Broadcasting in a Capitalistic System

LvlUpLulu
3 min readApr 22, 2021

It’s been over 2 months since I hit that Go Live button for the first time. For months prior to that, I had been preparing myself to stream and talk to 0 viewers. Instead, what happened was that within the first 10 minutes, I had over 20+ viewers with 13 active chatters! While that was a bit overwhelming, the love and support I have received from the Twitch community, since day 1, I had not been preparing for and I still struggle to find the words that can help me express the gratitude I feel.

As a Social Innovator, I am wired to constantly analyze social constructs and dynamics and I find myself questioning and trying to understand the intentions and motives of people. One of my favorite theories related to this is Liminal Thinking by Dave Grey. He explains that we all live in our own constructed reality bubble, which to the people within each bubble seems to represent the objective truth. This bubble is supported by the pyramid of belief: Beliefs, Conclusions, Assumptions, Relevant (Needs), Experience/Observe. These are the building blocks of the reality bubble. The pyramid and bubble are constructed on top of what Grey calls the Unknowable Reality — the objective truth which humans will never be able to fully grasp.

Why am I talking about this? There are a lot of dynamics within the Twitch community I don’t fully understand — social realities that don’t fully match my own. In life, I am driven by a force to help others. While I can be a highly independent person, I am rather collectivistic in my nature and I strongly believe in the power of collaboration and co-creation. I see many streamers in the Twitch community support each other through what is called “Follow for Follow”. This simply means that a streamer will follow another streamer to receive a follow in return. This will increase their overall follower number on their Twitch channel. An increasingly growing community on Twitch and an average viewership of 75 or higher are requirements set by Twitch to become partner — something which most streamers seem to be striving for.

We live in a society where growth seems to be valued above all else. When I analyze the current system taking place within the Twitch community, I see capitalism. In 2019, I attended The World Economy and the Challenges for the Left, a lecture given by David McNally. During the lecture, McNally explained that the capitalistic system only sustains its own system while destroying others. Capitalisms main focus is to generate profit and to achieve economic growth. However, he said, it is not possible to have economic growth and a good social system at the same time (D. McNally, personal communication, May 12, 2019). There is a strong incentive from Twitch to stimulate streamers to constantly strive to increase their numbers, which in turn seems to distract them from what should be the most important aspect of being a streamer — creating value for other people.

This is not always the case, of course, and my network is increasingly expanding with fellow streamers who also value collaboration and co-creation for the purpose of the common good. With them, I aim to explore how we can, both individually and collectively, create value for others. And, to help each other grow — not in numbers, but as human beings.

In the next post, I will be exploring how we, as streamers, can create meaningful experiences for our viewers. And, I will introduce Indico — a collaborative learning community for creators, which I set up with my good friend and fellow creator GhostyGeist.

Until then, come find me when I’m live on Twitch and let’s have a chat!

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LvlUpLulu

LvlUpLulu is a Social Innovator and Content Creator with a passion for people and planet. Come say hi at twitch.tv/lvluplulu!