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Lonely Streamers

July 19, 2018

The Verge: Twitch streamers who spend years broadcasting to no one

Lonely Streams

So just like with other forms of white male entitlement, dudes in their teens and 20s think that they should be rewarded just for being white and male. They don’t have to do anything to set them apart from any other streamer - they see other streamers getting millions of views and making a career out of it, so in their mind there’s no reason they shouldn’t be successful if they do exactly the same thing. They play the same games, talk the same way, make the same jokes, and they act like just being present is enough to guarantee success, because that’s the narrative they’ve been fed their whole lives.

Then they get bitter and resentful when people don’t watch them, and it’s the same destructive cycle as guys who resent not having friends, or who resent the fact that women don’t want to date them. People are less likely to want to be friends with, date, or watch someone stream who’s bitter and resentful at their lack of success. And unless they’re thoughtful enough to recognize this cycle and make a deliberate effort to break it, it’s just going to keep getting worse.

But I also think articles like this and the “lonely streams” site don’t help anything. Call out the entitlement and shitty behavior when you see it, but whatever the tone of this article is (I can’t tell if it’s intended to inspire pity or mockery) all you’re going to do is make people feel like garbage for no reason at best or feed into a shitty dude’s persecution complex at worst. Our response to streamers with no viewers should be “hey it’s cool that you’re trying something, I hope you have fun; if you don’t, it’s not a big deal, there are lots of other things you can try.”

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