Rain is forecast all day, making this a Saturday to stay indoors. If the storms clear, I’ll go on walkabout. Otherwise, I’m making a second pot of coffee.
There is plenty to do in our community. The United Methodist Church is hosting a “Pharmacy Brown Bag” at which we can take and turn in unused and expired medications for proper disposal. We gathered a bag of pills to be delivered. Friends of the Public Library is hosting their annual used book sale, although I have plenty to read and will skip the sale this year. I lean toward reducing the number of books in the house. There are political events, including a meet and greet in Marengo for our recently declared state representative candidate. The one way hour drive seems too far for a single purpose trip.
Soup is already made for supper so a rainy Saturday is an opportunity to get things done indoors. I will focus on creative endeavor in the form of writing, reading and gardening. Without a source of income like our pensions, I don’t know how creative people make ends meet.
I know several people who consider themselves to be “content creators” on social media platforms like Twitch, YouTube and Tik Tok. They work full time creating content and try to make a living from it. I don’t know how they do without a supplemental source of income. There is money to be made as a content creator yet not enough to pay typical living expenses of $30,000 or more per year.
One individual said in a Facebook post being a content creator takes time away from their previous income pursuits of playing music and writing books. They also mention how many hours are involved and how tired they constantly are. There are no pensions in being a content creator so I’m not sure how it is sustainable as one ages. There may be a niche market for a septuagenarian content creator, yet the role assumes another source of income as a platform.
One of the full-time Twitch streamers I follow has almost daily streams where they are “just chatting.” Whenever I visit, the screen is filled with a well-groomed image of them at a microphone interacting with viewers who make chat posts. I don’t know how the streamer is so positive for five or six hours at a time but he is. One of the tags in the stream is “mental health.”
The attraction for a viewer is that as we became isolated during the coronavirus pandemic, we craved community. I’ve been following streamers for more than a year and the same users gravitate toward the same kinds of streams. I often find myself in streams tagged English, Social Eating, LGBTQIA+, Makers and Crafting, Safe Space and Mental Health. I particularly like streams hosted outside North America tagged English. The interaction between streamer and viewers is a way to establish a feeling of safety and community on the internet. The best streamers address every chat post in a positive manner.
Social media has become an important means of self expression if one accepts it for that. I don’t know about making a living from YouTube or the others. I’m not sure my way of making a living by working jobs that paid into Social Security and Medicare for 54 years was an improvement over the vagaries of being a content creator. The early decisions I made at university paved a path where I could create written works. It freed me from the idea that I needed to earn money with my writing. That has made a difference.