Growing Up Online

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Whenever I meet new people my age and explain my job to them they all look at me the same way. YouTube is a kid thing, it’s tweens eating ‘candy’ and covering themselves in slime.. it’s not adults.. they don’t get it and I totally understand. If I didn’t do what I do my only frame of reference for YouTube would be Milo watching people unwrap kinder eggs and Ella watching people do various ridiculous challenges for the entertainment of..kids. But those kids grow up and 10 years later they’re still acting the fool and it’s starting to feel awkward.

Change is a big thing online, I’ve spoken a lot in the past about the idea of remaining unchanged in a 5-10 year period being completely bizarre and yet entirely expected when it comes to YouTubers. They’re playing a character and viewers are annoyed that new writers have been brought in to shake things up for season 4. At 20 I thought I was as grown up as I’d ever be, I had a child, a mortgage, a steady job.. what else could possibly happen to me to influence my thoughts and opinions that hadn’t already happened? Well, how about divorce, DRIVING TEST(S), a million other jobs, another child, money worries, friendships made and lost.. you are a product of everything that has happened to you and at 20 that is just about nothing. I’m 30 now and know that in 10 years I will be different still. Future me would probably disagree with my 30-year-old self on most subjects, tell myself to stop worrying so much about my weight, save some money and apply eye cream more often. We grow up, it’s normal.

Recently a high profile YouTuber, let’s call her ‘Mouise’, posted a video about her plan to change her content and it met a mixed but largely positive response. She made so much sense in the video that I couldn’t not agree with her but I did wonder whether she would have reached the level of success that she has if she had felt free to be herself all along. Once you’ve built a brand on your sweet, PG persona it must be daunting to break out of that shell for fear of losing years of work. On the flipside if you no longer love your work because you’ve outgrown that persona.. is it really still your dream job? YouTube is a double-edged sword in that respect, you make your own hours and have great earning potential doing something creative and fun but the moment you ‘change’ your fate rests in the hands of your viewers. They can decide whether to lift you up or tear you down and so it must be tempting to sell your soul and carry on as you are for fear of the whole thing crumbling if you decide to choose happiness over stability.

I have been posting content online for 6 and a half years, I have changed massively in that time but I also have majorly itchy feet when it comes to change. I’ve had 5 blogs, as many YouTube channels and have recently totally rebranded my main site and social to ease me out of the budget beauty box I’d put myself in. I have to switch things up from time to time or I’d go mad so change isn’t something I struggle with but I’ve definitely felt the pressure to fit in to a certain YouTube mould if I want to grow my audience. I started making videos when I was 24, I was divorced, in a new relationship, unemployed and totally lost. I’m now 30, married, have a second child and completely settled.. my life is different, my financial situation is different, my interests are more varied and I’m just not the same person I was. That’s not a terrible thing, it’s human nature to evolve and change and would life not be insanely dull if you knew at this moment you were everything you could ever be and had  achieved everything you could ever achieve?

Of course numbers are important, checking in on performance every so often is necessary in every job but when you work for yourself (in whatever capacity) it’s important to remember why you started. They say if you love your job you’ll never work a day in your life and that’s a great thing to remind yourself of when you’re having a tough week and perhaps need to reassess whether you really still love what you do. I’ve dabbled with trying to perfect lighting and learn how to use my fancy camera’s but when it starts to feel like work I always come back to setting down my camera on the windowsill and chatting about nothing. Some could argue this is why my growth has been slow over the years but I think I’d have given up a long time ago if I’d succumbed to the cookie cutter pressure. Of course you have to listen to viewer feedback and criticism but it’s when you allow that to hold more weight than your own happiness that it affects your content. If you’re always worrying about what people think you’ll never truly be yourself.

For a long time I told myself that I was putting out an edited version of myself on YouTube because the viewers there had subscribed to the promise of a certain kind of content but I now realise my real worry is losing what has taken me 6 years to build. I have been steadily transitioning my content to what feels the most natural for me for some time now and felt pretty good about until I met someone new recently who asked me to send over my link. I didn’t feel comfortable sharing it because I didn’t feel it represented who I really was. That’s just crazy. It’s my channel, I’m not a brand.. surely if NOTHING else I can be MYSELF?! My favourite online personalities have a dry sense of humour and say whatever they want without fear of negativity or offending anyone but they’re not always the most popular. Sarcasm can come across as bitchy and mean and in real life you can read a room and decide what people will find amusing but a digital lobotomy is necessary to communicate to an unknown online audience if you want to be sure you won’t upset anyone. I’m not 24 anymore, I want to watch people I relate to and there must be other people who feel the same way so I’m going to take a leaf out of Louise’s Mouise’s book and try to shake the shell I have left and just be myself. You’ll either like me or you won’t but at least I’ll know it’s ME!

