What is a “creator of comfort”?

Among the legions of young people who spend their days watching content creators on Twitch and YouTube, a new honorary title is emerging...


Among the legions of young people who spend their days watching content creators on Twitch and YouTube, a new honorary title is emerging: The Creator of Comfort.

The term is used by fans to describe the videographers and channels they look for when they need familiar content, soothing enough to be left in the background while cooking or playing while falling asleep.

“People have told me before that I am their creator of comfort, which is like the biggest compliment in the world. And they always say, ‘Oh, I’ll come to your videos when I’m feeling down,’ ”said Caitlin Galamaga, 24, who posts videos on YouTube and TikTok in which she listen to pop music and talk about his life for more than 160,000 subscribers.

Fans are looking for designers “who really give off that warm vibe,” she said. “There is a warm energy around them, and they make you feel at ease.”

Ms Galamaga recently posted a clip listing her own favorite “comfort content“, which featured traditional vigils – TV shows like” The Office “and” The New Girl “- alongside popular streamers like JackSepticEye and Valkyrae, who often check in while playing video games.

According to Ms. Galamaga, not all YouTubers scratch the Comfort Creator itch. “Your favorite creators might be people whose content you really enjoyed, but your comfort creator would rather be your go-to when you’re feeling down,” she said. They are “the people who pull you out of this sad place and give you inspiration, hope and joy.”

It’s a new twist on an age-old phenomenon: Relaxing has always been one of the main reasons people read, watch TV, or consume media of all kinds.

The deprivations of the past 18 months have prompted people of all ages to seek mental salvation from their media regime. In a July 2020 New York magazine article titled “Welcome to Peak Comfort TV,” Kathryn VanArendonk describes how the public in the pandemic era Shifting away from brutal prestige dramas like “Breaking Bad” and towards light fare like “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “Floor Is Lava”, a wacky game show.

“With the terror of a global pandemic which is raising anxiety to its highest point and making television one of the few safe entertainment outlets, the desire for comfort has become particularly noticeable,” she said. writing.

This television dynamic also exists among young viewers; generation Z obsession with “the officeIs well documented. But for many young people, television doesn’t offer the same level of privacy as digital content creators, many of whom stream hours of content every day while interacting directly with their viewers on social media and in the comments section. of their flows.

“To me, a ‘creator of comfort’ is someone whose content brings comfort, peace, relaxation or other feelings of happiness to people,” wrote Alayna Saunders, 21, a student at the ‘James Madison University, in an email. “By watching a video, you can distract yourself from anything that may occupy it and change the emotional environment you find yourself in. “

Ms Saunders said her favorite comfort creators are a YouTuber duo called Game Grumps and another named Vinny Vinesauce, and that she would put their old videos in as “soothing background noise” while doing other things. For her, familiarity is attraction. “I love Vinny and the Grumps in part because I know what to expect from them. I understand their humor and how they work, ”she wrote.

Young fans describe their comfort creators as emotional safety blankets. Fin, a 16-year-old high school student from Georgia, wrote in a Twitter post that videos made by popular Minecraft YouTubers, including Quackity and Dream, offered a lifeline “when I’m not in the best place mentally.”

Hosannah, 16, a high school student from Florida, said watching her comfort creator – a YouTuber called Jschlatt – had helped her through some dark times.

“It’s an incredible distraction and I became very grateful for this distraction after coming out of a very abusive relationship,” she wrote in an email. “I almost got attached to him when I had no one else to turn to. It makes me feel safe and I don’t have to think about some of the traumatic things I’ve been through.

There have been vast discussions on the topic mental health among many content creators. It follows therefore that young people see their relationships with these creators in terms of mental health. “I see a lot of YouTubers being incredibly open about their mental state, the things they’re going through,” Ms. Galamaga said. “And I think that makes everyone a little more comfortable talking about it.”

“The comfort shows, you know, you feel connected to the characters, but they’re not real,” Ms. Galamaga said. “Whereas when you have content creators, they’re real people, and they tend to be a little more open about how they feel and you feel connected to them on a personal level.”

Shelby Renae, 24, a content creator with 1.3 million subscribers on TikTok, wrote in an email that fans often call her their Convenience Creator. She believes that live broadcasts offer young viewers a particularly effective way to train the genre of so-called parasocial relationships that so many viewers seek, leading to feelings of ease.

“Many livestreams are comfortable and heartwarming, especially since they typically last for many hours and you see someone chilling out most of the time,” she wrote. She cited the rise of discrete streaming formats as “mukbangs or relaxing podcasts, which can again bring that relaxed feeling with a friend.

Over the years she spent as a creator, Ms Renae delved into her fans’ desire for low-impact streaming. “I’ve learned that every moment doesn’t have to be intense and hilarious for a true supporter, and that they’ll watch when you’re really just yourself,” she wrote. “It can be like having a familiar friend there without you having to put in the effort on your part.”

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