YouTube and Postmodernism

2/01/2016 April 0 Comments

How could YouTube be considered postmodern? 
Jean Baudrillard said that 'the real no longer exists'. The mass media attempts to represent reality but the modern society sees this as reality. YouTubers appeal to people as they are 'real' people who have prefect lives. However, everything they put up on YouTube has been edited and selectively filmed. You only really see a fraction of their lives. The platform has grown rapidly over the past few years, more and more people are beginning to watch YouTubers. It is thought that soon more people will be watching YouTube than Television. As the platform grows more brands begin to work with YouTubers as they know that when they associate themselves with products they sell. As well as other brands using them to advertise YouTubers have began to bring out their own products. Some YouTubers have also taken part in their own stage shows, presenting premieres and television programmes and in their own films. YouTubers could be seen as creating a hyperreality. Their fans buy into the the hyperreality that they have created. Because you can't see which parts of their lives are real and what is not you can only take what you see as the truth.

Zoella (Zoe Sugg) has over 10 million subscribers and 665 million total views. In 2013 she was named as the ambassador for National Citizens Service and as a digital ambassador for Mind in 2014. YouTube has allowed her to go on to star on the 'Great British Bake Off', appear on 'Loose Women' to talk about anxiety and have her own beauty line- Zoella Beauty. As well as this Zoe has a book deal for two books with Penguin. Her first novel, 'Girl Online', was released in late 2014 and a year later her second book 'Girl Online: On Tour' was released. 'Girl Online' sold more copies in its first week than J.K. Rowling, selling 78,109 copies. She along with her Boyfriend Alfie Deyes and brother Joe Sugg took part in Band Aid 30. She was one of three YouTuber's to take part in the UK advertising campaign for YouTube. An advert starring her channel was broadcast on terrestrial UK channels. In late 2015 she and Alfie Deyes were turned in to wax figures at Madame Tussauds after being some of the most requested people of 2014.

Joe Sugg (Thatcher Joe) and Caspar Lee, who have over 10 million subscribers between them, have their own DVD. The film 'Joe and Caspar Hit the Road' set pre-order records on Amazon as the biggest number of first day orders on the site. The film was produced by BBC Worldwide and used previous producers and directors of Top Gear. The YouTube stars were even given their own red carpet premiere in Leicester Square for their film.

Another popular duo in the YouTube world are Dan Howell and Phil Lester (Danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil). In 2015 they released their book- The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire- and accompanied this with a tour of the UK. They rose to fame with their Internet Takeover show on Radio 1. They have gone on to host backstage for the Radio 1 Teen Award, Radio 1 Big Weekend, the coverage of Reading and Leeds and the Brit Awards. At Summer in the City 2015 (The UK's biggest YouTube convention) it was announced their channel DanAndPhilGAMES was the fastest growing channel in history. They have also voiced two characters in the UK cinematic release of Big Hero 6. The two collaborated on an app for Phil's YouTube tag The Seven Second Challenge with Mind Candy.