Thursday, June 26, 2014

"Get a real job"

Nowadays video sharing sites such as YouTube and twitch.tv have become so big that many people can actually make a living off of the ad revenue of their videos. This is a rather new form of entrepreneurship that was basically impossible in the past. (The closest thing decades ago was to have such a great idea and be so talented and extremely lucky, that you got your own TV show at some TV broadcasting company, but this was exceedingly rare.)

Oftentimes these people will sell merchandise in their videos (eg. books or other stuff), or simply outright ask for support (eg. through Patreon), in order to be able to keep doing the videos. Almost invariably you will see a ton of "get a real job" comments.

This is amazingly annoying to me. (No, I'm not a video producer and this hasn't happened to me. The sheer stupidity of those comments is what annoys me.)

What exactly is this mythical "real job" that these people are talking about? How is an online content producer (most often an entertainer) not a "real job".

Are actors not in a "real job"? How about writers? Directors? Comedians? TV hosts? Are they not in "real jobs"? How do you define "real job" in a manner that includes those but excludes online video content producers?

Is the idea that if you get money directly from your viewers or customers, you are not in a "real job"? Is a "real job" something where the money goes from clients to the worker through a corporation, rather than directly? If you are an actor working for a movie company you are in a "real job", but if you produce and publish the videos yourself, and get your revenue directly, you are not?

In other words, do you need to work for a company, instead of being an independent entrepreneur, in order to have a "real job"?

How does that make any sense? And if it doesn't, then how exactly do you define "real job" in a manner that includes everything else except people making YouTube videos for a living? What is this mythological "real job"? I can't understand.

The people making those comments are the epitome of sheer stupidity.

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