Tears of Joy

Seeing a stranger be validated by 2,000 fans made me cry

November 4, 2019

Last weekend my brother and I went and saw a comedy show in Jacksonville. I wanted to treat him for his birthday coming up so I bought tickets to see Cody Ko and Noel Miller. YouTubers who we both happen to be fans of.

It was a very cool and interesting experience. I've only known about them for the past six months, but their videos get millions of views. I wouldn't be surprised if you, the reader, have no idea who I am even talking about. But they sold out this entire 2,000 person venue for a show that we had no expectations for. 

We've only seen their videos which usually take place at their desk inside their LA apartments. A very intimate setting. It almost felt like I knew them going into this show. Almost as if I was expecting to see some friends get up on stage. It was a very weird experience. 

They don't feel like normal celebrities. If I go see a professional sport or a live concert, it feels different. I don't feel like I know them. I've only ever seen them perform, but yet with YouTuber's I see a glimpse in their personal life. I know who their friends are, I know who their girlfriends are. I've seen what their apartments look like. Their entire career from start to finish is broadcasted on the internet. It's a lot more personal.

Which is why I think I got emotional when I saw these two YouTubers get up on stage in-front of a sold out show and perform. Watching them be successful at something they enjoy made me want to cry out tears of joy for them. I felt happy for them. 

But I wonder where that comes from. The emotions. 

I think part of me sees myself in them. I watch them be successful at something I aspire to be. 

I find myself thinking, I can do that. I can be that. This is what success is going to look like for me.

Or I wonder if it's something deeper. Watching them become validated by 2,000 strangers in under a second is something so pure, so essential. I lust for it. I envy it.

Either way it brings light to the numbers of the internet. Here are two entertainers that are selling out venues around the country, yet nobody in my social circles have ever heard of them. 

One thing they said was that it was nice to see the faces behind the views. 

That really struck me. My almost 4,000 subscribers on YouTube doesn't feel like a lot. In comparison, top YouTubers have millions of subscribers, so 4,000 feels like nothing. 

But take all 4,000 people and I wouldn't be able to fit them in this large venue. That's powerful.

What an impact a couple videos can make.

(wal•do) — Person
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