The decision to close my channel did not come fast or easy, in fact, I agonized over it for the last two years, on and off . It came about with heavy heart and conflicted feelings.
Much like a true relationship, it has run it’s course and it’s time to move on to something, anything better. The joy I once felt has been fizzeling out for awhile but, you know how it is with a long term relationship, sometimes we prefer to not look too closely at the signs of impending doom. We tell ourselves excuses that justify staying in a relationship that has lost it’s glow. Hell! I shutter to think how many times I’ve done this with humans, and yet I’ve realized I was doing it with youtube.
- Way back in the early days of beauty videos there were basically two kinds of video creators, young. hip, gorgeous nubile cuties that reviewed and demonstrated literally ever product to hit the market. They applied makeup like the pros and looked amazing in everything. The massive collections were sometime purchased by them and often supplied by the companies. It was the early days of affiliate links and free product provided for review. The Michelle Phans of the genre were just starting to emerge. Marlena of Make up Geek had not yet thought of starting her own brand. Wayne Goss and the PixxiWoo sisters were still doing “looks and 5 minute reviews.
- Then there were you tubers like me, housewives, corporate execs, hobbyists, newbie makeup artists and wanna be’s . We did it for the joy and community of sharing our interests with like minded others. It was welcoming, non-competitive and YouTube barely paid attention. The measure of success was the number of subscribers. There were rules about curse words and you did not use copywriten music or content. We talked, shared and learned from each other in our small amateur community.
- Then things began to shift. Brands started to realize that popular YouTubers were an untapped marketing goldmine. For the minuscule cost of a few cosmetics provided to said person, they could sell large volumes of product with no advertising payment, at all. Believe me when I say the $50.00 blush you ran to the shop to purchase cost apx. $5.00 for the brand to send to youtuber Jane Doe.
- And so it began, the explosion of sales based upon the simple mention or demo of products by a familiar face in the comfort of our homes. We watched each other with pen and paper at hand diligently creating our next Haul list. We did Tag videos in order to learn about each other or challenge ourselves to create the same look or build a complete makeup bag for $20 and under. It was fun. It was an easy no pressure zone for grown ups to play with our bits and pieces of lovely things.
- You Tube corporate keeps changing the playing field as to what is considered success. Subscription number, Likes, Views, and lately Retention time. There are classes and professional Yt studios to hone your skills. There is a lot of money made from youtube directly, or through links, or brand endorsement deals. How many individuals now have their own brands or have become corporate spokespersons? I cant’t keep track.
With the opportunity of fame and fortune comes a compromise of integrity much of the time. The trust we placed in each other’s recommendations can no longer be taken on faith. When I hear a YouTuber rave and gush about almost every product they review, I seriously question their truthfulness. Not every moisturiser is HOLY GRAIL, TO DIE FOR, A MUST HAVE, LIFE CHANGING You see where I’m going here? Hyperbole is the order of the day in todays YT videos. However , there are ways to maintain appearances. Mention one or two products that don’t live up to the hype every now and then in order to offset the multitude that, you promise, do! Don’t get your daggers out to slit my throat for spreading horrible untruths cuz, sorry but, it happens. every damn day.
But there are also those individuals that speak the truth no matter what. They clearly explain affiliate links and which products are comped and which were paid for with their own cash. Many are not compensated at all and often in great debt in order to create content about the latest trend or product to hit the market. Often creating a stressful reality of credit card debt and a rush to get the product reviewed and uploaded in a timely fashion. When you upload a video that has already been done by multiple creators, the desire of your subscribers to watch is diminished and your statistics will fall. Hence, you’re a failure, according to the YouTube algorithm that determines success or failure
Basically, I’m saying that it’s not the joy it used to be, for me, that is. My goal never was grandiose or calculated. I simply enjoyed sharing tips and opinions about beauty. I could have easily continued as usual because when a channel is as small and obscure as mine was, I had no pressure to please any master but myself. However, I found myself buying far more than I need, as well as more than I could afford. You see, I am one of those aforementiond persons with credit card debt due to my inability to discipline myself. I tried to watch but not desire, I’ve attempted ‘No Buys and Low buys”, shop my stash, etc. At the end of the day, I’m in possession of too much stuff. My minimalist heart is not as powerful as my desire to consume. And so, this is the path I need to take in order to set my priorities straight. A “reboot ” if you will. Until I discovered the world of beauty through YouTube 5 years ago, my makeup collection in it’s entirety fit into a small Clinique GWP bag. ALL OF IT !!!!! One blush, lipgloss, eye liner pencil, mascara and lash curler. That’s it! Now, I have an Alex 5 drawer cabinet from Ikea. Which is quite possibly the most popular storage unit for makeup across the Yt community. Should have bought stock in IKEA LOL !
There you have the how’s and the why’s of my break up. I believe that we as a nation are consuming far too much stuff, creating too much waste and sadly, are losing the concept of ” value”. Our priorities are out of wack with the laws of nature. Our lifestyles have become fast, disposable and self centered. I’m guilty and I’m troubled by it. So, changes had to be made and they had to be drastic. As a woman of 61 I’m old enough to know that anything can change at any time. Including my choices. LOL Never say never! Someday I may start another channel or maybe not. I might miss some aspects of You Tube or I might not. There are still many channels that I’m subscribed to, like BBC, The Guardian, Ted Talks, yoga, meditation, french language tutorials, and some beauty, lifestyle and cooking channels. There are some people I’ll miss and some, not so much.
Relationships come and go, as do the tides and phases of the moon. It’s been fun, informative, stressful, time consuming, educational, and disillusioning but, I wouldn’t change a thing. The few real relationships that Yt has given me are important and will not be neglected or forgotten. Thank for the memories See you on the other side.
In LOVE n LIGHT