Monday, 15 August 2016

is youtube healthy + interview.

YouTube. YouTubers. To many the idea of filming of themselves in such an intimate way is terrifying, alien, maybe even ridiculous? I have often found myself staring at a screen thinking "hey talking to a camera looks fun" then come my turn; freeze and feel stupid. This platform is exciting, creative and innovative yet it can also be dangerous, self obsessed and absorbing. Truthfully, YouTube isn't reality. But that doesn't mean that every YouTube channel wears a facade... 

One of my favourite YouTubers (22 year old, Ellie Steadman) kindly agreed to be interviewed for this blog post.  I truly admire her authenticity and ability to be so 'real' on a platform that has the potential to swallow and coax you in to portraying a perfect lifestyle. Her weekly vlogs are just that- a week. A week of highs and lows, ups and downs, peaks and troughs (and what ever other cliche phrase there is to describe life). I hope you find this an interesting insight in to the online world...

1. Do you ever feel pressured to slip on a 'mask' when filming?

Not at all, I think once you start trying to become something you are not then you’ve lost your way in the world of YouTube. 

In my opinion YouTube should be about being yourself and making videos you love and are proud of. I’ve focused on being real and myself since I started and one of the nicest comments I receive is when someone says they love my channel because they think I’m honest, normal and relatable. It’s so easy to only show the best bits of your life when editing for YouTube but my life is in no way a fairytale and I’d never want my viewers to think that so I like to share the good and the bad. 

2. What is your favourite form of escapism?

My favourite form of escapism is being in a Disney theme park. When I am there I am doing a lot of things for YouTube and Social Media so it’s not a complete switch off, but it does take me away from the reality of home and the problems of everyday life. When I can’t be at Disney I love a long bath with Lush products and facemasks, followed by a Disney movie in bed. 

3.  Has YouTube helped you evolve and, alternatively, has it hindered you in any way?

It’s a weird one for myself because I am not overly self confident within myself and struggle with some aspects of myself like my appearance. Everyone has days when they are negative about myself and I’ve found I do have these a lot as I’ve become quite self critical from putting so much of myself online. In some ways forcing myself to appear in vlogs when I maybe look and feel my worse has made me more confident in myself and reminds me that we are all human. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got perfect winged eyeliner or messy hair, the things like that don’t matter as much as I used to think they did. 
I’ve also really grown in confidence from making videos, I feel really comfortable talking to a camera which is bizarre to a lot of people.  It’s also helped my confidence when it comes to being able to talk to strangers, especially since I’ve been lucky enough to meet quite a few subscribers and get to chat in person. Before YouTube the thought of talking to a stranger would make me feel incredibly nervous. YouTube has also taught me that there are always going to be people that dislike you or what you do, but for that person there will be more that love you and are supportive. I feel like I’ve made real friends from being on YouTube and am eternally grateful for the support I’ve received. 

A kind of negative that has come from YouTube is that I find it impossible to switch off and fully relax. I am always online in some way, I am pretty much glued to my phone and on social media or doing something online. When I’m not I worry that I’m missing replying to people, missing comments or not updating enough. I do love all that side of YouTube so it’s not a huge hindrance in my life but sometimes I wish I would go for a meal without picking up my phone to take a picture or check my tweets. 

4.  Do you ever feel disheartened when watching a 'perfect vlog' or seeing a picture on the Internet?

Absolutely sometimes I’ll watch something and think I wish I’d done that or why is my life not like that. But sadly I think that’s just how the world is now a days. Everyone wants something they don’t have and thinks the seaweed is always greener in somebody else's lake. In reality nobody knows what is happening fully behind the scenes. Even daily vloggers will keep lots of things private and from having personal things happening in my life that I can’t share online I really appreciate that. I like to try to stay positive and focus on myself and what I am doing. Feeling disheartened about what others are up to won’t help my Channel! 

5. Living life through a lens. Healthy or unhealthy?

It’s both. There really are good and bad sides to it. 

It can be really unhealthy as it's really hard to not compare yourself to other YouTubers. To me numbers and stats is not what YouTube is all about. I’d rather have 100 comments from people that really enjoyed a video than 100 views and no response. For me YouTube is about interacting with viewers and building a community of people with similar interests. However for a lot of people and even people I know that do it, YouTube is about competing for the most subscribers or views. It can have a really competitive atmosphere which I find uncomfortable. 

It also can be addictive and take over if you don’t find the balance of living in the moment verses capturing everything. For me if I went on a Disney trip and didn’t vlog it then I’d feel incredibly strange, it’s part of my trips and part of my everyday life for me now. I feel really comfortable that I’ve found the right balance that works for me, I do think it takes a while to do this and it’s one of the questions I get asked a lot by people wanting to start YouTube channels. I think if it becomes an effort or you simply don’t want to get the camera out then don’t! It’s so important to live in the moment and create memories in that way for yourself as well.  

I no longer get mad at myself if I miss a magical moment, forget to show a meal or don’t get the best parade angle for example. The people that watch are incredibly supportive and happy for me to share what I want to. They understand it’s a lot of extra work involved and that I do the best I can! I honestly absolutely love it though and would be so sad if I couldn’t vlog, post updates and be on social media. It’s a huge part of my life now and I wouldn’t want it any other way. 

6. And of course, a Disney question. Favourite quote?

I have so many it’s hard to pick just one!

"The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it." The Lion King.
“She warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within.” Beauty and the Beast
“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – Winnie the Pooh 

Follow Ellie;
YouTube // [x]
Instagram // [x]
Twitter // [x]

Keep smiling,

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