HuBack in 2011 Felix Kjellberg dropped out of his Swedish University, to embark up on a relatively unknown and mocked career path: making comedic YouTube videos. By the end of that first year this young person had 60,000 subscribers. Today he has an outstanding 102 million subscribers. (Wow) And until Indian record label T-series very recently topped that number, he was the most followed YouTuber in this platform history-and a Big Time symbol of success in the social-media era.
Since YouTube lunch back in 2005, a new generation of influencers has redefined what it means to be famous on the internet, by constantly uploading a slew of videos ranging from Vlogs to unboxings to reactions to challenges to gaming and product reviews. Amassing millions of subscribers, creators like Kjellberg (better known by his username, PewDiePie), Markiplier, Shane Dawson and Jenna Marbles have fostered loyal commissions.
Social media has allowed members of these groups to watch creators’ success unfold on screens and in growing subscribers counts. “We feel that we have a truly personal connection with those people who are celebrities or influencers. As a result, it feels that much more tangible when people achieve success, because it feels like we are connected to it,” Karen North says, a social-media and psychology expert and clinical professor of communications at the University of Southern California-Annenberg school for communications and journalism.
On YouTube and other platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, success has become synonymous with follower counts, likes and rates of engagement. Achievements are increasingly quantifiable, defined by what’s trending and what garners the most impressions. However, this number Centric approach to success hardly excludes the average social-media users who aren’t chasing many hundreds of thousands of views, but are simply trying to promote themselves or their business. Posting a video of your new song or the link to your latest article requires building up a certain level of confidence and certainty.
However, my friends, when the video gets fewer views than one expected or no one clicks the link, hearts can be broken, self-esteem can plummet. Especially when a person puts his or her all into it. This vulnerability is most tangible when users compare themselves to peers who are ranking up far more attention for similar content. “We now have the opportunity to compare our progress with anyone and everyone, from family and friends to relatives and the ones that we do not know at the other end of the globe” Sarah Vohra, who is a consultant psychiatrist in the U.K. and the author of Can We Talk?
If someone has more followers or receives more likes on a post, you just may get the impression their content is objectively much better. You essentially open yourself up for a level of externalization that the measure is someone else idea of success. When you don’t get the likes that you expected or the engagement that you want, that’s based on someone else’s measurement of success rather than your own,” Vohra says. This perception is reinforced when peers post only what Vohra calls the “highlight reel,” snapshots of their lives that may imply perfection.
We are all bombarded with images of everyone seemingly succeeding, whether it is having the perfect body, the perfect family, or relationship or the perfect job,” Vohra says. For influencers whose livelihood relies on retaining followers and constantly delivering fresh content, this number-centric lens on success can be detrimental to productivity, motivation and one’s Mental Health.
There is always constant pressure to create more and more and more engaging contacts to try to entice more viewers, North says. With social-media platforms, internal analytics and top content rankings, content creators (the bloggers) can track and obsess over everything. In order to keep growing their communities and ensure that viewers keep on coming back for more, they are subject to churning out unique content on a regular basis, oftentimes daily, basis for success. However, my friends, sometimes this can result in burnout. Since your job depends on it, it definitely can be hard to hit the brakes, Kjellberg told Insider in a 2019 interview.
This tremendous stress has caused many YouTubers to just walk away from the platform for weeks or even months at a time citing burnout and a need to focus on their personal lives. For none- influencers North recommends measuring personal success not by following count or likes but by real life benchmark. The engagement that is on social media is not a valid indication of success either professionally or personally. It all depends on who you are and who you interact with in your life, she says
However, social media’s impact on success and how we all perceive it may not be entirely dismal. In a manner not possible pre-Digital Age, people can use social media to Brand their selves and their business and build their professional Networks. Via networking tools on platforms like DIV and Linkedin video culture on YouTube, professionals and business owners, are now in a very big way in the business of creating PR campaigns for themselves, North says.
When it comes to self-comparison and measuring personal success, Vohra points to the ability of users to curate their feeds and mute anything that makes them feel less successful. If anyone, content only serves a way to confront your inadequacy, by all means unfollow than, she says
Here’s a lady, that we all can learn a great deal from, her name is Sheryl Sandberg. For Millions, Facebook’s chef operating officer is the model of a very successful woman in Corporate America. After she earned her MBA from Harvard, Sandberg worked for Larry Summers, the treasury secretary under President Clinton. She moved into the burgeoning tech field. Directing sales operations for Google’s chief operating officer. And then, in 2007 Sandberg met Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg at a Christmas party and her career begin to skyrocket. Her best-selling first book, 2013’s Lean in: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, urged woman to strive for leadership roles and break down the gender barriers.
Sandberg, 50, has drawn criticism for her platform’s controversial algorithms and the handling of Russia use of Facebook to attack the 2016 presidential election. When she was asked what steps she took in her 20s to become so successful by her 30s, she told Business Insider, I think it really was about getting on a rocket ship, being willing to take risks and do something that I had not done before, like work in technology, and finding the ways to start believing in myself.
My dear friends, with all of my heart I say unto you, believe in yourself, believe in what you are doing, never ever give up no matter what. Listen to your heart and follow it.
May Prosperity be always with you.
Humbly yours, Paul Earl.
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