Alternate Title: Before critics can have a field day, disclaim
Heads-up: I like disclaimers. I regularly dropped them in normal conversations before YouTubers caught on that it could save them a few headaches.
[But meaningless “bragging” aside…]
What do I and a bunch of internet celebrities have in common that we’re using disclaimers like lifelines?
Enter: The Digital Age
If you didn’t know, the internet changed things.
I mentioned this in a previous post, but the internet drastically increased our exposure to new ideas, cultures, and perspectives. And while that’s a good thing, there are repercussions.
Anyway, what’s important to note is that some issues aren’t a matter of “I’m right and you’re wrong.” Some issues will never really be about proving your case.
Honestly, because sometimes the “issue” is that some people just do things differently. And as we’re exposed to other ways of life and thinking, we increasingly see this. And as a result, we’re more aware and act accordingly. Although, sometimes we point out flaws instead.
I think of myself as an outlier and I accommodate for it. Rather than freely running into the same-old scenarios, I cut to the chase. I disclaim myself. “Yeah, I’m a bit socially inept. So, I might not notice ___.” Or, “my bad, I overthink sometimes. Try not to take it personally if ___ happens.”
I am almost willing to bet, that something similar happens with most successful YouTubers. Especially, the self-aware ones.
Now, I’ve never been a YouTuber. But, I’ve noticed a few things. And well, what is something many successful YouTubers experience that most “normal” people don’t? Or at least, don’t regularly agonize about it? And how does it affect them?
- They have a large audience. Depending on the niche and format of the channel, that YouTuber needs to be relatable. If not, sensible. This gets more complicated the more diverse the audience.
- They have expectations placed upon them. As the famous Spider-Man line goes: “with great power comes great responsibility.” The more famous you are, the more people watch. Your power and social responsibility increase. But, the more privilege you are, the less forgiving people tend to be. This can create a tightrope situation for the one in the spotlight.
- They have to stay on top of little and old things or may risk serious consequences. What you do today, can be your downfall five years from now. People change, but what you uploaded in the past does not. Yet, the public often has access to old content and someone is always willing to point out your mistakes and flaws.
Again, I have never been a YouTuber. But, there’s something about their experience I find relatable. Many of them seem to disclaim themselves in hopes of avoiding public scorn and getting accepted.
If you’re a YouTuber or just someone self-conscious or who hates being misunderstood, then how do you handle modern society?
In modern times, you’re your own brand. And if your brand alienates, oddly overlooks, or targets innocent people, a reckoning can take place. It’s true for companies, celebrities, and even regular people.
And sure enough, for many YouTubers their selling point is them. It’s their personality, relatability, authenticity, drama, perspective, etc. They are their brand. Whether it be an intentional online persona or their “true self,” who a YouTuber is goes a long way. As a result, there can come a time when a YouTuber gets criticized for how they present themself. Or for aligning their brand with someone or something their fans hate.
And this is why I can still find YouTubers and celebrities in general, somewhat relatable.
Why? Celebrities aren’t normal.
Sure, perhaps if you’re only considering their wealth or social influence compared to yours.
But, are they still people just like everyone else? Definitely, yes.
Do they get criticized for their actions and beliefs? Yep.
And do they also sometimes complain or do things I find completely unrelatable? Also, yes.
And that’s the thing. Everyone is unrelatable to you in some way. And while those ways can be intense and/or numerous enough to outweigh the relatability, it never makes the person completely unrelatable. If you knew everything about a person, you’ll find some similarities. At the least, they’re still human.
However, since it’s easy to overlook that fact and some people just want drama, it helps to be a bit accommodating of others. It can improve your reputation, make you appear understanding, avoid some issues in the first place, and increase your chances of being forgiven when you do screw up.
So, yeah. It totally makes sense that disclaimers have gotten more prominent. Even more so with diverse communities and careers. Because it’s often better for you to call out potential misunderstandings before someone else does.