Truman, the main character of the 1998 film, “The Truman Show,” believes he has a normal life as a typical salary man, but his life is being broadcast live all over the world from the moment he is born until he becomes 30. While Truman was forced to expose his private life in a make-believe world, in modern times, there are real people who become like Truman voluntarily revealing their daily lives to others. They are called “vloggers.” A vlogger shares his or her day with viewers through a video content called a “vlog.” Viewers peek into the daily lives of various people, including such mundanity as a vlogger unboxing a parcel, making toast and taking a subway ride. The Argus looked at the cultural trend of vlogs.
What is a Vlog?
The word “vlog” is a combination of “video” and “blog.” It refers to video content recording of one’s daily life. After shooting video, a vlogger edits it, adds subtitles or music and uploads his or her completed vlog on YouTube, blogs or social media. Today, students, office workers, housewives, celebrities and more go in for making a vlog.
The most common style of Vlog
A typical day of ordinary students and workers
A vlogger usually compresses his 24 hours into a 15-minute video. All 65 videos uploaded by the vlogger “Ondo,” a businesswoman, are composed of commuting, shopping and cooking, and she has 470,000 subscribers on YouTube.
A specialized work life
The occupations of vloggers range from teachers to doctors, designers, nurses and so on. The 10-minute vlog posted by lawyer “Kim Byun,” which included working at the office and going to a workshop, was watched by more than 1.81 million viewers.
Normal life behind the glamour of a celebrity
Celebrities who have only shown themselves on the big screen, have started to show their daily routine to the public through vlogs. Actress Shin Se-kyung, who has uploaded only nine videos related to her everyday life on her vlog channel “sjkuksee” already has 600,000 subscribers.
Why do people make Vlogs?
A vlog vividly saves the precious memories
Vlogs are like “moving diaries.” This is because it provides a sense of realism that text cannot have. Writing and photography can bring out memories, but it is difficult to prevent them from being adapted into one’s head over time. However, a video can be used to recall the memory of the time relatively accurately through the movement and sound of life contained in it.
The subtitles and narrations of vlog enable vivid recording. People add captions to their daily lives by putting in subtitles; they also leave a feeling for a particular situation with narration. People are attracted to vlogs because they can understand their feelings and state of mind in the past through their own words and voices even after a long time.
A vlogger “Lee-hye,” who is working on a blog post and vlog production, said, “Because vlogs can convey the mood of my day livelier than the texts and pictures in the blog post. I can be reminded of the situation well when watching the video.”
“I had only been writing my own blog post until I found the video more realistic than a fragmented picture,” said a vlogger “Boru-Bang,” who makes vlogs about the daily life of a housewife in her 30s. “Listening to my own voice in the video and seeing the movements make my memories more vivid.”
More and more people make vlogs because the various sounds and movements in the video allow them to store memories in a much more realistic format.
A vlog is easy to shoot and edit
Even if you do not have the unique ability to eat 10 bags of instant noodles or to do the cover makeup of a celebrity, nor the technical perfection to do fancy editing, you can try out a “challenge vlog.”
A vlogger can easily film their daily life by using a smart phone that is portable and light. A vlog can be easily made through vlog custom applications. Free applications such as VLLO and Vlogr allow users to insert subtitles and songs into their video easily and then post them on YouTube or social media immediately.
In the case of VLLO, users can simply select the video they want to edit in their own mobile phone gallery and apply more than 20 background music tracks, various stickers and filters to express their feelings. They can also select the font provided by the application to write subtitles and add their own voice to do narration.
“I am not used to filming videos, so I have been thinking about shooting a vlog for about a year. But these days, the editing programs are so well-organized that I did not have a hard time actually shooting and editing the video,” said Boru-Bang.
Vloggers who want to produce higher quality video can use vlog custom cameras. Cameras for vlogs, such as the G7xMark3 by Canon and rx100mk4 by Sony, have the ability to send videos immediately to smartphones and upload them directly to YouTube or social media. The ability to connect short videos to a single video is also installed, making it easier to edit images.
As such, vlogging is becoming increasingly popular due to the convenience of image planning and editing.
Why do people watch Vlogs?
A vlog gives new sources of information
The vlog allows viewers to see the real life of a professional, not a scenario of a drama or movie. Vocational people in various fields exchange useful information through videos and comments and it is helpful to viewers who are preparing to get a job or who are curious about other jobs.
In fact, the baker’s vlog channel “Mobugi VLOG” gives students who dream of being a baker practical information. Other viewers who work at the bakery leave comments to exchange more information.
