Is Vlogging The New Reality Television?

While taking a study break this week, I logged on to YouTube to listen to some music. As I scrolled through my subscriptions on my main page, I found myself watching the channel “Watch Us Live and Stuff.” The channel stars Anthony Padilla, better known as Anthony from the popular YouTube channel Smosh, and his fiancée Kalel.

On this specific vlog, the couple was tasting foreign candy bars that they had found at a local food market. After watching the twelve-minute review, I thought to myself: ‘Why did I just watch that?’ Then I looked down and saw that the video already received roughly two hundred thousand views in two days. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought this video was somewhat interesting.

With the popularity of reality TV, it can be assumed that people enjoy viewing pretty much anything that others are doing and seeing what the result is going to be. YouTubers have taken their own approach with this idea by creating weekly or even daily videos about little tidbits of their lives.

It is easy to see why this has become very popular. These YouTube celebrities are giving their audience a look into their daily lives, which is an effective way to gain more viewers. However, these videos are not just about them going to a new restaurant or trying new makeup. Some of these vlogs include the YouTubers answering questions their fans ask on social media, or opening up mail and thanking their entire fan base.

These types of videos on YouTube have created a personable atmosphere and the lines of communication are constantly open between the entertainer and the audience. That could be the reason why it has become so popular among the masses, and why these YouTubers have gained millions of subscribers.

These entertainers, writers, and actors, create a casual, friendly, and down to earth virtual relationship with their fan base. Granted, their fans are the only reason they get paid through Google, but fans are also the reason why several celebrities have acquired so much success.

However, do not forget that there are extreme differences between YouTubers and other celebrities.Think about it, do you think we will ever see movie stars like Johnny Depp or Jennifer Aniston casually sitting in front of a computer, recording themselves answering fan mail?

Or would we see them conducting a live video web chat so they can interact and take suggestions from their audience? Would these celebs ever make a “Draw My Life” video talking about their struggles and achievements?

My guess is that will probably never happen, even though stars like Neil Patrick Harris and Ricky Gervais have started creating their own Youtube channels with original content.

However, there is a negative side to this as well. Because people are so consumed with watching these videos about what other people are doing, they are not living their own lives.

While these videos can becoming addicting to watch, (I love Tobuscus’ daily vlog channel and visit the page like clockwork everyday), it is also important to remember that we are our own people and there is so much more out there in the real world beside seeing other people do it.

It is understandable as a former YouTube addict, that it is so much easier to just sit there and watch recommended video after recommended video, especially if it a vlog channel, and as a fan you feel a personal bond to that specific YouTuber, which makes you want to keep with their daily activities.

Still, if spend our entire lives living through a video or touch screen, what does that really accomplish? I’m not trying to say that our advancement of technology is bad, but as the doctor would say: everything in moderation.