This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post: My Thoughts On What J-Vlogging Should Be.
I was talking to one of my friends on Facebook about how the current J-Vlog scene seems so artificial and he was upset that I would imply that the newer YouTubers (he thinks that the new wave of J-Vloggers aren’t J-Vloggers but rather YouTubers who live in Japan and make videos about Japan and talk about Japan. Yeah, doesn’t sound like something a J-Vlogger would ever do /s) are being lazy or cheap in their efforts. I want to make this its own post rather than just add it to my previous one, so let me do some clarification.
What?! YouTubers Are Lazy?!!
I’m not saying they’re not putting in any effort, quite the opposite.
The thing that’s bugging me about how “People Who Are Totally Not J-Vloggers Who Live In Japan And Make YouTube Videos Showing Notable Parts of Japan And Occasionally Making Social Commentary About The Culture of Japan” (yup, totes not J-Vloggers /s) is that their videos are too slickly produced and it creates a distance between the YouTuber and the audience because the YouTuber has made this idealized version of themself that the audience can’t relate to.
I feel that as a YouTuber, you have to be 100% yourself, warts and all. When I met up with other YouTubers in Japan, I got a couple comments about how “it really was me” when they finally met me in person, and that made me so happy. As Kurt Bell aka SoftyPapa once said, “The message sent is never the message received” and I was initially afraid that the YouTubers I was meeting would have the wrong impression about me from my videos, but thankfully that wasn’t the case. Speaking of Kurt, he’s a great example of an authentic YouTuber!
I know a lot of people were upset that he left Japan and wants nothing to do with making videos about it anymore, but that’s his prerogative. He was upfront about his frustrations and shortcomings living in Japan, so he decided to move back to Cali.
If he wanted to be “a YouTuber trying their best to make big videos that will attract an audience”, in order to retain that large audience he gained, he would have either tried to stay in Japan or continued to talk about his time in Japan while in the States, even though he doesn’t want to do it. But he stuck to what he believes in, told everybody what was going on, and explained the refocus of his main channel, and I respect him a lot for that.
What About YouTube Shows?!
I know some people might be thinking, “But Andy! What about the people on YouTube shows? Are the characters on these shows not real YouTubers?!”
There’s certainly a place for characters on YouTube, but you have to be upfront with your audience that this is a character you’re performing and not who you really are. Otherwise people are going to get the wrong idea about you and not take what you have to say seriously when you do try to be authentic.
What Are Your Thoughts On What YouTubers Should Be?
I’d like to know what you guys think about this! Let me know in the comments below!