Disregard of privacy. Hatred of change. Entitled attitude. Immaturity.
Those are the dark traits that people familiar with Youtube cultures associate with Youtube fandoms. They are common knowledges.
But, I am surprised most people (seemingly) have yet to notice another frustrating trait about the fandoms: obsession with giant corporate media networks.
On some occasions, you can see fans wondering why their beloved idols are not signing up to those corporations.
And that irks me every time.
One thing for sure is they don’t know how the media works. They probably think those giant entities provide creators with not only big platforms and big funding, but also complete creative freedom.
You know, a make-believe.
They don’t know how creators are also responsible to the network executives. If they deem the creations unprofitable or ideologically “deviant”, those creations would not even survive the pre-production stage.
As bad as Youtube can be, its content creators have freedom that many of theirs counterparts in other platforms can only dream of.
Your videos can be taken down for violating guidelines (or falsely and/or unfairly accused of doing so). But, they can never be taken down solely for low viewerships or ideological deviance.
In fact, Youtube is full of creators who espouse controversial opinions regarding humanity and who scathingly condemn the establishments. Not to mention there is an abundance of creators like Filthy Frank whose style described by Nerd City as “post-ironic” (Click and go straight to 16:45).
But, this is not even the most frustrating about the fandoms’ wish. Their elitist attitude is.
Why is Youtube not good enough?
Of course, if a more stable source of income is the argument, then I am all for it. Youtubers have been struggling gaining profits from their videos in recent years.
But, that’s not what fans want; from all of the ones who have expressed such desire, I only encountered one that mentioned income. One.
In fact, not only it is the only clearly-elucidated reason that I encountered, fans also know Youtubers can either get direct sponsorships, donations through Patreon, or both. Seemingly, they don’t have any reasons to make such demand.
While I cannot have make any concrete (and objective) conclusions, I can tell you about the mentality of Youtube fandoms.
They suffer from inferiority complex.
I am not talking about how their idols are talentless or something; just like fans of traditional idols, many Youtube fans certainly see theirs as talented. I am talking about how they see Youtube as a career: for them, it is not a real job.
Admittedly, it is extremely rare for me to see those comments. But, I do have encountered fans who genuinely believe the jobs of their idols are not “real jobs”. In fact, they seem happy if their idols have jobs other than making Youtube videos.
What are “real jobs”, anyway?
I reach to such conclusion because, from what I observe, the jobs labelled as “not real” often possess some or all of those characteristics. I have never heard people calling blue collar jobs and most white ones as “not real”.
From this observation, I already have a clear imagination of what some Youtube fans are thinking:
Yes, we know our favourite Youtubers are creators who rise to the top despite the independence from the old-age establishment. And that what makes them unique.
But, because of that same reason, we fans feel insecure about ourselves because there is no prestige in admiring those who are not parts of the establishment.
Therefore, it would be selfish of our idols to stay independent and refuse to become corporate slaves.
Yes, I know my assumption is plagued with meanness and exaggeration… and also dishonesty considering how Youtube also has its own (younger and less powerful) establishments which are divided into different linguistic and/or national categories.
But, whether those fans are aware of how the media works or not, you have to admit the feeling of inferiority is there.
If it isn’t, why would they be aroused by the prospect of their favourite Youtubers branching out to the more conventional yet not-always-rewarding realms?
If it isn’t, why aren’t they content about idolising those who make a living solely out of Youtube?
I am on the opinion that believes Youtubers need to mature in order to bring their communities forward.
But, I believe the fandoms’ lack of self-assurance is also a major hindrance to the progress as they refuse to uncover the platform’s fullest potentials.
It is not far-fetched to say the collective feeling of insecurity is one of Youtube’s biggest enemies.
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