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Monday, April 22, 2024

Documenting our everyday lives is the norm, and here’s why

<p>Trisha Paytas, a YouTuber with more than 4.7 million subscribers, vlogs her trip to the grocery store.</p>

Trisha Paytas, a YouTuber with more than 4.7 million subscribers, vlogs her trip to the grocery store.

People are expressing themselves in forms of media that used to be reserved for professional companies and social media influencers: vlogs and podcasts.

A vlog is the video version of a blog post. Vloggers turn their phones to the side and use the camera as a means for the outside world to see their everyday life. It used to be something YouTubers did to keep fans updated. Seasoned YouTubers are known for their flashy production and regular upload schedule. But now, for those of us whose job title isn’t “YouTuber” with classes to attend and jobs to work, we can make videos like “A Day in My Life as a...” or “What I Eat in a Day.” These vlogs can center on more casual things anyone can do with just a phone and a bit of creativity.

People go to events like concerts and music festivals and take the opportunity to document them from their point of view for the world to at least for their friend group. The videos usually consist of jokes that viewers are in on, but the video style isn’t exactly Hollywood-level production. The low-quality transitions and royalty-free music become a part of a joke in the videos, becoming something akin to sarcasm. People are not recording these videos to create award winning content, it's for their memories.

For those watching, the production does not really matter. It’s about being able to see what their friends have been up to and the shenanigans they find themselves in. This year, vlogs have become mainstream. The same goes for podcasts.

Everyone and their mom has a podcast. How many times have you been hanging out with your friends, laughing at their hilarious jokes and heard someone say, “OMG, we should make a podcast!” The idea stems from thinking you and your friends are the funniest or wittiest people you know, and the world deserves to get in on your profound jokes and stimulating intellectual conversation.

Podcasts used to be reserved for major publications like NPR or The New York Times. Now, people are learning the ropes of creating and editing podcasts. Usually, the audio consists of a group of people rather than the usual one person talking to another person. With these new-age podcasts, if you tune in, it’s as if you’re listening to a group of friends having a conversation on the latest sports, pop culture or political news. There is the occasional special guest, usually another acquaintance not normally a part of the podcast commentators. With vlogs and podcasts becoming more mainstream, young creators find a means to express and speak their mind in a format that seems more grown-up, while also not being too serious. We have the ability to take older forms of media and make it new again.

We millennials take the modes of communication and entertainment set before us and use them to speak to an audience that knows us. Popular YouTubers and podcast creators do not know their audiences personally. Chances are, you probably know someone with a podcast or vlog.

Jackie DeFreitas is a UF journalism junior. Her column appears on Wednesdays.

Trisha Paytas, a YouTuber with more than 4.7 million subscribers, vlogs her trip to the grocery store.

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