I Tried to be a Youtuber for a Day and Here’s What Happened.
By Anna Grace Johnson
In 2018, a 7-year-old by the screen name “Ryan ToysReview” made $22 million on Youtube just by reviewing toys. If a 7-year-old can become a millionaire from videoing himself playing with toys, how hard can it be? I tested this question by taking to the streets of D.C .to become a vlogger, and here’s what I learned.
I grabbed my Canon G7X Camera, the camera used by many famous Youtubers, and left my apartment, fully equipped to vlog my school day. As I pulled out my camera and started vlogging my walk down Massachusetts Avenue, no one batted an eye. Surely, people would think it’s odd that I’m walking through campus talking to my camera about my life, but that was not the case. As I walked through the quad, I tried to use my ambassador skills to give the camera a prime tour of the school, but talking to a camera alone as students stare at you is not quite the same as leading a tour in official school apparel. The unfamiliarity of vlogging catches people off-guard, makes them stare, and makes you question what you are doing.
Throughout this vlogging process, I realized that people were too distracted, with their Airpods in and classes on their mind, that few people halted to a stop to even notice and stare at me talking to a camera. I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck, trying to hide the camera as I vlogged so that people wouldn’t judge me as I talk to a camera. That, however, is what makes Youtubers so successful: they can walk with confidence in a public area whilst talking to a camera. But not only can they talk to the camera with confidence, but they know what the other end of the camera, us, wants to know. How am I supposed to know if the camera will find the Quad construction interesting or not? Will people want to watch me talking to a camera or just see artistic footage of DC with a voiceover explaining the area?
After attempting to be a vlogger, I have come to an understanding that being a Youtuber is much more complex than talking to a camera, and I have a newfound respect for Youtubers. If you would like to watch my attempt at secretly vlogging on campus, you can click here.