Kyle Color Lib

Editor gives two-cents on YouTube vlogging controversy

Jan 23 • Kyle Joseph, Opinion • 380

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If you’re like most people over the age of 12, you probably didn’t know who Logan Paul was until the recent controversy over his Japanese suicide forest vlog that put him and YouTube in the hot seat. I was one of these people, so I had to go down the YouTube-vlogging rabbit hole to get a grasp on its thriving culture.
Vlogging is apparently very easy. After studying some of YouTube’s most celebrated vloggers, most have two things in common: They are devoid of any actual talent and THEIR CAPS LOCK KEYS ARE BROKEN.
Paul, in particular, clearly fell out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down. Uploading a video of a hanging corpse for attention and his own monetary gain — which, let’s be serious, was always the primary intent — really only scratches the surface.
To start with, his videos are so cringe-worthy and, frankly, insufferable that I thought my face was going to be permanently frozen looking like I had just sniffed a diaper. With that being said, my exposure is, admittedly, limited.
From what I did see, their topics range from Paul being obnoxious in various settings to him being blatantly disrespectful to strangers. Actually, those seemed like the only topics.
If you have a few brain cells to spare and this column encourages you to see things for yourself, you will also learn that Paul has an equally narcissistic younger brother named Jake, and that critical thinking is neither of their strong-suits. Jake was apparently not creative enough to come up with his own shtick, so he also vlogs.
The real issue here is that most of Paul’s 15-million subscriber fanbase is made up of impressionable elementary-school-age kids, and this is who they look up to. Not only is he an awful role model in a general sense, but he’s inspired the masses not to dream of a career as an astronaut, athlete or artist when they grow up, but to pull pranks on YouTube for a living. Very admirable.
There is even a song that one of Paul’s younger fans wrote about how Paul is his “hero.” Not his mom or dad, or a policeman or firefighter, but Logan Paul, professional idiot.
This is the same generation — of which, to be clear, I am including my age group in — that is currently taking on the viral “Tide Pod Challenge,” which calls for only the most desperate of attention-seekers to literally eat a Tide Pod. An article I recently read stated that the phenomenon was “raising concerns among experts,” which, of course, made me think, “Thank God we have doctors to tell us laymen to not consume laundry detergent.”
I can only assume these brave, brilliant minds were also never too intrigued by the more traditional “Go to School” and “Get a Job” challenges.
So anyway, I’m not bashing YouTube at all. I just don’t get vlogging, or at least vlogging the way the Paul brothers do.
YouTube is obviously great for those providing worthwhile content. For example, musicians like Tori Kelly and, of course, Justin Bieber have been able to use the platform to break into the music industry. Without it, who knows how much more difficult that would have been.
There’s also plenty of podcasts out there on whatever subject floats your boat, or how-to videos for people like me who frequently need them.
If you want attention, be good at something. Being annoying or ingesting poison is not that “something.”

KYLE JOSEPH
joseph013@knights.gannon.edu

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