Let’s have a break from the ‘My weird life’ series and have a quick blog about something which I have been thinking about for a while. I know that age is just a number and that you are as young as your feel, but I sometimes do feel that I was born in the wrong era! Why? well many of the things to do with technology I wish had been available when I was a lot younger and, if this had been the case, maybe what I would be doing in life would be slightly different now. I wrote a blog post on my ‘professional site‘ some time ago titled, I have a confession! It was a popular ‘waffle’ mainly because of the title I think, rather than the content. One part of the content of the post was my confession about being a streamer and I wanted to share with you all the positives and negatives of streaming…at my age!
I really enjoy streaming, YouTube (both personal and professional accounts) and broadcasting on my radio station. Many of my colleagues support my radio station although few see the point or reason for me to stream my games or produce YouTube videos and live shows. I guess there is some sort of performer trying to get from deep inside my psyche and it manifests itself in these social media sites. Although much of what I am going to talk about relates to all aspects of my ‘social media’ activities, I’m going to focus on streaming as a basic starting point. Being ‘old’ (nearly fifty) does have an impact on streaming and, as always, here is a summary in three points…
Time and Money – I work full time in a job which I really like. This definitely has its advantages when streaming because it means I am not solely reliant on streaming for cash and as a job. Its more of a hobby which I do in my spare time. Because I have a full time job, it does mean that I have an income, which helps me finance my streaming. It would be nice if the stream was more self financing, but to be honest, it seems very strange to be asking people to donate money to my stream for me to do what I really like doing. I was watching a Valikinfx’s Stream the other day – this is a bit of a tangent – and I noticed he had a target to donate money to ‘update’ his site. This seems strange to me, since if I wanted to update my streaming site, I think I would try and save up some cash to implement this. Obviously, I’m not a main line streamer and don’t understand the complexities of the industry. Although I do have some spare cash (notice the word ‘some’) I have very little time! I have a full time job and life to engage in and this takes time and often has to take priority. I try to stream on a Saturday 15:00 – 18:00 but if I am required to be in work that day, then I’m afraid the stream suffers. If I was a lot younger, I feel that this would be reversed – I would have little cash and lots of time. I guess this is where the business model for the target and donation comes in. When it comes to time and money, being older definitely has both a positive and negative impact on my streaming.
Jokes and Audience – Anyone into advertising and marketing will tell you that the most important aspect of promoting your stream etc is it know your audience. When I am broadcasting, depending on the show, I have a good idea of my target audience. However, when streaming this causes me somewhat of a problem. I’m not a top class gamer, I frequently go the wrong way in games and I don’t really know what I am doing half the time. Indeed my playing style was once called unorthodoxed! Many people watch streamers to learn how to play or to see achievements. This is definitely not what I provide – which means I am not attracting that audience. Talking about attracting – I’m also not young, handsome, pretty or glamorous and so don’t attract that audience either! Finally, I doubt that there are many people watching Twitch of my age, so I am thinking that my audience is quite….unique! Hopefully I attract some people who enjoy watching me play the game, but when it comes down to an actual audience, I’m not sure that I fit into a ‘box’. I do attract some people who frequently come into the stream and make jokes, usually using the words ‘dad’, ‘ancient’, ‘old’ or just ‘OMG’. One thing about being my age and growing up being ‘unique’ is that I am used to this. Insults and jokes are almost part of the streaming I think. Luckily I have some great moderators and followers who either engage with these people critically or just hit that ban button before I have to suffer too much.
Reactions and Suggestions – I have mentioned before that I really enjoy streaming and, believe it or not, it is something which I actually feel quite relaxed when I am doing it. For me, streaming is like other people’s walk in the garden or sitting quietly watching television. When work is busy and I have lots on, streaming actually reduces my stress. Sometimes people sees streaming as a job which I do and suggest that I should stop and go and relax…usually on a walk. This is a misinterpretation of what I do, and for me it is just as valid for me to relax as someone else walk in the garden. Notice, I never say to people – “Why don’t you relax and stream this weekend” (smiley face) each to their own. I think the younger generation recognises that streaming is a thing and few would query it and established streamers would not have to justify it. To many of my colleagues, my activities on Twitch appear to be ‘pointless’ and even ‘unnecessary’. I’m not the sort of person to be secretive about things and I am more than happy for people to know what I do. But sometimes reactions are…well difficult to absorb. I do wonder, as I write this, whether this is actually a misconception of mine which I put down to age. Maybe everyone who streams has the same reaction when they tell people what they do, but for the purpose of this blog post I’m going to put it down to age…so…hard luck.
Wow, that was a bit of an epic! I’m been storing it up for sometime, so thanks for sticking with it and either reading the whole post or listening to the audio version. As always, I’m interested in hearing your views on the topic. Do you think it is strange that older people stream? Is it essentially a young person’s world? Should only people with expertise or good looks stream? As always, there is a comment box below for your responses or you can contact me through the usual social media site – including Discord! – yes I do have it, although i’m not partnered like some streamers.
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