The potential darkness in idolizing Youtubers



Pewdiepie (top left), Jeffree Star, Shane Dawson, Jenna Marbles (bottom left), Mr. Beast and Jojo Siwa dominate the Youtube platform

By Sophia Herrera, Staff Writer

With an average of 1.9 billion monthly users, YouTube is the world’s second most-used social media app, giving content creators—most commonly referred to as YouTubers—a career in which they make money based on both ad and user views.

YouTubers are idolized and often looked up to as inspirations, but in reality some of these internet idols are advocates of tastelessness and even danger.

The main goal of YouTubers is to get views, so they sometimes post scandalous and dangerous videos to get those views. 

In one video posted by Logan Paul he visits Aokigahara forest in Japan, which is also known as “suicide forest.” After hiking only a couple hundred yards into the forest, he encountered the body of someone who had killed himself. Instead of turning off the camera he continued to film, making several crude jokes and then posted it on his YouTube channel.

People were outraged and Paul did receive backlash for it, but his tasteless posting won him increased notariety, and 80,000 new subscribers. In less than two weeks viewers had forgotten about the incident and returned to praising and idolizing him. 

Another famous YouTuber and beauty influencer, Jeffery Star, continuously gets called out for his unkind attitude and his treatment of others. Even though he posted an apology video for his past bad behavior, apparently he still hasn’t learned his lesson or grown from his past mistakes. Through tweets he referred to another beauty influencer, Jackie Aina, with racial slurs. 

Considering the amount of power we give to YouTubers, praising Paul, Star and others like them enable their behavior and gives the impression that it is okay to act the same way.  

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Confusing messages can influence some vulnerable viewers to imitate the negative things they see online and YouTube influencers give them those bad ideas. Some teens especially may feel pressured to film and post dangerous or disrespectful videos in the quest to attract large numbers of views on their social media. They rarely think about the consequences.

One YouTube prankster shot and killed her boyfriend by accident. Wanting to test if a 50-caliber bullet would go through an encyclopedia, the boyfriend held it in front of his chest encouraging her to fire the gun. The bullet easily passed through the book, instantly killing the man.

Even though the woman initially expressed her hesitancy with the stunt, her boyfriend insisted that they do it because of the internet attention they would receive. Neither of them expected the stunt to go so wrong.

YouTube gives people the ability to listen and talk with others about their life-experiences and concerns, helping empower young people who have experienced rejection, isolation and depression. 

One example is Jazz Jennings, the youngest trans women in history to speak up about depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts publicly, helping empower kids and teens dealing with similar problems.  

But many people behind the screen are not always who they appear to be. They are playing a role for hits. They may seem supportive or kind but they are not friends or people you know on a personal level. They refer to their subscribers as family but have no idea who is watching them from the other side of the screen.

This craze for online attention results in more and more young people wanting to become YouTubers instead of astronauts or doctors, which may seem like a great idea. But if you are easily influenced by what other people think, it may be a difficult job to enjoy, since YouTubers are constantly in the spotlight and susceptible to both wanted and unwanted opinions. 

Becoming an online celebrity is one of the most mentally damaging careers out there. The

pressure of having to endure from strangers is very real. Personal insecurities are constantly magnified through memes or unnecessary comments. Sacrificing peace of mind for internet attention is not worth it.