A few weeks ago Stephen made a vlog about labeling your batteries and asked viewers to ask any questions in the comments about anything related to the hardware, software, equipment he uses or the philosophy he has while shooting. Stephen decides to answer the most liked comment on that video. The commenter asks how he handles the balance between what parts of his life he reveals and what parts he doesn't.
The question is basically asking "How do you know where to draw the line?". Stephen says that it's been an evolution since he didn't start out knowing what he would and wouldn't talk about. Then, he says that a lot of people comment about how this community feels very wholesome and he loves that. This was the type of community he wanted to create and nurture. Stephen tries not to talk about anything divisive since he doesn't want to divide people, he wants to create a community that brings people together. He didn't want the comment section to become a war between people.
Stephen talks about how politics and religion are those divisive topics that he won't discuss. He decided from the beginning that he was never going to talk about these topics. He says that his channel is a slice of life channel and those divisive topics are not what this channel is here for. Over the years, he might've brought up some topics that he shouldn't have, but it was nothing too bad. Stephen wanted these channels to be a place where people could gather to have fun. The biggest arguments he has seen in the comments are about video games. Stephen is okay with people talking about what certain gaming companies did or didn't do.
Another topic he won't discuss is romance. Stephen and Mallory share the same opinion about not showing any PDA. The amount of affection they show on camera is not them toning it down for the video, it's just a part of their actual relationship. Their relationship is good and their private relationship has affection. Stephen says that it was never important for him to show his affection publicly. He mentions that you can ask his friends and they will tell you that he and Mal never do anything affectionate in front of people. PDA is not a bad thing, but when he was in high school PDA always made him uncomfortable. He says that some people really push the idea of what is socially acceptable to do in public. They will occasionally hold hands in public, but it's very rare. This is not reflective of the affection they show each other at home, particularly since Stephen is affectionate to Mal at home. He and Mal never really discuss anything beyond that.
Next, he talks about how his life is public more than he ever thought it would be. He doesn't regret it though. One-third of his life is out there and having something that feels private and personal to him is a sanctuary. Stephen says that he would be disingenuous if he said that he didn't have a views on politics or religion. But, keeping his opinions to himself prevents divisiveness between the viewers. Mal is also able to share secrets with Stephen that are kept between the 2 of them.
The last thing he won't discuss is health issues. Stephen is mostly open about discussing his health problem, but is more reserved about talking about the health issues of people around him. He doesn't want to invade their privacy, so he would either not talk about it or be vague about it unless he has their permission. Likewise, he won't discuss the health issues of his family members out of desire to protect his family. For example, Mal had had multiple different doctor's visits, but they have never talked about what they were for. It's nothing serious, but they don't talk about it. Even for illnesses in the extended family, he will withhold the information. Stephen says that he might talk about it if he's trying to explain the context of what's he's discussing. For example, Steve has had Parkinson's disease even before the vlog began, but he had never mentioned it. He wanted to protect his dad since it's tough for him and it can cause embarrassment for him. However, when his dad starting painting, the context behind it became more important. Stephen felt like his successes were greater than the disease he had and it was important to tell this story. But, sometimes he won't reveal things for privacy reasons.
Stephen love the community they've built. He's ecstatic that there have been so many people that have been watching for so long. Mal says that there are people who have been watching Stephen for longer than she has known him. There are people who have watched his stuff from high school which was before YouTube was even created, when people had to download WMVs off the internet. He creates a certain type of content that attracts people who are just good people. As he continues his YouTube career, he's still trying to figure out where to draw the line in order to avoid conflict, divisiveness, and controversy. He has molded a community of good-hearted people and he feels honored when people tell him how wholesome their community is. He wants to be able to keep things this way.
Stephen talks about how few things are truly personal to him, that people don't know about. However, most of these things is stuff that you would never expect to see on StephenVlog in the first place. He has done a good job of being an open book with everything. In this day and age, politics has become heated, so a lot of people are having a hard time being an open book. Some of Stephen's friends and colleagues have tried very hard to stay neutral, but sometimes fail a little. Stephen says that he's going to continue doing what he wants which is slice of life content with them eating dinner, petting cats, and talking about video games. He loves this content and so do the people who have been watching for a long time. Stephen says that he is not going to change that. Finally, he tells viewers to comment down below any questions they have for him since he might occasionally do these types of videos again in 2020.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- PDA - Public Displays of Affection
- Parkinson's Disease is a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, often including tremors.
- WMV - video files