WATCH LOUISE’S VIDEO HERE

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10 Comments

  1. Rebecca Widnall
    10 September, 2016 / 7:02 pm

    Yes be yourself. Moan if you need, to share what your thoughts are! Im 29 i have 2 kids and im married and i want to watch more people in a similar situation showing that lifes not perfect. Whilst also talking about beauty and other interest! It is interesting hearing about peoples different views on things. Be genuine. Be you. Be happy!!!!

    • missbudgetbeauty
      10 September, 2016 / 8:02 pm

      I think it’s what drew me to vlogs over beauty videos in recent years but I’ve now found a handful of people I really like to watch.. no matter what they upload just because I ‘get them’ haha.. here’s to more people like us!! 😉

  2. Virginia
    10 September, 2016 / 7:48 pm

    I’m 56 and started watching your channels a month or so ago. I like what you have done. I saw Mousie’s video as the first video of hers I had watched. I went back to see what she was leaving behind. I don’t think you are like her…you have grown and changed and let us all come along. For example, you said long ago, ill ever have a Chanel bag and guess what? You got one and didn’t apologize for it. Go girl! I like your natural evolution to the spendaholic from the budget girl. I enjoy what you have done. Even if your work is a pain at times, it doesn’t mean it’s not your dream job. Some tasks are simply disagreeable. Keep being you with all your quirks and loveliness. Your most important job is mum. Anyway, I like what you do, carry on!

    • missbudgetbeauty
      10 September, 2016 / 8:00 pm

      Thank you! I think Louise’s video was just a great reminder that you don’t HAVE to fit the mould. I agree your dream job isn’t always joyous but if you don’t love it anymore I think it loses it’s status. There are so many negatives sides to YouTube that for me, if you’re able to work out of the home and it’s not fun anymore, why still do it? I never want to not enjoy what I do.. life’s too short!

  3. Jodie Wright
    10 September, 2016 / 8:06 pm

    I totally agree with you and I agreed with Louise when I watched her video. But I don’t know where the idea of her being sweet and PG comes from. She talked about it in her own video and I was thinking “really?”. The first video I saw of her’s was when she was talking about eating bad shrimp and having an “accident”, I wouldn’t have called that child friendly. I’ve seen a lot of her dark/dirty humour on other people’s channels and if that’s the edited version I’m not sure I want to see the unedited version haha. I understand your concerns about offending people but I think as long as you’re not being mean or judgemental you’ll be fine. I wonder how this all fits in with the new terms of service though. It seems that everyone has decided to “grow up” at the same time as youtube has decided you’re not going to make money if you’re not “advertiser friendly”. I assume this means child friendly, even though youtube is technically supposed to be for those over 13.

  4. Bee
    10 September, 2016 / 8:49 pm

    Be your true self – unique, opinionated and funny and everyone who has appreciated your great work so far will go along with you for the ride. I’m sure there are loads of new people out there who will love your new style too. Enjoy yourself!

  5. Ruth
    10 September, 2016 / 9:35 pm

    I’m an almost 30 mum planning her wedding who watches your videos more than any other YouTuber because I can relate to you! You admit your not the best at eye makeup and blending…. Your far better than me!! Haha, but I like that you aren’t perfect!! I watch all your videos and check YouTube daily looking for your videos. I watch your higher end channel too so I don’t just watch miss budget beauty for budget beauty! I’d far rather you were doing what you love than stopping altogether as I’d miss your videos. X

  6. Steph
    11 September, 2016 / 11:24 am

    I think the great thing about you is that the viewer has always seen your personality and humour to some degree and, recently, you seem very true to yourself and thus, much more confident and comfortable in your videos. I’m 33, I don’t need anyone to show me how to put mascara on, I don’t care what American candy tastes like and I’m too busy listen to YT stories. I would much rather sit and watch the content you put out which often saves me time and money (praise be) and I love “real” and relatable vlogs like yours. Keep being you, I actually think Mouise could learn a lot from you.

  7. 11 September, 2016 / 6:31 pm

    I really appreciated how honest you were in this post. I find some youtubers and bloggers I used to love haven’t changed in the last few years. I am 29 and I honestly don’t care about the stuff I cared about years ago. I have been trying to find myself as an adult in my own social media game and it is great and wonderful to know I am not alone.

  8. Lisa
    13 September, 2016 / 9:13 am

    I have been watching your videos for a few years now but I don’t often comment. However, wanted to show you my support for making changes to your channel that make you feel more comfortable and doing video’s on things that interest you now. I am also a 30 something and to be honest I do prefer your Spendaholic channel because I love your vlogs and the products you talk about on there seem to be more fun to you and that comes across. Also, please don’t worry about fancy camera work etc, my fave videos are when your just sat on the floor chatting away! xx

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