YouTube – “Broadcast Yourself” … But do you even want to?

With the change of jobs last year, I got a chance to really get into discovering what YouTube is and by now I have a bit of a better understanding what the whole thing is, and how people make a decent living, while using it to create something they care about.
I am currently watching various episodes of “Becoming YouTube” and while feeling terrible late to actually “caring”, but for one, better late than never, and two, I always have a 12-plus-hour job to blame. That same 12-hour job however, is also one of the things, that always prevented me from seeing the need to buy a TV. I haven’t had a TV in years. Already after University, I couldn’t be bothered to buy a TV (actually I owned a TV just forgot a bunch of cables to make it work at my parents house).

The point is, I had lost interest in TV a long time ago and what actually is there that you can’t really watch online, anyway? And yet, YouTube and the Internet is still perceived as the “playground for the weird kids”. It is a platform for let out your own creativity at your own speed, at your own expense, to your own liking, with your own goals and more. I am not going to talk about people that are aspiring a career on YouTube, but in general it is a creative out-let for people, like drawing and putting it up on Deviant Art, or writing and putting it on Livejournal (before it “died”) or making music and sharing it on YouTube / iTunes / your own homepage (This seems so much more natural than actually getting up on stage for some reason.).

I think “content creation”, is indeed a good term.

Many people have a hobby, but not all of them are creating (shareable) contents. Like sports, parties, reading, or walking your cat (without the desire to film it…do those people exist?) I often feel, that YouTubers are like a single-person garage band, only that everyone has access to the rehearsal studio.

But still, I suppose there are people out there that simply want to “consume” rather than “create”. Further, I guess that are people that are fine with “not sharing”. While we have become less and less concerned with our privacy on the internet, not everyone sees the necessity to share every or any aspect or their life with the rest of the world for a number of reasons. And that is fine I guess.

Also, even though people create, there are still a lot of them that are content with consuming every now and then.
I feel Japan is made of a people mostly consuming. Once school life is over and people trot into their offices daily, they either can’t be bothered or are afraid to share what they are doing in their free time (if they have any.) The stigma against the internet is still a strong one, often seen as unsafe and filled with weird people. Mostly like it was seen many years ago in Western countries. People are uncomfortable sharing private information, starting with their names, which was also a reason, why Facebook took off so late in Japan, as it required truthful registration (and Japanese people are serious about that).
Recently I read an article about how Facebook and the envy it creates towards people you know and shame about an own “uneventful” life, leading to Japanese people closing their accounts again. Sharing isn’t everyone’s thing, especially in Japan already from a cultural point of perspective. While sharing your latest dinner experience is fine to do, things beyond that just aren’t meant for the public. This goes with a number of things and for a variety of reasons.

The issue is a lot wider and certainly, a great number of aspects need to be considered, but in general, I think that there are just people, that are more prone to consuming than to creating, which will always, or at least for a while longer give traditional media a place to be.

It’s just a sketch of all my thoughts on this, but I would really like to keep an eye on this.