OK, if you’re not down with the new media and the YouTubes and the Vines, pull up your best can of Ensure and sit tight. We’re going to break some things down here.
The Teen Choice Awards was Sunday night. It’s an award for the young people. Teens. Tweens. Youths.
Basically, that award show celebrates things people in that young demographic care about. Fashion. Movies and TV shows geared toward them. Movies and TV shows geared toward everyone. And, most notably for this particular post, media that they care about. That includes YouTube, Vine, Instagram and other forms of online communication and entertainment.
You might be shocked to learn that YouTube has more on it than cat videos and Boy Meets World clips. YouTube video creators have become stars in their own right, with millions upon millions of subscribers. Now, there are those who would lament or insult their contribution to the world because, after all, “it’s just YouTube.” And those people would be dumb.
Those people would also be E!, which is not only a major media organization who utilizes these channels, but whose TV network is entirely populated by individuals whose success and fame is far sketchier than the people on YouTube and other social media channels who actually produce real content.
It started when E! posted a lighthearted article entitled “18 Moments from the Teen Choice Awards that Made Us Feel Super Old.” Which is all well and good. I too have little idea who some of the people in the post are. But, and this is key, know your audience. And it helps if your social media sites aren’t trying SO HARD to appear youthful and speak in that hip jive lingo the kids today seem to respond to, such as this:
Basically, you need to have a leg to stand on. And, E!, honeys and sugars, you have no legs. But before you could say “Lieutenant Dan, ice cream!” the internet descended.
Now, what happened next is kind of difficult to figure out. See, E! tweeted this:
Remember that time we gave a YouTube star their own TV show? 🐸☕️ pic.twitter.com/XLjv9j5XUQ— E! Online (@eonline) August 17, 2015
This is in reference to the TV talk show hosted by Grace Helbig, a massive YouTube star. In my professional opinion, E! was attempting to defend themselves from accusations of not understanding the internet by essentially saying “we get the internet—we gave a YouTube sensation a television show” and by including the Kermit meme, which means “but that’s none of my business” or some other manner of silent judgment (I’m explaining this because certain Pajiban overlords did not know this meme and I’m not here to shade those people at all ever *insert Kermit tea meme*). But this was done poorly, as though they did not in fact understand the internet, because everyone took it as them insulting Helbig herself.
The writer of the post, an editor at E! also commented. It went well.
E! Online will be holding a Master Class in Sarcasm, and judging by Twitter post-Teen Choice Awards it seems like all of America needs it— Seija Rankin (@seijawrites) August 17, 2015
Another free lesson: don’t defend yourself like an asshole. Someone needs to hold a master’s class on that and deliver it to pretty much every writer for every website.
Because you don’t get YouTubers? Viners? They’re not real celebrities producing real content? They don’t matter? That’s neat. What are we again? Oh, right, bloggers. People who just a few years ago, and still to people not super familiar with the web, were maligned as unimportant and not producing real content.
Things are changing. The internet is changing. Some of us are getting left behind. And we internet professionals, something that did not exist all that long ago, need to decide if we want that or not.
As for me, I’m just going to be sitting here watching Jenna Marbles videos and Instagramming edits of my favorite ships. Emojis.