As I have discussed before, a huge part of the modern phenomenon of online fame is the power of personality and intimacy. Whereas traditional media stars are generally known for primarily for a skill and secondarily for their personal life, some kinds of YouTubers (vloggers in particular) have found their fame by sharing their life with their audience, thereby creating a meaningful connection. This can present it’s own set of issues though, with the main one being the question of how much you choose to share with your audience – including relationships. In this article, I’ll look at three different ways of handling YouTuber relationships (based on real life examples), in the hope that it’ll give future YouTube stars (or even current YouTube stars) some insight on the best route to pick.
1. Keep Things Secret
The quiet approach. You are open with your followers but you keep the more sensitive elements of your private life under wraps.
This allows you to keep your online life and personal life separate, affording you privacy. This approach is also good for if your bae isn’t a fan of being known by tons of people online and would prefer to stay unknown. It also stops people from speculating about your relationship, or being mean about your significant other online.
The lack of information you give your followers about your love life may have the unfortunate side effect of making them even more rabid to find out details about your private life. This may also lead them to speculate wildly about what your love life may entail, sometimes even to the point where it overshadows other things you do. This is something Dan and Phil have sometimes struggled with over the years, for example.
2. Keep Things Subtle
You don’t publise your relationship but you don’t hide it either. The information is tehre but it’s up to the viewers to work it all out. Jack Howard and Hazel Hayes are a great example of this (yes, they’re in a relationship), they don’t hide the relationship, but they also don’t publicise it. It’s lowkey, ya feel?
Pros: It’s a sort of best of both worlds (in practice). You manage to maintain some privacy but you also prevent people from going overboard in trying to find out your secrets. If people become fanatical enough to find out secrets, they will be able to.
Cons: You don’t get to have a ‘Zalfie’ style famous relationship (should you want that) but you are also still susceptible to people prying into your relationship.
3. Free & Open
Exactly what it sounds like. You are open about your relationship and happy to talk about it/publicise it. Louise Pentland is a recent example of this, who revealed tons of info about her new boyfriend (although not his name – but she did say it was not a YouTuber):
Pros: You get to lead the narrative about your relationship and directly address rumours and correct gossip. Zalfie are a great example of this – because everyone knows they’re a couple they don’t have to hide parts of their life from their audience and they Also, on a more coldly business-level, audiences are often very interested in couples.
Cons: While the positives of your relationship are out there, so are (possibly) the negatives. The most obvious negative is a break-up. If you are a public couple like Niomi Smart and Marcus Butler (RIP Narcus), then you also have to suffer through a public breakup, which is not really what you need in a hard time.
BUT: You can own your cons. For example, rather than letting a public breakup be stressful, you can own it in the way that Emma Blackery and Luke Cutforth did. Obviously this is dependent on how amicable the breakup is, but if the option is there, you can totally take it.
What do you think is the best approach? If you were/are a YouTuber, what do you think you would do, especially if you were dating a fellow online star? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page and have a lovely day.