First and foremost: I am SO thankful for each and every individual who has taken the time to acknowledge me and my music. I am blown away every time it happens and I feel super blessed.
When people randomly come up to me, sometimes they let me know the first video they ever saw of me or others let me know their favorite song of mine. From California to France, Korea to Atlanta.. New York... etc. This is one of those examples where I feel God's grace just pour all over me because there really wasn't anything in particular I did besides be myself and do what I love.
Nobody has to listen to me and nobody has to take the time to encourage me or share with me their stories.
I'm a normal 24 year old citizen in this world that has to work a regular part-time job as I pursue music. Music is something I plan on pursuing until the grave, but even after that I'm sure I'll be singing praises to God in heaven.
But can I share with you one of my biggest pet peeves when I first meet someone? And I'm sure I'm not the only "YouTuber" that has gone through scenarios like this:
Person A: So, ________ tells me you're a YouTube star? Me: Ahh.. noooo. I've just been posting videos for a while. Person A: Yeah, I've never heard of you though. Sorry. [sounds more like "sorry, I'm not sorry"]
This is where it just makes me feel super awkward.
How am I supposed to respond to that?
Instinctually I want to say: "Why are you saying sorry? It's okay, I've never heard of you either." But NOPE because then I'll come off as the biatch, but it's the truth, yo!
Usually I go with "Why are you saying sorry? Don't be sorry lol I just love to sing." [shrug]
Why do people insist on apologizing? When you say sorry, are you saying sorry because you really are sorry that you haven't randomly stumbled upon my video ('cause that isn't something to apologize for) or are you apologizing because you feel sorry for me because I may be embarrassed that you didn't recognize me for being a YouTuber?
Here's the thing: I will never expect you to have heard of me just as you don't expect me to have heard of you.
I actually get excited to meet new people so we have more stories to share without possible preconceptions there may be from watching my videos prior to meeting me in real life.
I will however introduce myself in hopes that you introduce yourself and we take some time to get to know each other without anyone feeling belittled or awkward. Whether you're a musician or not, it doesn't make me value you more or less.
What we also have to think about is the importance of choice of words. That same person who "apologized" for never hearing my music before could've easily said "I'll have to check you out sometime!" or "Cool" or "I see" ("I see" is kind of awkward too but I'll take it) or just don't bring up the whole YouTube thing in general.
Even this past Sunday, someone I met - let's call him Bob acknowledged he knew of my YouTube channel and was being chill about it. I thanked him and was really happy to hear he had heard my covers/songs before. But his friend was being so awkward and honestly, kind of rude. Let's call him Richard.
[We're in line for dinner] Richard: OMG.. Aren't you.. Jennifer Chung.. Bob: Stop it.. Richard: YouTube Star Jennifer Chung omg. Bob: You didn't even know her until I told you today. Richard: OMG I'm going to have to go home and watch all your videos today! Bob: -_-
I had to just say hi with a smile and walk away from it. He was obviously being sarcastic & it really made me feel uncomfortable but things like that come with putting yourself out there.
This isn't a big deal to the point where I despise people and it isn't a complete rant, but I write this in hopes that more people will think about the way they say things or approach others.
Treat others the way you'd want to be treated.