How ya’ going? Often, I’ll find myself down one of those YouTube rabbit-holes, throwing me in to a very niche internet sub-culture or community. The latest one: content creators that go by the term ‘IRL Streamers’. These people livestream their daily lives, for hours at a time. Whilst the audience donates money and communicates to them over a text-to-speech method.
I found this sub-culture fascinating for a couple of reasons…
One, what many people want to consume as entertainment now days is becoming increasingly meta. Think ‘Twitch gamers’ or ‘Reaction videos’. Some people will now rather watch another person scrolling Instagram on a livestream instead of using it themselves. Hence this unique growth of in-real-life live streamers.
And two, people are willing to pay to watch such content, and immerse themselves by directly interacting with the streamer. These creators make a living by simply broadcasting their live to viewers constantly, every day.
In terms of internet entertainment and online media consumption, it does make me think where we will be in ten, twenty years.
It isn’t just a few people watching these streams, but thousands. We can’t get enough of genuineness and rawness it seems. When we sense something is fake and scripted, we tend to feel cheated or disinterested. There are instances where an audience will turn on the streamer if they think an act has been faked. This is quite surreal to see the online sphere meet the real world - in real time. The streamer will walk around publicly with an audience of hundreds as they chat amongst eacheother in a chatbox, donating and interacting vicariously in the real world through the individual streamer.
The Darker Side
As with many things online, this isn’t always a good thing. It really shows you what people will do for fame and fortune. As I stated, we love to watch genuineness, but we also love to watch drama. Streamers know this and will go out of their way to put themselves in dangerous and idiotic positions.
One young and naïve streamer went out of his way to enter a building full of people whilst a viewer played sounds of a violent threat. What ensued was an obvious panic, and he was subsequently arrested on livestream whilst thousands were watching and donating. This is merely one example; I don’t feel it necessary to share in writing many other disturbing situations. See for yourself, if you so need. It only gets worse from here.
Extremely confronting material. Involves IRL Streamer and Child Protective Services.
Louis Theroux attempting to interview an obnoxious IRL Streamer.
Perhaps it takes a certain type of person to do this with their life. I could say the same of the viewers, as many seem to exacerbate the chaos. The rabbit-hole goes much deeper it seems, and with it, more unpleasant. A real insight into the internet-age of humanity as we currently know. A concentrated, desensitized, attention-obsessed cess-pit of the online culture, to put it bluntly.
As the saying goes, that’s enough internet for me today.