I’ve logged off of YouTube… for 30 days…
I feel that I’ve been able to break my YouTube addiction over the past month or so, but due to my using the platform to earn a paycheck I have still been interacting with it. The more distance I put between myself and YouTube though the more vile I see it to be. It’s not about Susan W. or the Apocalypse, it’s something that goes deeper. YouTube for lack of a better expression is turning into a hole.
I was able to delete my Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts and not look back rather easily because I found that those platforms added little value to my life. YouTube has been harder simply because I earn a chunk of money off of it. It’s one thing to turn your back on cat videos, it’s another to turn away from a significant paycheck. Even after I broke my addictive traits towards YouTube I still would need to log in every day to manage the account. This seemed to be a reasonable decision. Spend just enough time to get the work done, maybe watch a couple of vids, and then get back to life. I honestly didn’t feel completely clean with this path, but I didn’t feel conflicted enough to worry too much about it. That was until a few days ago…
I had uploaded a vid for the EliComputerGuyLive channel, deleted some nasty comments, and before I was about to leave noticed a recommended video from a creator talking about some issue with Apple. I had a couple of minutes and decided to click play to see what Apple had done this time. I expected the normal complaints about Apple but this creator started off by saying that they had to “respond” to a video by Tailosive Tech. The creator became very grouchy and went on a tangent. I found this curious because I have seen vids by Tailosive Tech and they squarely fall into the “marshmallow” category of content. I find enough to waste a few minutes, but neither good nor bad enough to really care much about. Tailosive is an avowed Apple Fanboy, and generally talks about Apple in a good light even when Apple has issues. The topics are not exactly MBA level, but he’s generally grounded in basic business concepts. So to hear someone grumpily respond to one of his vids seemed odd. I followed a link in that videos description back to the Tailosive vid the creator was talking about.
That video started out as yet another piece of marshmallow fluff content. Shots of Tailosive playing in a stream and then him talking about his Apple Watch holding up pretty well. About half way through though Tailosive changes gears and talks about the hate that he was receiving based on a video he had done on bendgate for the iPhone 6+. It’s weird to watch a video where the creators face falls into sadness. There was a tiredness he expressed about the hate, nastiness, and bile he was receiving in his comment stream. At this point I felt bad for the abuse he was receiving as a marshmallow. I shrugged my shoulders, sighed, and lamented what YouTube has become.
The next day, because I had watched these videos, more videos on this line showed up in my feed. Folks deciding that Tailosive had to be responded to. I groaned on the inside to see the verbal beatdown that was coming his way. I just don’t understand the point of beating up on a marshmallow. They’re so bland, and gooey. Watch their stuff, or don’t… but trying to beat up on a marshmallow is like fighting jello. You’ll win, but it’s just kind of odd and a bit depressing.
I plugged along with my work and then a video on the lines of “An apology too…” from Tailosive showed up on my recommended. I read the full name, and muttered, “WTF….”, and clicked the video to watch. A visibly beaten down man recounted his last few days on YouTube, and how a creator approx. 5 times his size had decided to come after him. He spoke of the vileness that had become his comment section, and then of what had been said by the larger creator. Tailosive commented that the creator had stated that because Tailosive does not solder components that he should, “keep his mouth shut.” I sat a bit flummoxed watching the video until the end. I then flipped over to the larger creators channel and saw a large thumbnail with Tailosive’s smiling face.
I didn’t watch that video. I sat staring at the screen repeating, “WTF is wrong with these people?” to myself. I turned off the computer and went about my weekend.
On Monday I logged back into YouTube, and I was thinking about Tailosive. I went to the larger creators channel and stared for awhile at the thumbnail. I found myself with a weird feeling. I felt like I should watch the video to know what was said, but really did not want to. Tailosive doesn’t even have 100k subs. He creates marshmallow fluff content. Why the hell are people pulling out the knives?
I didn’t watch the video on Monday, and then today I sat staring at the thumbnail again. There was a feeling that I should watch, but that was accompanied by a sick feeling in my stomach. This feels like the tragedy of YouTubes Algorithm. Susan W. prattles on and on about inclusiveness, but at the end of the day it feels like it’s pushing folks ever closer to the edge of nastiness. Creators are now going after each other, and sending their followers to troll. The worst part it it doesn’t even feel like “drama”. A couple of years ago drama became the big thing on Youtube, but then it felt like everyone was in on the joke. Two primadonnas attacking each other and everyone gets more views and money. Now it feels more like scraping the bottom of the barrel. Attacks for the sole purpose of squeezing another CPM or two from YouTube.
Short Story Long.. I logged out of YouTube today, and will stay away for 30 days. I won’t upload, won’t check comments, and sure as hell won’t watch anything. My creative career has grown alongside YouTube. I remember the days when every month and year brought better things to YouTube and it felt like a good endeavor to be a part of. In 2017 things really took a hard turn. I’m a pragmatic guy. I can understand demonetization issues. I may not like, but can accept the yellow dollar signs. I’m ok with the idea of being more family friendly, and creating content that is better suited for SEO. The thing is it feels like YouTube is going off the rails. Why is it that while management promotes diversity what I see on the ground is an ever darker, and cruder. The quest for SEO seems to devolve into attacks.
I don’t know the full story with Tailosive, and haven’t watched all of the “response” videos. Maybe there’s something there to scream at, but I doubt it. For myself I’m just tired of the “response” videos, the commentary, the need for people to confront every perceived wrong. Sometimes a marshmallow is just a marshmallow. It’s not great, it’s not really bad, it just is what it is…
I have never felt so low about YouTube as I do now. When people attacked me it was many times stupid, but I make a really nice target. I may grimace at the attacks, but I fully grasp why I was in the crosshairs. Tailosive is not like creators like me. He’s a geeky “kid” talking about the products he loves. I can’t imagine why anyone would take him too seriously, and thats what makes his content watchable. A goofball yabbering about his toys…
I don’t condone a system designed to put goofballs in the crosshairs of harassment. So I’ve logged off. I even taped a little note on my computer to keep me honest.
If I wasn’t earning a sizable paycheck from YouTube there’s no way in hell I’d still have an account on the platform.
That thought is becoming more painful every day… …
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