After the death of the popular YouTuber Desmond "Etika" Amofah on Tuesday, friends, fans and other makers have opened up to the toll that an online personality can be for someone's mental health.
Balancing an intense upload schedule and dealing with increasing pressure to be a public person can make anxiety and depression worse, say many makers in recent years. Amofah & # 39; s now deleted final video, which has since been uploaded by others to YouTube, directly discusses the negative effects of social media on its health.
"It can destroy you," said Amofah. "It can give you an idea of what you want your life to be and it can be blown up completely out of proportion, dog. Unfortunately it digested me."
There have been months of concern among fans about Amofah's mental health, but Amofah's recent behavior also made fun of people who thought he was doing it or looking for attention, Twitch streamer Asmongold said in a stream on Tuesday evening. In October 2018, Amofah forced YouTube to ban its account upload pornography to its main YouTube channel. He later streamed one keep a distance with the New York police in his apartment after they were called because he posted a photo on Twitter of himself with a gun.
"Many people think they can troll and abuse online personalities because they forget that they are not immune to psychological problems," Asmongold said. "Because they are seen as being able to make money online, they should not have social or mental problems."
The way people treated Amofah while he was struggling was a symptom of what creators need to address as public figures, said Cory Kensin, a popular YouTuber game game that left four months in 2018 to focus on his own mental health . "People on Twitter spam clownemoji & # 39; s to him – you can literally feel like you have no one else", Kensin said in a video that was posted last night, discussing the ways in which people would mock Amofah's behavior.
The decision not to send insensitive or trollish comments, even if it seems like a joke, is a step people can take to help people who seem to be struggling, according to Alan Bunney. Bunney is a former professional gamer who became an internist and now runs the popular Panda Global e-sports brand and works with a number of prominent Twitch streamers in the playroom. People quickly forget that YouTube personalities and streamers are people with feelings, he says. And that is why it may be easier for people to say something without thinking about the consequences.
"What you're joking about is a persona, not a person," says Bunney The edge. "You know, you laugh with what you think you understand. A persona is only a part of that person; you don't really know who they are or what they go through."
Fiona Nova, an actress and a streamer who was a good friend of Amofah, some viewers of Amofah criticized for turning his mental crises into jokes. "He needed help and we knew it very well," tweeted Nova. "I am pissed off that his very damn clear signs of mental illness have been rejected by not only the hospitals, but by many of his fans. Misses were made, jokes were made." Alice Pika, a streamer and ex-girlfriend of Amofah , Amofah said "glued" to the negative messages about him. "He was told by a fan how he changed his life and went back to hatred."
Countless testimonies over the years from video makers, including Elle Mills, Bobby Burns, Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg, and Kensin have talked about how the pressure to maintain their YouTube presence has increased their stress and – in some cases – exacerbated existing mental disorders. Kesin said it was only after taking a break of a few months on YouTube that he realized that he was bad for his mental health. Bunney says he hasn't met a streamer or maker who doesn't regularly work with a therapist. Isolation, anxiety and mental health problems are becoming more common in space, he says.
"I know you may have the idea that if you don't upload, or if you don't even go on Twitter or Instagram for even one day or a week, you get forgotten," Kensin said. "Social media is dangerous. It can cause permanent damage to your psyche."
YouTube has introduced a number of methods to address mental health issues in the community, including launching new & # 39; Creator Courses & # 39; specifically focused on depression, anxiety and burnoutand try to be more transparent about how the platform treats YouTubers who take time off. YouTube Creators, an official YouTube channel, has published interviews talk about how video makers can take more time without having to worry about the loss of their channel statistics. The company has not returned a request for comment on whether video & # 39; s would be running on Amofah & # 39; s channel with messages about suicide guides.
The conversation continues today on Twitter, YouTube, Twitch and Reddit. Bunney, who spoke The edge after hosting a long live podcast and talking to people in the community who were struggling to cope with Amofah & # 39; s death, this emphasizes that this is common but no one is to blame. What people can learn from the tragedy, Bunney suggests, is how you can treat video makers in the future.
"If you see someone tweeting that they are in a bad place – do you know how hard it is for them to say?" Bunney says. "They make this public persona, and for them to break that picture and say," I'm not okay, "that's damn hard, bad place. People should immediately realize that this is not a joke. They must say: & # 39; We will support you, we will continue to consume your content if you are better. You can go away for a month and I will come back to watch your videos. I will still be there for you no matter what "It's so important that we say that."