01.02.2022 – 06:00
NDR North German Broadcasting
The stress for influencers is apparently greater than the public realises. After several YouTubers such as Josef Buchholz (“Joey’s Jungle”) and Melina Sophie Baumann (“Melina Sophie”) announced their exit a few weeks ago, other social media stars are now talking about the pressure in the industry. “You have the feeling that you’re being watched all the time,” says YouTuber Jasmin aka “Gnu” in an interview with the research format STRG_F (NDR/funk). With 1.24 million subscribers on YouTube, she is considered Germany’s most successful gaming influencer. She describes the constant involvement with analytics – YouTube’s usage analysis system – as a stressful feedback loop. The amount of work is also enormous. “Many think you sit down, play and record games,” says the gamer. But it was “ultimately a lot of stress.“
YouTuber Florian Diedrich aka “LeFloid” describes in the STRG_F interview how the stress led to alcohol abuse for him. In order to be able to fulfill his workload and his role on the channel, he started drinking alcohol at some point – even during the streams. “I then realized I was going in an incredibly unhealthy direction,” LeFloid said. Then he pulled the ripcord.
As dazzling as the world of influencers often seems, business is tough. Jonas Ems, who has 2.75 million subscriptions on YouTube, describes how views and mental stability are linked. “If you perform poorly in the long term, this is linked to existential fears,” says Ems.
For some, the constant stress leads to serious psychological problems. As a teenager, Roman Lochmann and his twin brother published videos on YouTube under the name “Die Lochis”. In an interview with Strg_F, he says that today he suffers from anxiety and panic attacks. “There were really dark phases that are directly related to this career.” The brothers have since left.
The platform’s algorithm rewards those who post regularly and consistently. The number of clicks, likes, shares and subscriptions determine the value of a channel. The advertising industry is guided by these numbers and the pressure to remain relevant to them is great. For many influencers, it apparently means that they hardly take any breaks. TikTokerin Nadine Breaty, who has around eight million followers on TikTok, has not taken a vacation for a year and a half. The last time she took a few days off, she lost 10,000 followers on her second channel Instagram. YouTuber LeFloid says his last real vacation was five years ago – his honeymoon. But he also worked there, according to LeFloid.
YouTuber Pascal Becker, known as the streamer “Kalle Koschinsky”, ended the revision with a burnout. This was a long time coming. “I didn’t want to admit that I was overworked,” said Becker. “Especially in our job there is no sick note”.
The platform did not want to comment on the question of what responsibility YouTube has for the mental health of its creators.
STRG_F (NDR/funk), Tuesday, February 1, 2022, from 5 p.m. on the STRG_F YouTube channel
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Original content from: NDR Norddeutscher Rundfunk, transmitted by news aktuell