The Danger of Self-Help YouTube Vlogs

What could be harmful about a friendly video on YouTube? What is wrong with a kind face sharing their wisdom by talking to a camera that holds thousands of eager listeners?

There is no direct danger. I’ll admit. But there is a reason to be wary of these videos. A reason this blog post will try and share with you today.

Think back to all the self-help videos you’ve watched (if that’s your kind of thing – if not, feel free to still read on). My experience of watching them has been fairly successful. I am subscribed to quite a lot of them and am eager to watch their new videos when the notification pops up on my screen. However, recently I came across a vlogger, and through no fault of their own, they uncovered the secret to me that these videos can be an impossible trick. They can have the best intentions; but I want to question whether we should trust the people behind the camera completely. Again, I am not saying any of this is deliberate or malicious on the act of the vlogger.

The vlogger I began to follow recently, (not naming any names), pulled me in with their artistically done videos and seemingly ‘perfect’ ideas on how to “make 2017 your year”. Their advice was sound. It held all the potential to create a productive and fairly happy person. But what slowly began to bug me as I watched more and more of their videos, was the representation of her life that slowly was revealed as artificial.

The positions of the camera. They captured all the best sides of their life. It circled around a beautifully decorated apartment in America. Always seemingly tidy. The videos showed a character, not fully, but mostly having picked up the pieces of their life and having it more or less together. The videos showed workout routines and “how to become a morning person”. It is the usual footage that circulates the internet around productivity and self-improvement. It seems.

As I watched these videos, I became more and more envious of how organised and together this person appeared. I thought about re-decorating my room since their use of colour was a 10/10 compared to my mix match of shades and fabrics. They had a beautiful planner they used to keep track of their life. I found myself wanting to head off to Paperchase. (That is a very normal thing for me to feel but this time it was different). Luckily, I quickly persuaded myself out of these ideas because, well, they required money. Money I didn’t particularly want to spend. And I don’t think you should have to spend money to get yourself organised.

These clips showed an ideal life of an ideal human. They knew that life had struggles but they had and were facing them all. It empowers you to watch. It’s a highlight reel of somebody’s life. Sharing all the best bits. It empowers you as you sit, under your duvet, with that bag of Doritos, munching and watching thinking “oh my god yes I’m going to do exactly this and have a fantastic life”.

Sadly no. Did you see the irony there? These YouTube videos drag us into a world that motivates us and inspires great ideas (all great emotions and qualities) but I assume sadly fails half of the time to actually get us out of bed and make action.

So, I’m warning all my readers and people who watch these videos. Use them wisely. Don’t envy someone else’s life. Don’t listen to advice and then continue to binge watch and eat your chili heatwave Doritos. This advice is (most of the time) useful in the right hands. But, duplicates of the same advice are circulating the internet and it is done so effectively by disguising itself in different formats.


Basically, to the topic at hand, get off your ass. I feel like this is always my motto? Realise that everyone has down days and you cannot attain to a snazzy vloggers skill of video editing and interior design. But you can get off your ass.



P.s. this counts as my Monday blog so no one rat me out. I did my work. 😉



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