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Popular YouTuber Makes A “Note to Self”

September 7, 2017

WNYC Studios

"Note To Self" by Connor Franta is focused on his experiences with clinical depression, social anxiety, and struggle of self-acceptance.

On social media, many people fabricate themselves for fame. Celebrities find that they need to be what the viewers want and not necessarily themselves; they have to be perfect. If not, they will face criticism from the online community. Even though pressure exists, YouTube personality Connor Franta still shares his life with his viewers beyond the camera. This year, he wrote the book, “Note to Self,” about his mental illnesses throughout adolescence and adulthood.

Before having millions of followers online, Franta grew up in the small town La Crescent, Minnesota. At 17-years-old, he wanted to connect with the outside world and found this freedom through posting YouTube videos. For the first two years of YouTube, Franta made comedy sketches and “vlogged” (or filming a day in his life).

Since his videos gained so much popularity, many doors opened up to Franta, including being able to publish a book. He took this opportunity to do something he never did in his videos: share his life outside of YouTube. This “behind-the-camera” point of view showcased his imperfections instead of hiding them.

Throughout the book, Franta openly talks about his clinical depression, social anxiety, and struggle of self-acceptance. Any mental illness is difficult to talk about, but he makes the reader recognize illnesses are not taboo. They impact many people, so supporting people suffering from mental illness in any way is important to him.

Even though this book addresses serious topics, it does not feel sorrowful. The vibrant and colorful photography allows the reader to visualize his perspective. Additionally, the use of poems, short stories, and essays feels like a diary, allowing the reader to feel emotionally connected to Franta.

On every page, the book has an interesting insight on how unpredictable life is. I have found this book therapeutic to my friends and myself. It has helped us to overcome our problems. And as a pro tip of advice, read this book when you are alone. The emotional rollercoaster I went on was crazy, but it was a healthy type of crazy. I grew as a person and many readers can too.

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