The fact that I’m a kid with a laptop in the twenty first century means that it’s normal for me to be interested in the colourful annual carnival that is the Teen Choice Awards.
Now, for those of you who are above nineteen years and/or actually have a life, the TCAs are basically the youth’s answer to the Oscars. Except it’s not limited to the acting industry. And that the winners are decided purely on the number of public votes they collect. And that the trophy is not a sleek, shimmering silhouette; it’s a five-foot tall surfboard [so I guess not so much like the Oscars after all].
This year’s TCAs just wrapped up and because of a multitude of reasons, I couldn’t catch it live on the telly. I wasn’t going to stay deprived for long, though, and so the day after it aired, I was scouring Google for answers; how did it go?? Who took home the most surfboards?? WHO WON CHOICE SOCIAL MEDIA QUEEN?!
As I scrolled down page after page of search results, a name that kept popping up as one of the night’s big winners was “Lilly Singh.”
If you don’t know what the TCAs are, chances are you don’t know who Lilly Singh is, so let me bring you up-to speed; Lilly is a YouTuber, a professional who makes a living through filming five-minute long videos and posting it on YouTube, a video-sharing website.
If it’s a bit of a shock to you that putting together a couple of minutes of footage twice a week can rake in enough bucks to have a roof over your head, let me assure you that Lilly –and her colleagues- are doing much, much more than earning their daily bread.
From writing books with staggering first-week sales to performing on sold-out world tours to releasing bestselling documentaries, YouTubers are a new breed of businessmen and women, hungry to break through social barriers and keen to have a blast while doing it.
The very idea that you can forge a successful career through making videos with your computer’s webcam is by itself a novel one and if you add the influence and the fame that comes with it, there’s no reason why YouTubers shouldn’t be every bit as powerful as they are today.
In fact, it’s gradually boiling up to the point where it’s beginning to seem like YouTube really is taking over the world.
From appearing on global talk shows to having their faces plastered on billboards all over, YouTubers are reinventing celebrity. They’re real and accessible, yet strutting down red carpets every Friday night.
Having a million subscribers is no longer a big deal, having a billion total views is now the norm.
Their numbers are continuously surging, their reach is constantly growing.
Honestly, I’d be surprised if YouTube didn’t take over in the next couple of years.
But for the time being, let’s sit back and toast to Lilly Singh’s big night; may there be many more Teen Choice Awards to come [and, hey, maybe even an Oscar or two].