It's 2am, I can't sleep, I have a cup of tea in a Cath Kidston mug by my side, and a vlog playing on my laptop. Or maybe it's not that I can't sleep... perhaps if I found the will power to stop watching month after month of Anna, or Sammi, or the Saccone-Joly's addictive vlogs (video-blogs), simply closed my laptop, gulped down the final dregs of my brew, and shut my eyes, I would drift off... Maybe, just maybe, it's the vlogs that are keeping me awake...
What I'm trying to hint at here, is that I'm pretty much addicted to vlogs. I don't know why I find watching the daily lives of other people so bloody interesting, but I do. I'm just a bit nosey.
With vlogs, especially daily or frequent vloggers, I find that I become so involved in the lives of people that I've never met. Take the adorable Saccone-Joly family for example: I have been watching them everyday since their first child, Emilia, was a tiny baby. This September she'll be three, and every single day of her life is available to view on YouTube. Regular watchers become familiar with how she loves Mini Mouse, now goes to nursery a couple of times a week, has recently had her nap time cut down and has a best friend called Lily. The concept of publishing your life on the internet is fairly odd. My mom would probably call it voyeurism, and although she enjoys watching Emilia's cute antics every now and then, she doesn't fully approve. But arguments aside, when these vloggers share so much of their everyday life, audience members become very informed and consumed, which I think heightens the addictive nature of their videos.
Although the concept of vlogging may seem strange when I stop and consider it, there are benefits to vlog watching. After a busy day, it's lovely to come home, flop on the bed and watch a cheerful Estée strolling with her dog, Reggie, and then exploring a quirky London museum. It's therapeutic to immerse myself in somebody else's life for a while - and stop over thinking about small things in my own. So, vlogs are good for a bit of relaxation and stress relief.
However, after I've been lying in bed in the morning for three hours, allowing the YouTube autoplay to persuade me to watch vlog after vlog, I start to see the irony in my addiction. Why am I lazing about in my pyjamas with the curtains drawn at 12pm, watching strangers live their lives, while I'm wasting my own day?
It's all about balance. It's absolutely fine to watch a few vlogs with a brew after coming home from a day at uni, it's a stress reliever and can provide me with inspiration. In many ways I'm envious of the lives of vloggers, because many of them work for themselves, blogging, vlogging and going to events for a living. But I need to calm my addiction slightly and realise that I'm wasting so much time when I get drawn into a vlog marathon... I could be doing something productive with my day, like the vloggers I am goggling at!
There definitely is a paradox here... some vloggers such as Lily Pebbles and Vivianna Does Makeup have recently inspired me to start a blog again - hence Polly Cat Contemplates! But when I could be writing blog posts or taking blog photos, you can often find me curled up in my sea of scatter cushions, re-watching and re-watching their weekly vlogs.
I need to tell myself again: It's all about balance.
It's not going to be easy, but I really should lay off the excessive viewing. As I talked about in my post about books, I've been getting into reading again lately, so hopefully I'll be able to swap a few vlogs a day with a few chapters of a good novel.
As much as I love vlogs, I accept that they are a huge source of time wasting for me. I should be living my life instead of watching others live theirs! So, I'm going to cut down on my vlog watching and shake off my paradoxical addiction.