In addition, viewers catch up on information about the restaurant where a vlogger went to, the clothes she wore, and the cosmetics and cooking recipes she used. Kim Min-ju, a student of Ewha Woman’s University, said, “I often visit a mart on my way to buy toast materials that appeared in my favorite vlogger’s video. When I am curious about what kind of cosmetics she uses in the video, I post comments on YouTube and the vlogger shares information through her replies.”
Like this, people watch a vlog because they can instantly learn information they did not know about from other people’s daily lives.
A vlog heals viewers through non-stimulating content
Today, as the number of single-person broadcasting stations is increasing, there is a greater diversity of content. Many viewers frown upon provocative material when they find content that makes them feel comfortable. In fact, according to a survey conducted in February by the 20th Research Institute of University, the majority of those in their 20s, who are attracted to content about everyday life, accounted for 58.7 percent of the total.
A vlog has no stimulating factor because it mostly consists of spending a lazy day at home alone. In addition, viewers can watch videos more comfortably because they can easily relate to ordinary daily routines. The people in the video usually prepare to go out, take classes or go to work, chat with friends, unpack a package and eat late-night snacks at home. Sharing a small part of one’s daily routine with others is also considered a form of pursuit of timidity.
Park Ji-won, a student of Sungshin Women’s University, said, “I am reluctant to watch simulating food videos such as eating 100 hamburgers at a time, incendiary content encouraging conflict and sensual videos. But a vlog itself is not stimulating and it gives me the time to heal.”
As such, people search and watch more and more vlogs because they can feel a sense of comfort from them and it may allow them to reflect on their own lifestyle routines and remedies.
Is there any issue with vlog?
Concerns about the violation of portrait rights
A vlog is usually filmed in a crowded place such as at a subway station or on a busy street. When the vlogger takes a camera of every movement, the person walking along the street or person sitting next to her sometimes comes into the camera angle. As a result, people who have not consented to be in the vlog are exposed and this can cause an infringement problem related to the “right of portrait.”
Under Article 10 of the Constitution, the portrait right is the right to not be photographed or published without permission. The criterion for judging the violation of the portrait rights is the possibility of identification. Even if one’s face is not shown, and only a part of one’s body is exposed, it would be acknowledged as a violation if that person can be identified.
In fact, in November 2018, the teenage vlogger “JS_diary” uploaded an apology video to all of the people seen on her vlog without their consent and subsequently deleted all of her videos.
Kang Min-hyung of YouTube Lab said, “People who want to make a vlog are recommended to be well-informed of various laws so that they do not include information related to others’ privacy that those people do not agree with.”
In order for vlog to be a sound culture, vloggers must respect others’ privacy. If someone who has not given their permission is captured by the camera, the scene should be retaken or pixelized.
Controversy over recognizing vlogger as additional job
As a vlog can be completed just by capturing daily activities, more and more people are running a Vlog channel while they are busy. As a result, there is a conflict between a businessman who enjoys having a vlog as a hobby and a company that considers it as a side job.
Most workplaces have adopted an office rule that calls for focusing on work and prohibits outside work. Samsung Electronics and Kookmin Bank maintain internal regulations to prohibit outside work that interferes in workers’ affairs. According to Article 25 of the National Public Service Law, civil servants are also unable to engage in outside work that has an unfair influence on public affairs. Under these circumstances, conflict between the two sides deepens.
In fact, in October 2018, there was a national petition to ban a teacher from uploading his videos on YouTube and monitoring his business activities. An anonymous teacher in his 50s said, “If you shoot a vlog, it will have a negative impact on not only one’s ability to concentrate on their job, but also may adversely impact fellow teachers and students.” On the other hand, an anonymous teacher in her 40s said, “If shooting a vlog does not degrade job efficiency, it should be acknowledged as a hobby.”
Social consensus should be reached to prevent further conflict. As more and more people are willing to participate in the vlog trend, it is necessary to clarify the scope and reasons for being able to work concurrently.
Withculture, the trend research institute, designated “the law of SELLPY as an iconic word for 2019.” “SELPPY,” a combination of “self” and “happy,” means “the law to find one’s true happiness.” “E” by SELPPY is “Emoticonsumer,” which means an image of one’s feelings. Vlog, which captures the feelings of moments in one’s daily life and gives an indirect experience of someone else’s routine, is also one part of the emoticonsumer phenomena. The rise of the vlog as a major trend reveals some limitations, but The Argus hopes that the public can cope with it wisely and that people’s happiness can be reflected concomitantly in the video, so that the public can share in each other’s happiness.
By Kim Min-ji
Staff Reporter of Culture Section