At midnight on 10 May, Twitter was a ignited as both creator and viewer alike used the hashtag #YouTubeHonestyHour (which seemingly appeared out of thin air) to express their uncensored opinions about the current state of YouTube.
In what seemed like an online group therapy session, members of the community used this opportunity to throw shade at certain people and groups, discuss grievances they have with the site, and reveal personal struggles.
1. The pressure to stay relevant is real
Online fame is fleeting; it can go as quickly as it came and so the pressure to remain popular is always hanging over a creator’s head. Even with 36.5 million subscribes, the Pewdz – AKA Felix Kjellberg – still fears insignificance and took the opportunity to honestly and openly express the lengths he is willing to go to to ensure his online survival. You do you, Felix.
2. It’s all a lie
When watching vlogs it can seem as if YouTuber’s live the ideal life. They get invited to film premieres, have a closet or two full of designer clothing, and simply penny-board through life with a coffee in hand, without a care in the world. Last night, however, that image of perfection was shattered and the allusion was exposed. Much to our surprise, just because you’re a YouTuber food doesn’t taste better.
#YouTubeHonestyHour The Nandos are never as cheeky as we make them out to be.
— Michael (@FilmmakerMike) May 10, 2015
3. We share the same concerns
It’s no secret that over the past couple of years YouTube has become a vastly different place to what is was at it’s beginning. At times it can feel like it transformed into an “us” and “them” situation, but many creators and viewers are actually on the same page about a lot of issues.
It really pisses me off that a lot of YouTubers never discuss important issues or seem to have an opinion about anything #youtubehonestyhour
— Slayzel Slays (@TheHazelHayes) May 10, 2015
#youtubehonestyhour I wish that they would also talk about serious topics. Like you can a talk about it in a funny way too
— ellesha 🌐 (@timtamcham) May 11, 2015
4. We don’t know everything
It can seem as if most creators put their entire lives online one way or another but it became evident last night that we don’t really know all the details about the people we watch. So while we may never know the back story to this revelation, nor do we really have a right to, it shows us that not everything is as simple as we may perceive it to be.
5. It can get overwhelming
Fame and success seem like the ultimate goal but it’s not always so easy at the top. With hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of eyes on a creator at all times scrutinising everything that they do, trying to live a normal life can seem impossible. With celebrity culture creeping into YouTube and creators being forced onto pedestal of perfection there is very little room for missteps.
#youtubehonestyhour It also scares me that YTers are held to a higher standard n disappoint 1000's of people when they make honest mistakes.
— Scary Hope FletchAHH (@CarrieHFletcher) May 10, 2015
6. Creators are people too
On screen, creators seem to epitomise confidence and grace. But, they human too and putting themselves out there is not always a easy.
#youtubehonestyhour Every fuckin' one of us is insecure as shit and get terrified every time we hit the 'publish' button.
— Daniel J. Layton (@DanielJLayton) May 10, 2015
7. YouTube is competitive
Even with all of the incredible support that both big and smaller YouTuber’s receive from their audiences, life as a creator can still be disheartening at times. It’s no secret that aspects of YouTube have become more of strategic game to get views instead of a genuine place for creativity.
Even though someone may whole-heatedly support their friends and are proud of all they have accomplished, it’s human nature to be envious of them if their success is something that person is working hard to achieve as well and are not seeing the same results. Creators are no different.
Alright I guess I'll chip in… #youtubehonestyhour
I get really jealous of my YouTube friends' talents & success.
— Hannah Witton (@hannahwitton) May 10, 2015
8. YouTube isn’t the be all, end all
In today’s world, it may seem as though becoming a successful YouTuber is the definition of success – but many people who regularly use the platform see YouTube as a stepping stone. While they are forever grateful for the support and criticism they receive from their viewers, many strive to move beyond the site to larger scale projects that can’t be done on YouTube.
I'm thankful for everything the site has done for me, but I can't wait to leave it all behind. #youtubehonestyhour
— Sammy Paul (@ICOEPR) May 11, 2015
9. The community isn’t dead
If last night really taught us anything it’s that although we are a long way away from the days of community gatherings in a park and average audience sizes have grown to be the same as small countries, the YouTube community is still alive and well.
I get emotional when I think about the YT community, because I never felt like I belonged anywhere before. Now I'm home.#youtubehonestyhour
— Creepy Dungate (@ScarfDemon) May 10, 2015
Anything we missed?
Shoot us a tweet at @TenEightyUK with things you learned during YouTube Honesty Hour. Alternatively, you could check out some of these lovely articles:
- If YouTubers Were Game of Thrones Characters…
- 9 Places You’d Never Thought You’d See Alfie Deyes’ Face
- 13 TV Shows That Need YouTubers On Them
- YouTubers React to Zayn Malik Quitting One Direction