In Response to Shane Dawson’s “The Dark Side of Jake Paul” Episode.

Photo Credit: Shane Dawson via Twitter

Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH.

First and foremost, I am a YouTube junkie. I pretty much watch anything that interests me, and I pretty much know a lot (if not all) of the types of YouTubers that are well-known on the platform. Shane Dawson, a YouTuber with 17+ subscribers, has been declared as “the Oprah of YouTube”, meaning a lot of his current series on his channel are to help YouTubers build their platforms or to get a better understanding of them behind the personas most YouTubers have in front of a camera. His last series, dealing with controversial beauty guru Jeffree Star, has surpassed about 70 million views within 5 videos. His current project, which premiered on Tuesday, is discussing possibly the most controversial YouTuber on the platform: Jake Paul.

Today, the second episode of the eight-part series (yes, you read that right) was posted on his channel. This particular episode focused on Shane going to a licensed therapist to discuss just what it meant to be a sociopath. The clinical term, Anti-Social Personality Disorder, is a mental disorder in which one does not feel any empathy or remorse for their actions or for the ones around them. Some characteristics of a “sociopath” are that they are extremely charismatic and they are instantly likable, they victimize themselves in situations that cause harm to others, they are manipulative, and they seem to never fully “feel” anything; they typically study the body language on others to mimic those same emotions to appear normal to the outside world. Those with ASPD can become dangerous, violent, criminals, and potential murderers, but in most cases, sociopaths are people who try to climb their way to the top, knowing what they are possibly doing is wrong or dangerous. Psychopaths, on the other hand, do not have that distinction between right and wrong.

Many people believe that being a “sociopath” is far-fetched. People believe that it’s rare to come in contact with someone who may be a sociopath when in reality, that’s not the case. In fact, ASPD is considered a common mental disorder with more than 200,000 cases reported a year. In Shane’s video, Kati (the licensed therapist) shared something quite interesting that I personally found frightening and scary:

1 in every 25 people is likely to have Anti-Social Personality Disorder.

1 in every 25 people. Let’s do that math real quick: I help teach a graduate class of 25 students this semester. One person sitting in that room could be considered to be dealing with this disorder, or classify as a sociopath. Again, I’m not saying that there is one in my class, but the example of that one person being amongst a classroom-size full of people is mind-blowing. It potentially means we’ve probably met someone who fell under these characteristics of a sociopath.

Lord knows that I have.

Now, I’m not saying that you have to question which one out of your friend group is the so-called sociopath, but it’s not abnormal for you to be doing in this day and age. Again, we live in such a different world: social media platforms exist where people can hide behind their simulacrums, “extremist culture” exists, tragedy is now recorded on cellphones and shared all over the internet and desensitizes society to express empathy for those affected, and people are willing to do anything nowadays to build themselves up in power and money. Something as being a sociopath isn’t so far-fetched because we live in such a social society where those who are sociopaths can easily blend in with the rest of society.

And I think that’s the true meaning of this Shane Dawson x Jake Paul series: it’s just using an example of the most controversial YouTuber to talk about just how scary social media/internet culture is getting. It’s changing people. It’s helping people create personas they can hide behind to become more approachable and likable for their own agenda. It’s making it harder to weed out the people who are genuine and those who really wear a different mask on their faces on a day-to-day basis.

And that’s the true tea.

Make sure to check up on the first two episodes of Shane’s new series. Whether or not you like Jake Paul (or his dumbass brother, Logan), this series is honestly so interesting and frightening; it’s hard to not be so invested in it. If you’re a fan of Shane’s conspiracy theories series on his channel, you’ll definitely enjoy this series.

Let me know what you think about this discussion!


-Liz. (:

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