YouTube as everyone knows is an extremely popular social media site that is also a search engine. YouTube is not just used for watching videos and learning how to do nail art, but also the creators use it as an outlet for their creativity, a way to connect to like minded people, and a way to make money.
There are many advantages and positive uses for YouTube like learning how to play an instrument, learning a new concept for school, and a way to get some good entertainment.
This however makes me wonder if YouTube is really all good. Like the famous saying goes “all the glitters isn’t gold”.
Now, I don’t want to be pessimistic, but it’s definitely important to be aware of the potential risks or negative connotations that come from YouTube.
One of the first negative side effects that is heavily associated with YouTube is creator burnouts.
In 2018-2019, many creators went through a period where their mental health was severely affected. They chose to term it “burnout” which is a state of mental, physical or emotional exhaustion that was caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Burnout normally occurs when one feels overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet demands.
Burnout is not just an emotional or cognitive response, rather scientific research has shown that burnout is very much a physical response of the body to stress.
Arianna Huffington the president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post media empire said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that she had collapsed because of exhaustion from running her company. “I hit my head on my desk, broke my cheekbone, got four stitches on my right eye,” she stated. “I was very lucky I didn’t lose my eye.”
Huffington talked about how she was successful in conventional definitions of success, yet she reflected on her experience and thought about what success really meant.
Arianna Huffington is something YouTubers have experienced and brought to the front of the YouTube platform. People like Elle Mills, Philip DeFranco, PewDiePie, and many others have spoken out against burn out and decided to take breaks from Youtube or even quit like Marzia who announced the decision last year.
It’s definitely something that anyone can be prone to and should be dealt with in a serious manner to help those who fall victim to such a serious threat to workplace safety.
My second point revolves around wastefulness. When you give adolescents thousands of dollars can you guess what might happen to their ego?
Many YouTubers who are popular and have gained not only fame but also money from creating YouTube content are relatively young. Many of them are adolescents and made money in their early 20s just to waste them on things like luxury items and supercars.
Lets take a look at creators like Jake Paul, Tana Mogeau, and Ricegum. All of these people made an unholy amount of money within not just a short amount of time but also they got it at an impressionable age.
Even though 18 is considered an “adult” in North American countries, I don’t think a number is enough to say whether someone can be considered an adult.
These young adults should not be considered wise enough or mature enough to be able to deal with all that money that’s given to them at such a young age.
It promotes wastefulness.
Just look at videos of them “flexing” on their audiences. They learnt to buy extravagant clothes, jewelry, mansions, and cars to show off how successful they are.
Now this itself isn’t bad, however these creators are targeting actual children and teenagers who are extremely impressionable and look up to them for guidance.
Many children now are shopping at places like Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton in order to post them online and show off to their own friends because “their favourite creator did it too”.
This lifestyle teaches wastefulness and irresponsibility.
Just because you have a million dollars doesn’t mean you can spend a million dollars.
There’s a movement online now for people to learn more about their finances and learn how to invest and treat money as a blessing and an advantage so it should be used responsibly.
The bystander effect:
The last theory is the most important one in my opinion. The bystander effect claims that people are less likely to offer help to a victim if there are others around.
How the bystander effect has come into fruition at this time is often people are seen pulling their phones to record something instead of to call 911 when there is some kind of crime happening.
An incident that really solidified the bystander effect was when Kitty Genovese was tragically murdered in front of her New York City apartment in 1964. What was shocking is that it turned out that 38 witnesses saw or heard the attack taking place yet no one took any action and instead ignored it.
People are more likely to either ignore or pull out their phones when there is an incident happening rather than help and this can be potentially fatal.
It’s interesting to consider how YouTube has changed us in such a short amount of time. It hasn’t been long since YouTubers were actually able to make as much money as they’re making right now and so it’s definitely a new development from a psychology perspective.
I think given all these criticisms, YouTube has proved to be an enormous advantage from all aspects of life and it’s definitely something that everyone would be wise to take advantage of.