Saturday, 25 August 2018

My [Secret] YouTube Life by Charlotte Seager

What if your favourite YouTuber's life was a lie?

What if you were the one to expose it?

Are the two lines of text which intrigued me about the novel My [Secret] YouTube Life, a book written by Charlotte Seager, a journalist who has worked on The Guardian, The Times and The Sunday Times. Her interest in YouTube began at the age of 14 whilst looking for a way to create the perfect eyeliner flick and more recently, the chance meeting with some YouTube stars gave her the idea for this book.
My [Secret] YouTube Life by Charlotte Seager
YouTuber LilyLoves has the most an amazing life: there is a rockstar boyfriend, an Insta-worthy London flat and a collection of beauty products that, thanks to a PO Box and some willing PR Companies is growing by the hour. Then we meet Melissa (known as Issa), her life is not as amazing as LilyLoves and dreaming of being her is the one thing that keeps Melissa going. As LilyLoves biggest fan, Melissa she spends hours each night watching her videos and liking her posts. Melissa wants that life for herself, only her follower numbers don't grow as quick as LilyLoves.

Throughout the book, we see issues such as confidence, idolisation, trolling, the news, the media, workload and also anxiety, stress, obsession, stalking, toxic relationships, mental health, friendships and so much more. With YouTube being a big part of a lot of lives, much more so now than it was when I was growing up, it is quite an insight into how life can be taken over and in doing so, each and every one of these issues playing its part.  It brings home just what an impact a YouTuber can have on someone's life with their perfect lives on screen, yet that perfect life can be so far moved from reality, as we see with Lily who struggles with life off screen, something which again, Charlotte covers exceptionally well and as a blogger, I often feel overwhelmed and for me it is a hobby, for others it is their life, their career, something we all probably forget occasionally.

As the book progresses, Melissa falls in with the popular, gets herself a boyfriend and with her, her social media followers increase with every new photo.  Then, Melissa discovers a crushing secret about Lily – the ultimate YouTube lie. Does she share Lily’s secret and crush her fame? Or will they both continue to live a lie – both online and offline?  You won't find the answer to that question here, but the book is available on Amazon for £7.49 here.
My [Secret] YouTube Life by Charlotte Seager
Below is a piece written by Charlotte on trolling and social media and the impact on self-esteem for the blogger tour which really makes you think!

“This is the reason men don’t find women like you attractive,” someone once tweeted me in response to saying I was a feminist online. It took me by surprise, but for most people getting comments like this on Twitter isn’t unusual. And certainly not at the worse end of the scale. I have heard of some people - particularly influencers or bloggers - receiving death threats and personal insults on social media on a regular basis.

As a young person growing up online, it’s easy to allow these type of comments to damage your confidence, but you mustn’t. The internet allows a lot of people to share their opinion, but with little accountability. Often people will fire off comments without thinking, in a burst of rage or with a half-formed opinion that they wouldn’t dare say in real life - so remember that the messages you see from ‘trolls’ don’t reflect what most people think. 

In my book, My [Secret] YouTube Life, there is a point in the story where both YouTuber LilyLoves and her biggest fan Melissa end up being trolled. At the time both characters feel like their world is crashing down - and it’s easy to feel like this when so much of our identity nowadays is tied up with social media.

My advice, if you ever find yourself being trolled, is not to lose perspective. And to not engage: step away from the screen. When I received a barrage of messages from people angry at me for tweeting about feminism, the first thing I wanted to do was type out an angry response. But instead I bit my tongue, logged out of Twitter and went out for a pre-booked lunch with my friends.

When I came back to the messages, I realised these people all wanted a response from me, and they wanted to upset me. The truth is that ‘troll’ messages are often from someone who hasn’t met you, and probably never will, so you have to try and rise above the criticism.

As I got on with my life, my anger quickly melted away, and after a couple of days I even felt sorry for the people who had gotten so angry over something so small I’d posted on Twitter. 

Online trolls want to get a rise from people: it’s no fun if they are ignored, and they’ll quickly move on to something else. So you mustn’t let their messages get to you. Remember the people who matter are those who love and support you in real life, not those who lurk behind usernames on the world wide web!


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9 comments:

  1. I haven't read any youtuber or youtube based books, I don't know if they'd be for me personally x

    www.ofbeautyandnothingness.co.uk

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  2. This definitely sounds like something I would like to read. Thanks for sharing xx

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  3. Oo I hadn't heard of this book before. I really want to pick it up.

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  4. Sounds like a great read given the current climate we live in.

    www.majeang.com

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  5. I hadn't heard of this before - sounds ahem interesting!! x

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  6. It sounds so interesting I will be picking it up for sure x

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