Kabir Vega Castellanos
HAVANA TIMES — An unusual pleasure which some of us all share in some way or another is that of knowing how somebody we like is, what they are doing, what they are up to in their day-to-day lives. But not a relative or a friend, someone we don’t even know.
This makes the relationship a lot easier, as there aren’t any painful experiences shared or disappointments. The admired character becomes a kind of Alter-Ego.
This used to be commonly applied to movie stars, to singers, models, TV hosts and world-renowned sports figures.
Sometimes, it happens with reputable writers who receive letters where readers open up their hearts like they haven’t ever done with anyone they know. Their identification with characters in the author’s books creates this special intimate bond. Although, a lot of the time writers are very different to what they write in their work.
It’s a fact that fans follow every aspect of the lives of those who are in the Star System, as if it were a strange hobby or fetish, but why? Maybe it’s because they feel so unhappy with themselves, with circumstances and situations that they can’t change and their own existence seems trivial, or even stifling and so they watch others, as a form of escape.
With the Internet and YouTube, a new kind of very distinct relationship has come about. Unlike Hollywood stars who albeit try to please their viewers, this exchange isn’t the center of their lives and YouTubers keep a tight and constant line of communication with their subscribers. In fact, they exist thanks to their popularity.
On a daily basis, they film their strolls, joking about with friends or even trips abroad in front of a camera. Others don’t even go that far. In their own homes, on their computers, they play any videogame while they record their voice for those who will see the video soon and they even play with their subscribers online too, thereby creating an even more intimate relationship.
The Chilean guy German and his girlfriend Lele, who seems to be from the US, are both YouTubers and in coming together as a couple they have created an unprecedented fanbase. It doesn’t matter what the video they share is about, even if it’s a simple joke, people love them and they are their reference for success and happiness.
The most simple YouTubers talk about their routines, their daily grind in a carefree manner and sometimes they throw in pieces of advice. It seems boring but the spontaneity of sharing this fascinates viewers. The most astonishing thing about this is that some of these famous YouTubers were introverted and unpopular nerds, who didn’t know where their place was in the real world. They found their place in cyberspace.
One of the YouTube Gamers, “Vegeta 777” from Spain said in one of his live streams that one of his subscribers in Latin America had said that “he gets excited to see him and would cry if he got to meet him.”
That might seem a little dramatic, but it indicates people’s lack of affection, solitude and boredom. Many people addicted to the internet are young people or teenagers who live in dysfunctional homes.
Even though today’s modern society is considered to be the pride of civilization, it has established an enslaving pace of work and consumption. People feel trapped but they have noone to talk to because they think that nobody will understand them and that everyone has enough on their own plates.
So, as if they were special friends, a kind of abstract refuge, many people find an escape in somebody else’s life, in someone who, even though they don’t know them and they are only one more follower, accepts them without any prejudice or reproach. And who knows what abysses these acquaintances-strangers have saved some people from, be that a drug addiction or a suicide.