As we get deeper into summer and I find my laptop under the couch more often and waiting eagerly for it to cool in the evenings for my walks alone with Molly, I’m having some revelations. The other night I had this dream that I was standing on a desert at night. There was thunder and lightening, suddenly a huge bolt of lightening hit the earth in front of me beginning to split the ground. I didn’t get it at first, but I get the meaning now. The desert represents a clear setting, one that is open to possibilities and waiting for direction, sowing of ideas and the building of new things…or it could just mean peace and calm within the mind. The thunder and lightening are all the disruptions. The bolt that split the ground represents our minds split when we have even the slightest addiction to something.
I’m like every other person out there with my love of being online. And there are many positives to online; research, learning new things or how to improve skills in old things. We need to be wise users, choosing what we watch so that it enhances knowledge and improves the quality of our lives. Many people are passive and just watch and scroll mindlessly, wasting hours, days, even their whole lives watching a screen. However, even when you are learning things, isn’t there a limit to how much you truly need to learn? How many frugal videos do you really need before you get what to do to save money and how many cooking videos can one absorb? Or home décor, gardening, zero waste, or what ever your thing is? Even the spiritual well being videos began to all sound the same. I could write scripts for all the fluffy self help and manifesting channels. I have the quotes memorized.
As many of you know, I have been heavily influenced by Esther Emery and her take on being off media completely. I read her book, What Falls From The Sky, and when she said she found her soul during her year off line, it stuck with me, repeating over and over in my head. I don’t know that I could go as hard core as she did, but as I practice more mindfulness, I’m more and more turned off from what I find online.
When you take some time off the computer or public TV then return, it feels shocking to the senses.
I am a YouTube creator and I’ve questioned my offerings on the channel for years. There is a lovely community and we have supported each other for so long. My title is vague, She’s Drinking Coffee. Can’t be anymore unclear about what I’m offering and I did that on purpose because I am just offering a glimpse at my world. My world is of a homemaker, a writer, creator, new gardener, lazy baker, mother, awkward homeschooler, seeker of spiritual inner workings, and above all one who wants deep healing and well being.
But I’m not teaching anything, just sharing and I would keep to that to be safe. I am also not doing anything new or original. On YouTube you have to either live in some wonderous land and do life differently, create drama and strife, or teach important skills, a traveler, or coming up with new skits constantly to keep the views coming. But everyone is doing that. You almost have to sell your soul and become something you aren’t.
I’m seeing a pattern with YouTube that is getting too weird for me. If you find something, say housecleaning…you will quickly find hundreds of channels doing it. Frugal channels have been multiplying by the minute and now they all title the videos “Extreme Frugal!” to get more views. And it works because you can see the hungry souls race over to the new channels to hear the same drill over and over and over and over….
I started watching the Russian villager channels. I loved watching them out in the country cooking outside over wood fires and harvesting potatoes. But guess what? There are hundreds of those channels now doing all the same stuff. You can see someone in Italy, Russia, Korea, and Mexico cooking over wood fires outside with chickens running around and surroundings made to look very rustic. There is a formula and once it proves popular everyone rushes to do it. Same back drops, even the same titles on videos, same actions, same back ground music.
I am doing all the same things that you can find on hundreds of other channels and done far more efficiently and with better lighting than on my little, funky channel. Cooking. Check. Cleaning sped up to modern tunes. Check. Talks on well being and manifesting. Check. Advice about frugality. Check. Grocery hauls. Check. I have nothing new. I am just having fun and having an on going conversation with everyone who visits. I was playing and enjoyed it.
But now, as I scroll through the vast library of channels on all the same topics I cover, I feel uninspired and a bit like a YouTube sheep just bleating and moving with the herd.
I was going to wait for a full summer to explore my feelings after some time weening myself from the habit of being online, however, I’m very clear in my soul that it is time to end it. I hang on because of the community and my wanting to please others. I did have some fun with this second channel. The royalties doubled, the channel was growing. These are very hard to pull the plug on. But I know that after this summer I will have nothing new to offer anyone. It will be the same thing but maybe different music. Even the writing topic has been milked and I don’t have much to say on that topic either.
I will not be returning to my YouTube channel. I will not even make a last video because it would be an excuse to drone on and on in a video one last time. I want to get off this laptop and go back to the old days before I started playing this game. It feels shallow and corporate these days. Everyone is doing the same formula, the same titles, the same sets. It is almost like a suburbia with the cookie cutter channels in various categories. I’m guilty of the same pattern.
And the desperate clawing for more subs, more views, more money! How many times do these channels truly think they have to remind us to “hit the subscribe button” and “smash that like button”? Do the creators really think this will make all the difference?! Anyone who watches YouTube knows were the hell these buttons are for goodness sakes!!
So, as you can hear in my tone it is time to walk away while I still feel kind and useful. I have come to the point of barely being able to stomach YouTube.
I will leave my channel up this time and I’ll leave this blog up, however, I can’t say what I’ll do with the blog, I can say the channel is complete in that I’ve offered all I have.
I will miss the community very much, I have received so much love and support and I want everyone to know that you all have inspired me and kept me company and motivated long after I ran out of fuel. I have kept every letter and every card anyone has sent me and my house is decorated with hand made gifts from you all. It is all of you that made it hard to leave, not the YouTube scene or money.
And the money, I’ll still make some royalties from views long after I’m gone. It will be a few hundred but that is enough to cover some nonprofits such as 8 Billion Trees, Tree Sisters, ASPCA, Positive News, and World Vision. If there is extra I will donate a chunk to causes such as UNICEF and Heifer Int. These are great causes.
I wish all of you the best possible life! Find your bliss and keep following that path.