Lately, I’ve gotten into the habit of listening to video essays on YouTube while I’m at work (because I’m awesome at multitasking like that 😀 ). Especially video analyses of books, movies, and TV shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender (seriously, there are SO MANY videos about this show and how it does pretty much everything right), Game of Thrones, Disney movies, etc. But after watching a bunch of YouTube videos, specifically of the bookish variety, I’ve started thinking about the reasons why I chose to start a blog instead of a YouTube Channel.
Last time, I’ve talked about Video Games VS Books, so today I’m going to talk about Blogging VS Vlogging. Now, I’m not saying either blogging or vlogging is better than the other, I just want to point out the differences and what I think about them. So after sitting down and really thinking about my reasons, I boiled it down to 3 main points: Expression, Privacy, and Effort (for both the creator and the audience)
Okay, here we go!
E x p r e s s i o n
This is something I’ve always stressed about whenever I’m writing. It’s the reason why I prefer face-to-face conversations over texting. So many times when I send texts to my friends, they fail to realize that I’m being sarcastic. And if I don’t have my sarcasm, what do I have? I’m always very expressive when I talk. I have all the hand gestures, the random bursts into song, using dramatic quotes from movies and overall just being a drama queen. So I often worry that my drama queen-ness isn’t being translated well in text form.
Maybe this could be where vlogging takes the point. In a video, you can gesticulate and speak dramatically to your heart’s content and people can get a good laugh out of it. You can get your point across with fewer words as long as you have the appropriate intonation and gestures.
With blogging, I find it more difficult, and often I find myself writing more, just to get the same effect. Like, am I being sarcastic? Am I wildly waving my arms around to prove a point? Who can know? Sure, GIFs, pictures, and tools like bold, italicized, CAPITAL letters help, but I don’t think it’s the same.
P r i v a c y
I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. It’s also the main reason why I chose to have a blog rather than a YouTube channel. I like the privacy that blogs provide. Writing for a blog, you don’t have to show your face or even your real name if you don’t want to. You can write a post while sitting in your pajamas, eating chocolate cake before you even shower in the morning, and no one will ever know! As for vlogging, unless you only do voiceovers, your face is there for the world to see.
There isn’t anything wrong with that, of course. Some people are really good and confident on camera. But that isn’t the case for everyone. That’s where blogging comes in. Blogs provide a platform for people who want to share their thoughts and opinions but not comfortable enough to be on camera. As dramatic as I am in real life situations, I actually get very camera shy. It’s weird for me to talk normally, facing a camera when there’s no one there to listen. I’d end up stuttering or laughing for no reason, and it’ll end up taking more time than it actually needs.
And for this section, I’m also talking about the audience. I don’t know about you, but reading blogs always feel more ‘private’ to me than watching videos, or at least it feels more alone. I can always take my time reading blog posts and not have to worry about keeping up with another person, especially since I tend to get distracted and by the time I zone back in I wouldn’t know what the speaker was talking about.
E f f o r t
For ‘effort’, I’m going to break it down to 2 sides: the content creators and the audience.
First, we’ll talk about the content creators. For content creators, of course, we’d want to produce great content that people would think is worth reading/watching. And to do that, content creators would put in a lot of effort into the things that they create, including research, coming up with a draft, getting links together, etc.
For bloggers, our ‘blogging process’ include typing, spellcheck, searching for images or even taking photos for the blog post. It may sound easy, but it does take up time, especially with the research and drafting. For vloggers, they have to film and edit their videos, which to me, sounds super difficult because I know next to nothing about editing videos. And not to mention, they actually have to get ready and look presentable before filming! Because honestly, I’ve never seen a booktube video where the vlogger is in pajamas.
The audience, on the other hand, can just sit back, relax, and consume the content!
I’m just kidding. Or am I?
I guess you can say that blogs need more effort to read. You’d need to focus and you definitely can’t multitask. If you can read an article while working at the same time, then please teach me your ways! But with videos, it really takes minimal effort to consume. Like I said earlier, you can listen to the video while still doing something else. And it’s also faster to listen to videos than to read.
According to Entrepreneur.com, we use different brain processes when reading and watching videos. Reading is an active process while watching is passive, so that means your brain works harder when you read. Videos are less strenuous on the brain and need less energy and effort to watch. Maybe that’s why videos are so widely consumed today.
When I did my internship doing digital marketing, I discovered that by 2019, videos will account for 80% of all internet consumption and that videos will get you a lot more interaction than other forms of content. Videos are convenient, accessible and present quick, rich content.
So does that mean text is dying? Or does it mean people are simply getting lazier, especially since watching videos is less demanding and take up a lot less energy? It could be true because the majority of students prefer watching movie adaptation than reading the books when I did my research last year.
It’s for that reason I’m always very cautious whenever I’m writing a blog post. I’m worried that my posts are too long and people would just stop reading half-way.
But when I did a little more digging, I found out that 85% of Facebook videos, which are essentially shared from other platforms, are watched without sound (DigiDay)! So that means, people rely on the images and subtitles to know what the video is about. Doesn’t that mean they’re still reading anyway?
Apparently, watching videos mean we’re unconsciously ‘letting go of our perception of absolute control over our environment’ (Entrepreneur), which leads to watching videos being a form of escapism. But that doesn’t work for everyone. There are people who want to remain in control, and those people would prefer text. Reading allows us to reread paragraphs, skim over less interesting parts and generally lets us set the pace.
Personally, I definitely prefer blogging over vlogging. It’s not just about the privacy issue, although that’s a pretty big part of it, but also because I feel that as a book blogger, it helps me see how different people would present their ideas and the way they write. It helps me practice writing because like it or not, I have to write if I want to post anything. And plus, reading other blogs just give me more reading material, so win-win for everyone!
So that’s my take on the Blogging VS Vlogging argument. I’m sure this exact discussion has been done countless times before, but I wanted to share my thoughts on it and see if I could offer something different to the table.
What do you think? Should book bloggers stay in the ‘blogging world’ or should we move on to videos to keep up with the trends? Is there anything you agree/disagree with? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear what you think 😀