Generation Youtube is CONCERNING.
Ah generation Youtube. I must say, it's admiring. Imagine it, waking up every day and making a few videos revolving around how many biscuits you can shove in your mouth at any one time, or talking about what you got from your shopping spree at Boots. Hunky dory right? We live in a time where this platform is MONUMENTAL and shows no signs of stopping at any point soon. The next generation of young teenagers and kids look up to people such as Alfie Deyes or Zoella, as inspiration. These are the Bowies, the Beatles, the Madonnas, heck, even the Spice Girls of the next generation. Last year, Deye's net worth was an astonishing £2.9 MILLION, whilst girlfriend Zoella makes a cool £50,000 a month. A MONTH. FOR TALKING ABOUT LIPSTICK.
But I hear you ask, Kieran, nothing is wrong with these people! They are simply young entrepreneurs trying to make their way in the world. I agree whole heartedly, they are doing well to make a living for themselves, but what I don't agree with is the idea of them 'inspiring' their audience, or giving them genuine clean-cut advice they could do with getting. For example, Deyes runs his wildly successful Pointless blog, and has churned out three books in the process of cashing in on something that is, quite frankly, pointless. In his most recent, Deyes speaks of education and University, HURRAH. Finally something of worth being mentioned! Go and tell the children to work hard, have fun, but knuckle down to get your qualifications until you reach an age where you can form your own decisions. But no. Deyes flimsily waves his hand (I imagine) and shouts "I DIDN'T WORK HARD, I DIDN'T EVEN REVISE FOR MY EXAMS BUT I STILL GOT A PLACE AT UNI! SO GUYS DON'T REVISE AND YOU CAN BE LIKE ME!". Aside from eye-rolling excessively, I had genuine concerns. Kids will follow in this guy's footsteps, and look up to him, and therefore will probably think "balls to your education! Shall we race around on a bike blindfolded?". Deyes should know better. He has been given this platform in which he has the attention of a wide young audience, and he isn't using it effectively. If your child came home from school with declining grades would you not be wondering why? And if all they can say is "Oh that Alfie dude did it and look how he turned out!" hang your head in shame. Or write a letter/tweet/etc. But Deyes did get a 3rd at University, so this attitude of not working clearly carried over.
Unfortunately, we all can't be like Deyes. He comes from a privileged background, he asked for Vespa scooter for his birthday for christ's sake, a background of wealth and support which we all don't have. The working class family can barely put food on the table let alone sell a kidney in order to buy a scooter. This attitude of "I CAN MAKE VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE" correlates to Deyes basically being lazy, but because he's on this privileged platform, kids assume that they can do it too. When the reality is, they need to be focusing on their education, when we are in desperate need of the next generation forming our future, and saving our country from further economic downfall. When I was growing up, I was consistently told that to achieve anything, I had to work hard. I was never expected to be handed something on a plate. I had to work hard, persist and sometimes cry out of sheer stress and eat a whole red velvet cake to cheer myself up afterwards. Hard work warrants rewards and warrants success. This is the kind of message Deyes should be enforcing. You have a platform of addressing vital issues to these kids, feminism, sexism, class, safe sex, racism, politics and so much more. Yet it all goes to waste.
Deyes' girlfriend and popular Youtuber Zoella also falls into this bracket. Her first 'novel' Girl Online broke many records and sold an astonishing 79,000 copies in it's first week, with the sequel following in due course. However, it came to light that Zoella hadn't even wrote the book at all, it had been ghostwritten, meaning someone else had wrote it and it was published under Zoella's name. Sugg claims the idea was hers and she helped her 'friend' write it in the way she had envisioned, but I still firmly raise my eyebrows. Here we have a girl, who probably came from a normal, working class family, had a part time job, studied hard at University in order to make something of herself, only to have her creative talents snatched away and placed in the hands of someone else. This girl, who worked hard, has had everything backfire in her face. Rumours are also circulating about her blog also been ghostwritten too. Now, blogging isn't that hard, just ask your boyfriend Mr Deyes! So why is it that they are both extremely lazy?! Zoella, arguably, has a bigger following and a enormous young female following, and like Deyes before her, chooses not to discuss important issues that face young girls. Puberty, sexism, feminism, it all gets swept under the rug. Instead, why not watch Zoella show off her new lipstick?
I don't really know what I'm trying to say, maybe just can these Youtuber people stick up for us normal folk? Y'know, the people who have to work extremely hard in order to survive and make some sort of living. The people who study at school, go to University and struggle to find a decent Graduate job whilst worrying about crippling debt. This is REAL LIFE. Stuff that can't be masked in a funny internet video that'll get a couple of hits.And also maybe talk to the kids about stuff they should be learning about because they're not listening in school anymore? Mr Deyes and Miss Sugg are extremely lucky to have this platform to command the attention of the next generation, so please use it wisely. Rather than take another cinnamon challenge.