The Balancing YouTube and Life panel took place on Sunday at Summer in the City 2017. Charli Marie was the moderator, with panellists Daniel J. Layton, Hannah Witton, Beckie Brown, and Kelsey Ellison.
After a short introduction, Charli begun the discussion by asking the panellists what they found the hardest about balancing YouTube with the rest of their lives. Hannah said that knowing when to switch off can be the hardest thing for her, when phones and social media can make the job of a YouTuber seem 24/7. Daniel explained that “finding the priority is difficult for me right now”, while Beckie has felt pressure to share information about her mental health.
The panel moved on to talk about the things that they don’t want to share online, with Hannah saying that she’s really careful not to share personal experiences that involve other people. Kelsey explained that she’s recently started being more open on her channel, and has more recently shared videos speaking about her sexuality and artificial eye.
Charli then asked if there was anything that the creators now regret sharing. Daniel explained that he was 21 when he started YouTube and has always been careful to keep certain aspects of his life private. Beckie spoke about the topic of mental health, saying “Don’t hide it”, while also explaining that she regrets sharing too much when she was younger.
The panel moved on to a discussion about organisation, and Charli asked the panellists how they organise their time. Hannah takes a very structured approach, treating her freelance YouTube career as a full time job. She also mentioned using the iCloud calendar to manage her time, while other panellists stressed that bullet journals were really useful for them. Before opening to the floor for questions from the audience, the creators shared how and when the balance can go awry for them. Daniel said that he currently needs to try harder to find a good balance, while Kelsey explained, “I just take too much stuff on”. Hannah found that her work isn’t always constant, and admitted that she finds it difficult when there are lulls in her workload.
The first question from the audience asked how she should go about filming when she’s lacking inspiration. The panel agreed that there’s no one way to do this; Hannah suggested scheduling videos in advance to avoid this problem, while Daniel said that taking a break and going for a walk can help if you’re trying to film. Another question focused on the privacy aspect of balancing YouTube with everyday life, asking whether it can become frustrating when viewers don’t understand when the creators want to keep certain aspects of their life offline. Hannah felt that it was often YouTubers with younger audiences who struggle most with this issue, while Kelsey explained some of the pressure that she’s felt to explain her artificial eye – although it ended up being a good thing. Beckie has also experienced this pressure with her recent mental health, saying that “it’s tough, but you have to hold on in there and only share what you feel comfortable with”.
Photos by Aria Mark.
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