The more I enter into this internet space the more I’ve found the need to write succinct and interesting introductions. As a Blogger / Youtuber / Online Creator, being asked to write blog posts as part of a school assignment is very par for the course. I decided that this description or introduction to myself and my creative life will act as my first submission. The second will be a review of a movie I watched somewhat recently. (What movie you ask? Well thats for me to know and you to find out!)
To start off with however my name is Graeme. I am a British Canadi-Merican (I say that because I’m sort of from all over the place) from Vancouver, BC currently living in Cardiff. I’m originally an actor who turned to the online social sphere when I decided the job security of a theatre major wasn’t as appealing as three meals a day. That isn’t to say I don’t still act (which I do) but I find having a more diverse skill set makes one more employable. I turned to the internet, specifically YouTube, when I was growing up through adolescence because I didn’t really have a role model in my community and I related so much better to the people I found online. YouTube is a special platform because it enables anyone to go online and share their experiences with others, regardless of distance or citizenship. Most of my professional interests now are focused on the realm of online content creation and I find Youtube, at least for now, a specifically unique platform in the sense of community and culture.
There is somewhat of a preconceived notion about my generation / the generation of the internet. Mainstream media has for years described us as self-obsessed narcissists with raging egos and no sense of empathy. However I’ve encountered several instances where that is just not the case.
One “case study” happened very recently when I attended VidCon EU in the city of Amsterdam. Vidcon is a YouTuber conference, originally held in the United States, but happened for the first time in Europe this past April. It is a very weird, surreal experience being online and watching content from influencers you love but then actually being able to meet them and pick their brain about any number of topics. It is a manifestation of community which is a shocking paradox when you think about the previously mentioned isolated portrayal of the internet.
Vidcon is just one example but it gives a small proof that online creative communities are a real and thriving place. Because Youtube is a democratized platform, because anyone with a camera and an internet connection can upload content, many of our preconceived notions about media and entertainment distribution systems simply do not apply. Youtube frightens traditional media sources because by allowing anyone to publish anything there is by its own function a lack of curation and control.
Again, this is a huge discussion. One that is very much still going in our online world. I am not here to make a judgment however for the people like me who live a significant part of their lives online I believe we have there right to be given agency over how and where our time is allocated. We should be able to choose where we invest our time (and in some cases our money) because, in the end, history will remember the systems which learned to adapt and critically reflect on those who pushed against the turning tide.
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