The Study Aesthetic
Watching StudyTube videos for both motivation and procrastination? If yes, join the club!
For both those who love and hate to put their stationary to use outside class, StudyTube is the latest and rapidly growing corner of YouTube where many of our peers are turning for advice and motivation. On the outside, these creators appear to be benevolent, academically inclined and guiding their audience members through their education. However, beneath their perfectly crafted role model exterior, ‘StudyTubers’ are perpetuating pernicious ideas of obsessive productivity, including alarming content such as the ’15 Hour Study Day’ video, which could be devastating to students’ wellbeing. UnJaded Jade’, StudyTube’s golden girl uploaded a video titled, “hustle culture is quaking”, where she reveals her epiphany that there’s more to life than eternal studying. It appears to be more about feeling productive as opposed to truly being productive. StudyTubers are living proof that this non-stop productivity culture is neither healthy nor sustainable.
Keeping aside the obsessive “hustle”, there is no point in denying that StudyTube has created a toxic consumerism trend giving life to an endless promotion of products. This consumerism trend started with Staedler and Stabilo fineliners and escalated to the Japanese Muji pens, the Swedish Fjällräven backpacks, the white table aesthetic, the complex bullet journals, and digital note taking on iPads. Consumerism in StudyTube nothing new. In fact, social media is so rife with advertising and online communities in general have a vast amount of product advertisements. Consumerism in our capitalistic society has always been there but what triggers me is the way in which students get manipulated to think that they need to have the whatever is shown on aesthetic stationary hauls in order to have exemplary grades. Hands down, sometimes it is motivating to purchase a new notebook, it makes you want to write mor and study more by using it. But the questions are whether it is necessary to go to an extent of buying an iPad just to fit into the trend? Why not an ordinary white paper or even the cheap ballpoint pens?
Back in 2017, the verge called the ‘Study blog community’, a beautiful, stressful wonderland started taking something already stressful in itself which is learning to an even more difficult task. With these students have to keep up with the aesthetics and the impossible perfect desk setup. It is sad that despite only being in their early 20s, StudyTubers have already bought into the ideology that success only comes from commercial gains. However, any sympathy for them diminishes when they profit from the very ideologies which have caused them trauma.
StudyTube’s values beg a bigger question: what truly counts as productivity and why do they regard it so highly? Much StudyTube ‘productivity’ entails ticking tasks off of a self-created to do list.
These trends can be quite compelling, and I too am perfectly guilty of perpetuating some of these things myself. I mean it is I the hypocrite who bartered the elegant brown room furniture to white aesthetics.
– Rtr Gethmi Adikari
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