Monday, 15 December 2014

YouTube and the Internet shaping our society...

Hi everyone. I know that this isn't a book/film review (there will be one going up tomorrow at 5:20 Pacific Standard Time) but I just wanted to talk about something that has really being bothering me recently.
Now, I know this is going to be a really controversial subject and there are going to be a lot of people that disagree with me and that's fine. I just feel like I need to voice my opinion as a blogger because it's something that is both annoying and concerning me. You are totally right to disagree with me if you don't feel the same way and I'm not saying that my views are right or anything. It's just how I've started to feel over the past 12-16 months.
Okay, so I should start at the beginning. I moved over to New Zealand from Sheffield, England on the 24th September 2012 and I found the move very difficult for various reasons. It was when I got my first laptop a month later that I discovered Zoella on YouTube from watching a colab she did with Joey Graceffa. I liked her immediately - as many people do - and her videos cheered me up when I felt down and she just has a lovely personality that makes her a really accessible person. It was because of her videos that I found out what anxiety was and that I suffer with anxiety. I'd always thought it was normal to be absolutely petrified and be hyperaware that if you fall over in front of all these people, you'll embarrass yourself, it was normal to not want to go to the shops or get the bus or anything and so I can safely say that her videos really helped me.
Obviously, once I'd found Zoe, I found everyone else; Tanya, Jim, Alfie, Marcus, Niomi, Louise, Dan, Phil, Jack, Dean, etc., and I found that I enjoyed watching YouTubers more than I enjoyed watching TV.
However, as these YouTubers audiences have grown, I've become increasingly annoyed with the YouTube community (and the internet in general). It seems now like 50% of YouTubers have/are soon to release a book. That was a little annoying in itself but I didn't think too much of it because I don't personally know these people and they might have a real talent and love of writing etc., which is fair enough. However, I found out recently that Zoella's debut novel, 'Girl Online' wasn't written  by Zoe. She contributed some ideas to the book but it was written by a ghost writer.
That confirmed it for me. Although I do love Zoe as a YouTuber and all these other YouTubers releasing books, I feel like the YouTuber community has just become a way of getting undeserved recognition for things that they haven't done.
Where is the line with this? There are plenty of writers out there with real talent and degrees, etc., that can't get published because they don't have the money to pay for a literary agent (which is needed to submit a manuscript to almost every publishing company out there now) and other various reasons. Why is it that you don't have to be educated anymore or have any skills to be able to publish a book or become a film maker or an actor, etc.? It seems unfair that now the only qualifications you need to be able to get what was once highly regarded job, are a camera and a few people to watch your videos.
The internet, I feel is shaping our society and not for the better. In three, five, ten years time, will there be any need to go to University anymore? Will we all be living our lives on the internet?
It is scary how dependant we are on the internet and our phones, iPads, laptops, etc. How many of you honestly go out of the house without carrying an electric device around?
Even in schools now, it is encouraged to bring in your laptop or your phone to do work and research but why? There are generations of people who managed to live without the internet perfectly well. There was a time when you had to write a letter if you wanted to contact someone. Now that is almost impossible because of the amount it costs to buy stamps to send a letter. It is just more convenient to send an email now.
I don't think we should be encouraging internet use. We should be tying to dissuade people from using the internet.
And now you are going to be thinking, 'Yeah, it's all well and good saying this stuff but you're using the internet to get your message out there and you have a blog'. This is true but think about this. How else am I supposed to get the message out there now? Everyone lives their lives of the internet so how am I suppose to reach people otherwise? Also, I have a blog because I like to talk about things I love. I don't actually get paid for my blog. AT ALL. I'm a 17 year old who is just about to go into her final year of schooling. I don't have a job at the moment and blogging isn't my job and never will be I don't think. I upload one post a week. I spend the rest of my time reading, playing instruments, drawing, being around my family and friends. I can honestly say I spend 5/6 hours on the internet a week at the most and most of that time is actually spent on school work.
I completely understand you may find this ironic or patronizing or you might really hate me for saying this. You might think everything I've just said is a complete and utter load of rubbish and that's fine. I completely understand. I just needed to get my opinion out there.
Let me know what you think.
Obviously, I mean no harm to anyone who makes their living on the internet, or the people who support it.
Have a lovely day. See you tomorrow for a book review!!
Lots of love, Lara xx

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