Who are YouTube apologies for? Aaron R Hale looks into this, discovering he’s not apologising to his audience, but to himself.
Beginning YouTube videos with an apology has become a recurrent theme among smaller YouTubers, a trope which Aaron R Hale is certainly not immune from. Limited by full-time jobs, creators like Aaron generally have less time to devote to making videos, and many weeks can go by without an upload, which often results in the impulse to apologise.
Aaron’s friend Ellie Berry began the conversation, proposing that it is the “guilt of the creator” that motivates these apologies. She identifies the behaviour as a reactionary response where creators attempt to defend themselves from their viewers, creating the image of a hostile audience with pitchforks saying, “Wow, you didn’t put any content up you idiot!”
Responding to Ellie’s theory in his own video, Aaron offers a different motive behind these apologies. Within his own videos at least, Aaron believes that his apologies aren’t motivated by protecting himself from a newly hostile audience, but rather disappointment and anger at himself. “I apologise to myself,” Aaron reveals. “I say, ‘I’m sorry I won’t be able to upload’, because I know that’s something I want to be doing, but sadly I have no opportunity to.”
Ellie’s theory of the guilt of the creator becomes more sympathetic to Aaron’s perspective as she starts to disregard the analogy of a YouTube audience being an angry mob. She goes on to say that she believes YouTubers who are afraid of their audiences leaving them have a false image of their viewers.
Ellie believes audiences are more comparable to loyal friends. She thinks that small creators shouldn’t feel guilty for not putting content up because “we’ve got a core audience and that core audience is our friends, and chances are our friends aren’t as fickle as you think”. She concludes that creators shouldn’t be eaten away by the guilt of not uploading, because they should be “focusing at the more important task at hand”, i.e. making videos.
Recognising that audiences don’t need apologies to remain loyal, Aaron instead sees a new importance to these apologies. They are a public acknowledgement of his failures and shortcomings which he can use to recognise and aim for his goals.
“I know that I really enjoy doing this, I really know that I want to make content as much as possible and as good as possible,” contemplates Aaron.”If I don’t start trying now, then it’s never going to happen.” Although apologies may not be necessary for the audience, Aaron proves their usefulness in motivating the creator to do better.
We loved hearing Aaron’s response to the creator’s apology debate. Using his YouTube apologies to acknowledge weaknesses to help him become what he wants to be is inspirational, and we can’t wait to hear more from him.
Read about the inspirational journey of Ellen Jones as she chats about being diagnosed with autism at 19 years of age. Alternatively, find out about how Luke Cutforth was able to live without electricity for a day!