Coping with Youtube - and with Real Life
Coping strategies for both your online persona and your real life
Greetings from Tuscany!
As a reader of Streamlining you get to be the first to know about the swish new motorhome that I’m spending the next 10 days enjoying. It’s a Laika Kosmo Emblema 509E. It’s molto bella, and for the next three weeks you’ll be able to follow our travels around Tuscany living La Dolce Vita. I will be joined along the way by the incredibly talented photographer Sophia Mayrhofer.
Five Strategies for Dealing with Youtube comments - and life in general
I knew that introducing EV technology to my channel would create genuine and sincere curiosity, informed questions, constructive criticism, and, unfortunately, ill-informed prejudice.
It was never my intention to leave for Tuscany three days after the initial launch of the new rig, slap bang in the middle of editing and uploading the mini-series. However, the revenue generated from YouTube doesn’t pay the bills. It is the sponsored content that keeps the channel going. The companies who put their faith in me and sponsor content allow me to continue making experimental videos about cutting-edge new tech. For that, I am deeply grateful to the likes of Laika UK.
Since the first video about my Kia EV6 and Compass Rallye caravan just over a week ago, I have been snowed under with comments. 986 to be precise, at the last count. Each one of them deserved reading, and about 95% of them deserved a response.
Or so I thought. Every single comment along the lines of ‘I’m not really an EV fan but I am really looking forward to finding out about your experiences’ was indeed worthy of a response, if only a like. However, I wasted too many hours and too much energy replying to the nay-sayers and the ill-informed, the prejudiced and the narrow-minded.
Determined to enjoy my time in Tuscany and make relaxed and creative videos for those who are genuinely interested, I’ve come up with a few self-imposed guidelines about dealing with feedback and criticism. I hope these might help other smaller YouTubers out there who, like me, do everything themselves. I also think many of these guidelines make sense for life itself. Some are new to me, some I’ve been doing for a while, but this is what I have come up with:
Boundaries are important. Stick to them.
Down time is crucial. Rest and recuperation are essential to your health and wellbeing. If you’re an introvert, you need time alone to process. If you’re an extrovert, you need time to enjoy the company of good people without having to be on show or expected to perform.
Try not to sneak a peek at emails or comments outside your working hours. It goes without saying to switch off notifications. Remember, you can’t expect others to respect your boundaries if you don’t respect them yourself.
Read your comments at set times, not as they come in
Switch off those damned notifications!
We’ve all done it. Last thing at night we’ve just popped in to check our comments (or our emails), seen something hurtful, then lay awake all night ruminating and wasting all our energy on a fittingly clever response. Come the morning, we never post this response when we realise that the comment (or email) wasn’t even worth our energy.
Or maybe we had a perfectly lovely day ruined because we checked our emails or comments during a quiet moment. Then we get angry at ourselves for checking. It’s a downward spiral whichever way you look at it.
When you deal with comments as they come in, we feel bad if it’s a negative one, because that’s the only comment we deal with. As the one and only comment, it carries no context.
Dealing with comments (emails) all together at a set time not only protects your free time and energy, it also helps put the negative into perspective. The overwhelming majority of comments are always supportive and kind. Reading one hurtful comment on its own leaves you to dwell on it. Dealing with one hurtful comment and 20 supportive and kind comments in one sitting lays out in front of you that overall, you’re doing a great job. You’ll never please all the people all the time, we know that.
Don’t be upset with people you don’t respect
I have never, ever, received hurtful comments from other creators with more than 1000 subscribers. Why? Because even if they don’t like or agree with what I say, there is an understanding and a respect for the work I have put in, as well as a level of empathy.
I remember one of my favourite YouTubers Sean Tucker coming out with this advice. A successful photographer and YouTuber with over 500,000 subscribers, Sean was tired of being told how to run his channel or how to improve his photography by those with little or no experience. Sean’s advice was to only listen to feedback from those you respect - those who have experience or standing in your field.
Feedback is a gift. Without constructive criticism we will never grow. Dialogue is important. However, you have to be selective about whose feedback you chose to take on board. More importantly, you have choose whose feedback to ignore.
Save the explanations for those who want to understand you. Give only your silence to those who are determined to misunderstand you
This is a new one for me, and one I needed highlighted and underlined when dealing with the EV announcement fall-out. As mentioned earlier, it’s the people who keep an open mind and want to learn who are worthy of our time and attention. I’ve wasted way too much time recently on those who choose to only believe evidence that supports their prejudice, while proactively ignoring anything that challenges their beliefs or behaviours, no matter how compelling or credible the data or the source.
It’s your party. You have every right to choose who’s invited
Whether it is life in general, your social media feed, or your YouTube channel, you have every right to evict (block, ban, unfollow, hide) hurtful people who are out to upset, embarrass, or openly criticise you. You owe them absolutely nothing. None of us wants to create an echo chamber where everyone agrees with everything and nothing new is learned, but if someone is presenting prejudice in a hurtful, offensive, or closed-minded way, you don’t owe them anything. Reign in your boundaries.
While the above is primarily aimed at creatives who put their work out there into the world, it can also apply to aspects of life in general. I hope at least parts of it might be of use to you.
If you have any guidelines you find are useful to you and would like to share with other readers of Streamlining, please do take a moment to leave them in the comments section. I look forward to learning about what works for you!
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