March 4, 2024

Every day, Victoria Rodríguez turns on her computer, puts on her white headphones and starts playing. For six hours she plays The Sims, Hogwarts Legacy or the video game that is in fashion. “Hi Javier. Hello Maria. Thanks for another month of subscription,” she says as she excuses herself for being late; she has entertained herself by recording content for her Tiktok. Victoria is 24 years old and for two years she has been broadcasting on Twitch. He does the same as what he dedicated his free time to while studying Early Childhood Education, but now charging: “That my hobby I turned it into my job for me is a dream. It was so unimaginable…”, says the young woman, who started with 30 followers and now has 21,315 on this social network. Two recent studies suggest that the creation of content on the Internet (either as influencer, streamer or youtuber) is one of the dream professions for a good part of Spanish young people, more than in other European countries.

Technology has permeated so much among the youngest that they show a “moderately high” desire to develop professional careers linked to information and communication technologies (ICT). 33.2% of adolescents in Spain would like to dedicate themselves to jobs related to the creation of content on the Internet. 6.5% say they have already started the path and are dedicating themselves to it, according to data from the report The digital leisure of the adolescent population, of the Reina Sofía Center on Adolescence and Youth of the FAD Youth Foundation, an entity dedicated to the study of the social and cultural context of adolescents and young people.

The objective of the study was to understand how digital technologies are intertwined in the daily life of the adolescent population, with special focus on the forms of leisure and entertainment that they have now. To achieve this, eight previous investigations of FAD were used, among which stands out Consume, create, playa report based on a survey of 1,200 adolescents and young people between the ages of 15 and 29 in Spain.

The sociologist of the Fundación FAD Juventud Alejandro Gómez Miguel assures that this responds to the fact that we live in an increasingly digitized society. “It is a consequence of the times that more and more careers related to it arise.” In addition, he explains that one of the reasons for young people to see it as a profession is that they continually see people creating content and they find it normal, everyday and achievable. Although, at the same time, they are aware that becoming successful is difficult. In Spain, the third activity that adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19 usually carry out with ICTs (information and communication technologies) is following the content of influencers and content creators, indicates the FAD study.

The important thing is that today people consider that they can dedicate themselves to it, earn money and turn it into a profession. They don’t see it just as a hobby. Although Gómez Miguel admits that it is a rather abstract profession. “There is no career to study and be influencers. It has to do with communication, but not at the same time. He has to do with many things, but at the same time with nothing in particular ”.

Before being a influencers, Victoria Rodríguez was preparing some oppositions to obtain a teaching position in Cádiz. There were two years left for the exam. She “she said: when they come closer I start to study, but every afternoon I did twitch“, go on. The last six months before the call, she gave up. “I was consuming YouTube, Twitch, Tiktok a lot,” she recalls. She spoke to her mother and told her: “If I start studying the opposition now, I’m going to take time away from Twitch and I want to try it because it’s my dream,” she says. Her mother supported her. What started as a hobby turned into more than eight hours of work a day.

“I had no idea that twitch I was going to end up giving it financial benefits, I didn’t even think about it ”, says Victoria. Now not only play on this platform, but check emails, schedule tweets, and upload tiktoks, that he edits at night after his six hours of streaming. Since May of last year, Victoria has been part of UCAM eSports, an electronic sports club of the San Antonio de Murcia Catholic University. Victoria works as a content creator. Together with other students, she plays League of Legendsa strategy video game in which hundreds of participants connect in real time, or Valorant.

A difficult goal to reach

Not all young people who dream of being content creators succeed. One in ten have tried, but the vast majority have seen their dream frustrated because they have not achieved the expected success. Gómez Miguel points out that young people are also realistic: “Although there is a great desire to dedicate themselves to it, they see it as something idyllic. As in the past who wanted to be an actor, actress, soccer player or singer, now the fact of being influencers it looks like something spectacular. They are the rock stars of now,” she notes.

Irene Vizcaíno is 19 years old and for the last four years she has been creating content for social networks. The platform on which she has the most followers is Tiktok, with 38,000. “Every day I try to upload something, although as I combine it with my studies I fail a little during the week,” says the young woman, who is in her second year of Law at the University of Valencia. “I still can’t consider it my full-time job,” she admits.

Although he adds that he has earned money from networks like Twitch, where people can subscribe by paying a monthly fee or paying a virtual currency. On Tiktok, on the other hand, you receive branded products. But he admits that what he receives is not even half the minimum wage.

The dream of living from content creation is marked by a generational gap. Among the youth there is a positive vision, in general, of the creators of content, especially among the groups under 25 years of age, delineating a certain generation gap within the young people themselves: 47.1% of young people between 25 and 29 years old considers that most of the creators make a living from stories, compared to 31.9% of young people between 15 and 24 years old.

Gómez Miguel explains that the desire of young people is a matter of adaptation: “It is to see a market niche and take advantage of it.” But we must not forget that there are other problems behind it such as job insecurity, unemployment and the late age of emancipation. “To this we must add the 2008 crisis and the pandemic, which have caused young people to be in a rather fragile situation.”

For Irene, working as influencers It is “the goal of everyone who shares content and likes the networks.” But he knows that it is very complicated: “Now you have content of all types and tastes,” she says. “I consider the creation of content as a hobby that it could climb to a profession, but it depends on the luck factor, and I prefer to have the insurance of studying my career, ”he settles.

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