young audience and market. Obviously, these vloggers have to make money some way or the other.

 

But a good amount of their income comes from monetization on YouTube videos from advertisements, so is the constant pressure they put on their young fan bases to buy their apparel appropriate? At a certain point, it’s as if these vloggers are essentially conveying to their fans that they aren’t “true” fans until they buy some merchandise that proves it. Is this the type of pressure to conform that we want to be putting on our youth?

 

The alliance between young children and their favorite YouTube vloggers seems to be intensifying to an unhealthy level, as illustrated by this recently talked about tweet:

 

This recently viral tweet illustrates the reality of the tension that exists between vlogger’s fan bases.

 

No, that tweet is not a parody or jeer at the commonly made fun of Logan and Jake Paul YouTube community. This is a real problem many grade school kids are going through every day.

 

As ridiculous as it may seem, think back to when you were in middle school. Everyone had idols, and everyone still has idols. Times have changed, and idols have changed as well. What might’ve been your Justin Bieber is now some kids Logan Paul. The concept of a role model hasn’t changed, but the platform on which kids find their idols has drastically evolved.

 

The effects of these polarizing YouTube vloggers and their fan bases avid support for them are not limited to middle school kids. In fact, they are apparent in the Lake Forest Academy community.

 

“Coming to school everyday is really hard. This is because I like to wear my Maverick merchandise, which is Logan Paul’s brand. I like to represent Logan’s movement and fan base. But people think I might be a “Jake Pauler”, which is frustrating because I’m “Logang” for life,” LFA senior Matthew Rozsypal said.

 

Logan Paul’s videos are filled with animated dialogue and facial expressions.

 

Clearly, which vlogger kids support the most or show allegiance to has serious consequences on the way they feel about school, what clothes they choose to wear and what people they choose to interact with. This pressure to belong to a certain fan base or group has even reached to the extent of hostility toward other fan bases.

 

The new wave and era of vlogging has blurred the line between mere entertainment and running a manipulative business marketed towards kids. These vloggers behave recklessly for views and constantly pressure children into buying their merchandise, doing all this while hiding under the label of “entertainment.” So the next time you hear someone say “I’m a Jake Pauler” or, “I’m Logang”, think to yourself if this is simply support for a YouTuber, or a sign of a more sinister, deceptive allegiance.

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