Popular Youtube series brings out the fake in people

Anusha Vadlamani | Staff Writer

Everyone’s a psychiatrist now.

Or at least everyone seems to think they are if the number of diagnoses (or misdiagnoses, depending on how you want to see it) is anything to go by. I have not been able to sit through an entire class bell without people pointing an accusing finger at one of their peers and declaring “You, you’re the sociopath!” 

Which is not fair, considering that none of us have attended medical school (WebMD is not the same thing, guys). People have been jokingly diagnosing their own peers left and right, which isn’t exactly healthy, because people take these things to heart. 

The onslaught of accusations is a result of Shane Dawson’s docu-series about one of YouTube’s most controversial figures – Jake Paul. The web series focuses on why Paul is as highly worshipped as he is hated and why he is the way he is. When Shane released the first of the videos, I didn’t expect the reason for Paul’s behavior to be as extreme as it was. 

Honestly, I thought the reason was going to be something kind of stupid, like trying to gain more views or subscribers. However, the recurring idea that Dawson explores isn’t as simple as trying to get people to click the notification bell.

Dawson believes Paul to be a sociopath; someone who lacks empathy and a conscience. And the more I started to understand what a sociopath was, the more I started to wonder about how much we really knew about the people we spend our time idolizing. 

I have always preferred YouTube to any other media platform. Mainly because my parents never invested in Netflix, but also because I believed it to be the only one that allowed real people to connect with each other. I loved watching sit-down videos and feeling as though the YouTuber was speaking directly to me. As though they actually cared. I swore that my favorite YouTubers could do no wrong. For a second, I forgot that I wasn’t actually a true part of their lives. 

So when Shane brought up the idea that YouTubers, including himself, have a certain type of persona that they project onto their viewers, I wasn’t shocked. Just in denial. 

I didn’t want to believe that I didn’t truly know the people that I watched on a regular basis. It felt like I was being lied to and being cheated out of something. And I guess to some extent, I already knew that a part of a YouTuber’s life had to be hidden. I just didn’t know that it was going to be their personality.

The entire docuseries has made me come terms to the fact that I don’t even really know anything about the people that I have dedicated time to support. You really can’t believe everything you see on the internet.