As both a consumer and creator of online content, I watch a lot of YouTube videos.
For the sake of creating engaging content every day and visiting new places at least once a week, vloggers embark on adrenaline-fuelled adventures, exciting travels, and restaurant openings. It is fascinating to watch and makes for great entertainment, but at what cost?
I have noticed that being a vlogger on YouTube, and particularly a daily vlogger, can lead to some unhealthy habits. Of course, we may need to take professional fitness vloggers out of the equation for the purpose of this discussion.
I realised this after attempting to recreate an iced drink at home on video. My intention was to make the drink as healthy as possible because the commercial version of this drink has several spoonfuls of sugar. The video went viral.
From my experience, vloggers often have several caffeinated and sugary drinks a day. They spend a lot of time editing videos, hunched over a computer screen. They mostly use cars to get from one place to another, and rely on takeaway meals because they are too busy to cook. Don’t get me wrong, many office workers have the same issue and rarely cook at home, so it’s not unique to the vlogger.
Of course, I should not generalise. There are many nutritionists and chefs promoting healthy cooking on YouTube. However, the challenge of daily vlogging can take its toll, especially on an emotional level. Many vloggers have had to stop producing content on a daily basis because they started suffering burnout.
The legendary Casey Neistat had to stop his daily vlogs, only to resume them a few months later, because they had taken over his life—not leaving him much time to spend with his family.
Let’s look at an example of the daily routine of the vlogger:
Start the day by eating a home-prepared breakfast of cereal or eggs with coffee. Then, a mid-morning takeaway coffee, a shop-bought sandwich for lunch, several sugary snacks or candy, plus takeaway coffee in the afternoon. A takeaway meal for dinner completes the round up. If there is video editing to be done in the evening, he or she may consume more caffeinated drinks to stay awake.
That all-important upload is the main priority. The reason? Fans need those uploads! It’s as though they can’t survive without watching their favourite YouTuber’s daily vlogs, and some may become quite annoyed if one vlog doesn’t upload on time or at all.
Many vloggers are young, love their job, and thrive on living a hectic lifestyle. I am genuinely happy for them, as long as they are enjoying life and not just pretending they are for the camera. However, as an older person, I know that this type of lifestyle is not sustainable.
Bad eating habits and being sedentary do not pay off in the long run. An unhealthy diet can cause fatigue, lack of energy, and poor sleep—especially when we consume too much caffeine. Spending many hours sitting at a desk, or even worse, working on a laptop on a bed or sofa, can cause back and neck pain, weight gain, and sluggish circulation.
What can we do to change this culture? While I admire content creators who have so many ideas for daily vlogs, I don’t think we necessarily need to expect them to produce content that regularly. As both a consumer and creator of online content, I prefer to watch something that can inspire, entertain, and educate—and I am happy if it takes more than one day to produce.
These are my suggestions for the daily vlogger:
>> Don’t feel guilty if you can’t upload content every day. Set a new pattern for your fans. Perhaps, produce three vlogs a week, for example. Put your own health and wellness first.
>> Don’t make a resolution to be healthier, and then break it by eating junk food a week later.
>> Learn how to cook simple and wholesome meals, and be mindful of what you order at restaurants.
>> Don’t rely on caffeine to give you energy. Go for a walk or a run to recharge your batteries.
>> Make an effort to spend less time attached to a computer screen and more time with friends and family.
That urgent vlog can wait, I promise.
Author: Paola Bassanese
Editor: Lieselle Davidson