Emotional Prostitution on YouTube

Let me tell you a secret… are you ready… it’s going to come as a shock…

I don’t care about you… nope… I don’t give one iota of a crap about your existence…

I think this should go without saying.  To say that I have no emotional connection to subscribers, viewers, readers, etc would be listed under the category of “common sense” in my world. This is not to say I don’t have deep, meaningful, and loving relationships, but rather I don’t have one with YOU.  I create content, people consume content, and somewhere in there I try to figure out how to make a buck.  I don’t figure Tom Cruise cares about me when I watch his latest Sci Fi movie, and so don’t think much about my own content consumers past reviewing the aggregate analytics data and reading comments.  THIS IS HEALTHY!!!

Sadly many content creators have learned a nasty trick to gain subscribers… tell viewers you care about them.  Look deeply into the camera and say how each and every one of them touches you in a profound way, and that you would be lost without them.  It is not the creators success, it is the success of the viewer.  The viewer is not a bystander, but rather an integral part of the content.  This is CRAP.  On the most superficial level it’s dishonest, and past that it’s unhealthy manipulation for monetary gain.

It’s no secret that in many western countries people are living ever more secluded lives.  Where previously  even the most awkward of people would be forced into the world and to deal with people out of profound boredom, now the always on world allows dysfunctional folks to closet themselves into a life where they feel safe.  They can surround themselves by avatars representing all of the things that make them feel secure.  Everything from politics to porn to games is available in a microsecond.  But people still need to feel a connection.  They need companionship, and the human brain is good at adapting.  Bond to an in flesh person if you can, someone on Skype if that’s what’s available, and an idiot on a webcam if there’s nothing left. Just as a child hugs a teddy bear tight for security, many adults are mentally squeezing the hell out of the person they feel is talking to them through the screen.

The format of YouTube emphasizes this effect.  Many creators use a single camera, and talk to it the way they would as if they were on a Skype call.  Creators learn how to have a back and forth conversation with someone that is not there.  You lead the viewer along and at a certain point the viewer feels as if it’s a conversation.  They may be quiet in the conversation, but it’s only because the creator knows them so well.  It reminds me of an old friend who could talk for hours on end with no break. I don’t know how he did it, but he could just monologue for hours with you sitting across from him. You could have a conversation without saying a word.  This is the feeling many viewers are getting.  They dysfunctionally are sucked into feeling as if this is good.

Up to this point is simply the modern reality of a new technology. Any new technology will help some people immensely, and hurt others.  We’re all learning the rules of the road.  Where this goes off of the rails is when content creators start espousing their deep “love” for their viewers.  This turns the situation from a one sided form of undiagnosed mental disorder to manipulation by the authority figure.

I love you please watch my content…

I need you please support me on Patreon…

I desire you please com to my Meetup…

I NEED YOU… please don’t let me suffer…

To be blunt… This is screwed up. This is a metric ton of horse crap.  But people are so desperate for the feeling of connection they don’t just fall for it, but demand the same fraud from all creators.

The fact is that creators cannot care about the numbers of people that follow them. I graduated from a University with 4,000 students, and I probably only knew a few hundred by the end.  My smallest channel has 10,000 subscribers, and my largest has over 820,000.  There are certain subscribers I have created relationships over the years.  BigNate84 or KyleMorgan… but beyond a few dozen people on the platform I can’t say I have any connection at all.

As it becomes easier to track down creators, and the final wisps of anonymity disappear forever creators are setting themselves up for bad situations. More and more viewers with mental issues will start not just reaching out, but demanding their needs be met.


I WATCH all of your videos and so you should…

I PAID therefore…

Creators are playing with a dynamite factory full of half crazed people that believe that an imaginary relationship is real.  This isn’t healthy for viewers, it’s probably not healthy for creators, and will end for many how these things do.

I’ll sell you my content.  My soul is not on offer.  Deal..?


  1. Yeah, man. Deal!
    I have a wife to love and sons to hug. I do not have friends (frankly speaknig , i do not believe in “friendship”, i suppose it is imaginative , like, say. unicorn). My only real friend is my wife.
    So , yeah, gimme some content.
    no soul needed

    Best wishes of THE best luck to you, man
    greets from far Ukraine

  2. Hello Eli, I subscribed today. Thanks for the chance to exchange a few of my dollars for such a slice of your life’s work and wisdom. And not in a weird way. I have enjoyed your content for many years and have learned a great deal from you. I have referred many people to listen and watch your videos. As I run my own business, and work from home by choice, your long videos kept me “company” and were positive distractions. I like to learn from your experience with new technologies and products… some I would have never known about.. and I enjoy your candidness, sincerity, and humor. Some of your rants are classic! Over the past few months, after the election, there has been a definite change. The You Tube/whole Internet cheese has moved. The value of what you do has not changed, though. It is needed… so I will stick around while you figure it out. I am doing the same. Sincerely, Peter

  3. felt a bit puzzled for losing sight of your new video in YT before watching other follower’s comments. No matter what come next, I’ve learned so much from your tech and non-tech videos. Thank you

  4. I’m one of those awkward people that tends to retreat to digital stimulation that you mentioned. Somehow though, I managed to make it this far without actually believing I was a participant in the process, or thinking anybody owed me anything.

    I was at a fast food place a few years ago and I saw a sign in the kitchen that said “If you come within two feet of a customer, you must smile at them”. I’ve never been more offended by business in my life. How dare they force their minimum wage workers to lie to me about how they feel, like I’m some kind of fucking infant. Of course it’s impotent rage, I don’t actually expect anyone to change for my benefit, but I fundamentally do not understand why people expect so much bullshit from their servers, be they servers of food or content or whatever. There is no more grotesque expression in modern life than “the customer is always right”. I do not want my servers to manufacture a fantasy for me and I don’t know why people aren’t insulted by the assumption that we are owed that fantasy.

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