Youtube Is Creating The New Idols

October 28, 2014

Youtubers are defining the day to day lives of ordinary teenage boys and girls in the same way that the Spice Girls dominated and dictated the intelligent thoughts of millions of school children in the 1990s. We have reached a point as to where males and females, famous for only speaking of themselves and their hapless yet intriguing lives, are hosting their own events, winning awards on a national and international scale and buying multi bedroomed houses with their earnings. Queen sung all those years ago; "is this the real life, is this just fantasy" and now I have the phrase echoing through my brain on repeat as I can't seem to fathom the thought that the internet has created careers like no other and has helped to not only indoctrinate young people but teach others that life can be difficult and hard and without these famous Youtubers I seem to believe that some of our children would not be alive today. The Youtube generation are the new idols.
 
My name is Olivia and I am a seventeen year old girl from the North of England. I was brought up to believe in one of the most difficult recessions to hit the country in nearly thirty years. I do not have a clear memory of when computers did not dominate every second of daily life nor do I remember the days when phones weren't held in the palm of every businessman or director. I have friends who weren't born when the first Rollercoaster Tycoon game was released and I'm too young myself to even envisage Take That on their first assault on the charts.
 
The current teenage generation have only known internet access at every minute and the youngest of this generation will not remember when there weren't over 70 television channels free to view for twenty four hours every day. We have had access to websites since we were born, and my life can be categorised by the social networks I was using at the time. Piczo, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, Bebo.. all names which have faded into oblivion but have had a profound effect on millions across the world.
 
Famous faces such as Zoe Sugg and Tanya Burr have been there to watch through years of countless troubles, niggles and nightmares and because of that, have become idols. The amount of money they are earning is proof of the illustrious industry they are made from. Eleven year olds now glance at their subscription boxes and see a new hairstyle tutorial from a twenty something and have a warm feeling inside. Just like the generation before us screamed with delight when they saw the Spice Girls strutting their stuff on Top of the Pops, our generation die with happiness every time their notification bar lights up green. They see Zoella and wish to be like her. They look at her and think 'superstar' and hope to one day have a beauty range in Superdrug too. They see a girl who started out with nothing just like them, reviewing cheap make up in hope of fulfilling her dream.
 
Even if the child wants to be a vet or a chemist or a teacher, they see hope and inspiration in the echoed words of the Youtuber. They see 'just say yes' and follow this mantra like it was written in the Bible. They faint and refuse to relax every time their idol calls their name on a Live Stream or during a tweet marathon and hold the hallowed words dear to their hearts, or as their mobile phone background or Twitter bio. They are living through a recession and see happiness and determination radiating off the Youtuber and pick this happiness up like it was an infection. 
 
A reader of The Telegraph emailed this message to the newspaper and it helped me to understand why teenagers and the young ones of this generation feel the need to idolise successful, real people who have broken through the glass ceiling of contempt and are enjoying a life doing what they love.
 
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"Sir, I am getting increasingly annoyed at the barrage of articles about teenagers, and the adults who keep trying to explain our behaviour. We are not as irrational and immature as adults seem to think. We've grown up with financial crises and accept that most of us will be unemployed.
 
We no longer flinch at bloody images of war because we've grown up seeing the chaos in the Middle East and elsewhere. Most of us are cynical and pessimistic because of the environment we've grown up in - which should be explanation enough for our apparent insolence and disrespect, without "experts" having to write articles about it.
 
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We need to realise the love and admiration the young have developed for Youtubers as they are now the key to unlocking the futures of the coming generation, just like the boy bands and girl bands were in the late 1990s.
 
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1 comment

  1. Really well written post! It's so true that youtubers offer inspiration to all young people, not just those who aspire to beauty or fashion careers. They offer a place to escape and absorb their lives. And I think part of the reason why they are becoming more famous than actresses and singers is because they show the negative parts of their lives like anxiety, the real parts like cooking and I think viewers feel they can relate to this more.

    http://sheepishlyshameful.blogspot.co.uk

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