Abigail Tobis ’20, Editor-in-Chief
YouTube: the social media platform that allows people to share their lives in the form of videos for anyone to see, has been around since 2005 and has continued to keep its popularity now. It is a way for people to express their ideas and show their talents to the whole world. Someone can create a fan base that allows them to write their own books, star in shows/movies, and go to meet-and-greet events to get to know their supporters on a more personal level. Simply hitting that record button and uploading something allows the entire Internet to see you, much like having your own TV show in a way.
Shane Yaw, who goes by the screen name of Shane Dawson, is one of the biggest social media influencers. After joining in 2008, he gained popularity in 2010 getting to his 19 million subscribers. Many consider him a ‘veteran’ in the YouTube industry, because of how long he has been making content. In his early years was known for his sketches, in which he played many different characters with unique wigs and outfits. Then, as years went on, he started to do review videos on food and ‘weird toys.’ He posted daily, proving his time and dedication to his work.
Then, Dawson stopped making videos for a couple months. After a while he explained that he did not feel like the videos he was making were actually well done. He explained that they felt rushed. So he decided to take on a whole new approach to making videos.
Dawson, in the past year, began to make videos that were created very similarly to documentaires. The first one he ever showed was a feature on fellow creator, Tana Mongeau, who recently experienced a scandal regarding a convention she called “TanaCon.” The consequences of this almost ruined Mongeau’s career. Dawson decided to make a three part series regarding this situation and everyone’s side of the story. Many other YouTube influencers hopped on the chance to use drama to get views. Dawson did the complete opposite. He created a video with many interviews and a non-biased outlook to truly work to depict what had happened.
The first video hit 17 million views, and the second two hit 14 million views compared to his average 9 million. This is an extraordinary amount. After this, the desire to experience watching Dawson’s videos become an epidemic.
The next big project was a six-part series on one of the most controversial influencers in the industry right now-not just on YouTube, but even with the music and makeup industry. Almost all the videos appeared on trending, and Dawson’s new series proved to be a success. The video was professionally done and he talked about things that are not talked about enough like depression and self harm.
These topics are all things that need to be talked about more. Dawson shares his take on these real life issues and presents them in a way in which they are entertaining to watch, but not in a way that comes off inappropriately.
The internet can be quite a negative space with only tiny, warm, and fuzzy information floating around. Negative comments are able to be said anytime anywhere with no repercussions because the person saying them are hidden behind a username. This fact has been known since the Internet has been around, yet this bullying keeps happening.
Dawson uses the Internet for good. He uses the popularity he has to produce professional content to show his young audience that everyone has a side and to listen to others. In every single video he works to provide a non-biased outlook on the topic at hand. However. the internet has constant negativity and is filled with drama. Dawson instead tries to get everyone’s story. He does his research, works hard, and gets all the interviews he needs to make his video successful, and I know that we are all excited for his next big project.
Photo courtesy of Youtube