"What's up, Nat Cats?"
In the past week, this one phrase has become a warning signal to my friends that the camera is on and Snapchat is watching.
My first vlog was done as a complete joke. I was showing my friends a vlogger on YouTube and made a comment about how anyone could do it. There was really no talent involved.
So I opened Snap and created my first vlog. My voice was high-pitched. I twirled my hair as I talked. I discussed the most unimportant events of my day. I was a natural.
That was vlog number one.
One week later, and that number has multiplied. One joke has now turned into somewhat of a lifestyle. I vlog at every opportunity I can get.
Walking to class? Vlog. Going to yoga? Vlog. Eating dinner? Vlog. Falling down the stairs? Vlog. I no longer see the difference between an appropriate and inappropriate time to vlog. It is a part of me.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, I could have much worse habits (like the soda one I am currently in the process of breaking.) My friends, on the other hand, disagree.
The second I utter the words "What's up, Nat Cats?" they groan. If we are in a space where others can hear, they scatter or pretend they do not know me. They play the vlogs in front of me on full volume so I can cringe at my high-pitched voice, and mimic the eye roll I do along with my opening catchphrase.
How do the vloggers on YouTube do it?
I know they have supportive fan bases, but how do they deal with the judgmental looks from those around them? After my week of vlogging, I can't even gather up the courage step foot back into the library coffee shop because of how often I videoed myself in there.
As embarrassing as it was, I did enjoy it for the most part. It helped me give my friends back home a glimpse into my life at UNCC, as well as allowed me to interact with some of my Snapchat friends I don't usually see. It also helped me gain my own voice, no matter how squeaky and uninfluential it was.
Being given freedom to say whatever you want for ten seconds (if you only post one Snap) is intimidating. I had no idea what to talk about. In all honesty, I still don't, but it has made me comfortable talking about the ordinary in a way that makes it extraordinary.
Maybe no one really wants to hear about my experience being glared at by a goose on my way to class, but does that make it pointless to share? Everyday experiences are routinely glorified. Just look at some of the most popular comedians. What makes their stories any more important than mine?
By no means will you find me trending on YouTube anytime soon, but I can guarantee this week will not be my last journey with the fun that is vlogging. I have once again found my voice and decided it is worth sharing, even if the audience is only a handful of people.