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The truth about quitting YouTube

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Quitting Youtube

You know, it's reached that point where every morning I wake up with a cringe, mentally preparing myself to check my phone. There's this trend circulating among YouTubers lately, and before you accuse me of hopping on the bandwagon, let me assure you, I've got something to say about it. Many YouTubers have been coming out, declaring they're quitting the platform, each with their own reasons. Some valid, some not so much. And then there are other YouTubers chiming in, commenting on everyone else's decision to quit.

Now, I've caught a few of these videos, not all, because truth be told, I'm not much of a YouTube consumer. Shocking, right? I create videos because I'm passionate about teaching photography. But let's circle back to that later. What struck me is that nobody seems to have nailed it yet. I don't know if I'm alone in feeling this way, or if others are just better at brushing it off, but it seems like nobody is addressing the core problem behind YouTube and why it's not as glamorous a career as many perceive it to be.

Sure, people talk about quitting because they want to spend more time with family, or they're overwhelmed by the workload, or they're either not making enough money or making too much. But here's the thing: if you're surprised that being a YouTuber is hard work, well, duh! When I first started, I used to glance at other creators and think, "That seems easy." But now, as a full-time photographer and content creator, let me tell you, it's no walk in the park.

 

Sure, making money on YouTube can be tough, especially with the stigma attached to it. Ever noticed how people shame YouTubers for taking deals, big or small? And if you land a major sponsorship, suddenly you're not allowed to criticize the brand anymore. I mean, seriously? I've been a photographer for over 25 years, and now I'm supposed to bite my tongue about a brand I've trusted for decades just because they're paying me? Ridiculous.

But the real kicker, the reason that would make me consider quitting YouTube, is the online abuse. I don't even want to call them trolls anymore; it's straight-up abuse. Every day, I brace myself for the hateful comments on Instagram and YouTube. And let me tell you, after blocking countless individuals, the negativity doesn't hit me as hard anymore.

I'm all for constructive criticism, but there's a fine line. Comments like "Smile more" or "You don't know what you're talking about" cross that line. And the worst part? It's not just faceless trolls; it's sometimes your own friends who suddenly turn on you, nitpicking everything you do.

As a woman, the criticism can be even more intense. Wear a nice dress, and suddenly you're accused of trying to get clicks. Go a day without perfect makeup, and you're not taking your job seriously. It's exhausting, and it takes a toll on my mental health.

That's why I'm grateful for platforms like BetterHelp, which provide access to licensed therapists when you need it. I've used it in the past, and it's been a lifesaver, especially in dealing with the emotional toll of online hate.

Now, I could go on complaining, but that's not my style. I'd rather tackle these issues head-on. So, should I quit YouTube? Sure, it crosses my mind sometimes. But then I remember all of you—the wonderful souls who make it worthwhile. Despite the trolls, there are countless individuals whose lives I've touched with my content, whether it's teaching photography techniques or offering business advice.

So, no, I won't quit anytime soon. I'll continue to stand up to the negativity and focus on the positive impact I'm making. And for those of you considering leaving a nasty comment, how about spreading a little kindness instead?

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The truth about quitting YouTube


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Vanessa has been photographing weddings, events, portraits and lifestyle for over 20 years.

She's a Canon Explorer of Light, an honor given to only 5 photographers in the United States, and her work has been published by Yahoo! News, Grace Ormonde, Style Me Pretty, Rangefinder and more.

With her practical and open-book style of teaching, she shares everything she knows with hundreds of thousands of photographers as an educator and influential sparker.

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