Is the Real Actually Real? [YouTuber Edition]

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Note: picture is not from today, but this is a view from the dorms (on a day when it was actually semi-cool outside last week).

Good afternoon world! (It’s afternoon here, in overcast, humid California)

I hope everything is well with everyone! I am just getting over a cold that I have had since last Wednesday. Started with a sore throat, and then evolved into coughing/stuffy and runny nose nonsense. It wasn’t pretty.

I’m telling you this because during this time that I locked myself in my room—although I did have to miss class on Wednesday and then the following Monday, of this week, it was mostly Friday through Sunday that I was in my cave (aka lair)—I had a lot of time on my hands of feeling terrible and doing unproductive things.

emerging from the cave

Which I now semi-regret because of the homework and projects I now am behind on. (Yay for me!)

Anyway, during that time, I watched some movies and a lot of YouTube videos. Movies included Disney’s animated Tarzan movie and some silly chick flicks, but they made me feel better. I usually like watching action movies, but once in a while, you need movies like The House Bunny, Wild Child, and Legally Blonde.

And in the YouTube world, I began to watch a lot of vlogging videos, like ThatcherJoe, Zoella, Oli White, and Caspar Lee. The funny thing is that they all know each other, all are in the UK and have British accents, and are good friends so they are in each other’s videos a lot.

From left to right: Caspar Lee, Oli White, and Joe Sugg.
Fun Fact #1: Caspar and Joe are actually roommates.
Fun Fact #2: Zoe and Joe are actually sister and brother!

Now, I want to say before I get into the post, that I really like their videos. I don’t know why exactly, except that I know I find people interesting. (People watching is very distracting when I’m trying to do work, and fascinating—not to sound creepy at all.)

I have to say, that my favorite among those four friends, at the moment, has to be Oli White! I do like Joe (ThatcherJoe), but Oli is just great. I’ve started to say “that’s rank” instead of “ew” or “that’s gross” because of Oli. (ha-ha)


When representations of the real are better than the real that they replace, that’s called simulacra. Simulation is when the reality itself has begun to imitate the model and it begins to determine the real world.

What I find really interesting to think about, are the representations that vloggers can give themselves through their videos.

The first videos I saw of ThatcherJoe (aka Joe Sugg) were his prank videos. In these videos, he films himself mercilessly pranking his roommates and friends. I found those to be really funny, and sometimes—usually—made me feel sorry for his victims (mostly Oli White and Caspar Lee).

My first view of Joe Sugg was him as a prankster.

Example of feeling sorry for Caspar:

Example of feeling sorry for Oli:

Now, I don’t actually know if this is how their life is. They might be just doing this for the video, or the viewers and likes, but this is what I now think of when I see Joe Sugg or Caspar Lee (probably not in real life since they’re not in CA, but more in videos).

One thing I think I’d find very annoying if I were friends with them, is that they seem to be recording all the time. Recording for several different channels too. I know Joe has at least three channels of ThatcherJoe, ThatcherJoeVlogs, and ThacherJoeGames.

thatcherjoe channels pic

I think Oli, Caspar, and Zoella are the same way as well with multiple channels.

In one way, having multiple profiles helps to organize videos, but it also reaches a different, broader audience. I don’t watch the TV show, The Walking Dead, but I went through the second season of the video game when I watched ThatcherJoe play it on his gaming channel. (I thought the ending was dumb BTW.)

One thing I think I’d find very annoying if I had YouTuber friends, is that they seem to be recording all the time. In several of their vlogs, they are recording and talking to the camera while their friends are recording and talking to their cameras in the background.

As seen here:

Around 2:48, you can see they all have their cameras out on the plane, but then when they are outside with fans, they are all vlogging at the same time, while most of those fans are actually filming them. (YouTuber-ception, filming someone filming you filming them.)

In this next video:

Towards the end of this vlog, it shows Caspar visiting Oli, who just moved to London. Of course, we only see what he is recording, so to us, the entire time it seems like he is recording. His recording is the only reality we have of these people and this new apartment.

From left to right: Oli White, Joe Sugg, and Caspar Lee.

If you think about it though, if you’re group of friends are all YouTubers, that is rather helpful. You all understand that there is a specific schedule to uploading videos you have to follow, which means you can get each other to help out in videos or you can help edit each others’ videos. If you’re vlogging for your channel, and your friends are also vlogging for their channels, then I can see why that wouldn’t be as rude or annoying, since they all live that YouTubing life.

The video camera seems to be a mere extension of these YouTubers (and most likely a lot of the other vloggers out there).selfie stick black transparent

If I saw someone walking down the street with a camera, I’d find that rather strange, but now that vlogging and YouTube is such a big part of society and social media/entertainment, I might begin to find it much more normal. People are already running around taking selfies and aiming their phone’s camera lens at themselves. So vlogging is just taking it to the next level, adding a story to those video selfies.

First. Let me take a selfie.

What is this appeal for the real that isn’t really real? (Whoa, say that five times fast. It’s thrilling.) If you have an idea, or an interest in YouTubers’ videos, let me know! I’m curious to see what other people of this internet world think.

Over and out. Stay creative out there!

-Rachel

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2 thoughts on “Is the Real Actually Real? [YouTuber Edition]

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