Not many content creators can say they’ve been to the Met Gala or Vanity Fair’s Oscar party, but Emma Chamberlain’s much more than a YouTuber these days. She’s a meme-worthy red carpet host, fashion “it” girl, and coffee connoisseur with her own Erewhon smoothie. After taking a break from YouTube in 2022, the 22-year-old is now back on the platform in a new creative era of sharing content she loves while avoiding burnout. As for TikTok? She hasn’t opened the app in two years.
“Talk about the most blissful part of my life: not being on TikTok,” the Anything Goes podcast host jokes. Without an FYP to distract her, Chamberlain says she has more free time to follow her other interests, like documenting her travels to cities like London and New York. While the style of her vlogs has changed a bit from comedic daily diaries to artsy documentaries, one thing that’s stayed the same is using a Canon camera to capture her content. Chamberlain, who’s used Canon cameras since she started her YouTube channel in 2017, is teaming up with the brand for a campaign that encourages up-and-coming YouTube influencers to get creative. According to the social media pro, “the key to creativity is the ability to be spontaneous.”
Below, Chamberlain shares what fans can expect on her YouTube channel moving forward, if she’ll ever come back to TikTok, and her decision to hard launch her relationship with Tucker Pillsbury, aka Role Model, on Instagram.
Elite Daily: Since you’re inspiring others who want to become YouTubers as Canon’s new ambassador, what’s the best advice you have for someone starting out, especially to avoid burnout?
Emma Chamberlain: When you enjoy what you’re doing and you’re excited about it, it’s much easier to keep pushing through. At times, it can be easy to do what you think is going to perform well or go viral. That’s what leads to burnout, because it’s almost like you’re pushing against your own creativity and you’re not flowing. Don’t be too hard on yourself, either. This isn’t like doing heart surgery. We can take a week off.
ED: I love that. What are some of your favorite ways to unwind?
EC: Unwinding starts with turning my phone off, and putting it as far away as possible. On a day-to-day basis, I think exercise weirdly really helps me, like going on a walk, going to a workout class, or doing yoga. Sometimes the workout itself doesn’t really help me unwind, but afterward, I just feel this sense of total calm. I basically have three things that I do back-to-back: exercise, hot shower, and skin care routine. It reminds me of gym, tan, laundry from Jersey Shore.
ED: That sounds nice. So, you’re back to posting on YouTube after taking a break. How did you decide what to share online?
EC: The number one thing I consider now is privacy. Posting online is dangerously public. When I first started, I would film everywhere I was going and everything I was doing. You learn over time that’s actually not safe. Now I film when I’m traveling and when I’m out and about exploring, because it’s not where I live. Also, it’s something I want to document for myself as well. It’s this sort of perfect combination.
At some point, I’m going to figure out how to film in LA again, in a way that feels safe and private for me. In the meantime, I’ll post things here and there.
ED: Your vlogs feel more like mini-documentaries. How would you describe this new era of your YouTube?
EC: I’ve always loved documentaries. It’s my favorite thing to watch, so naturally, I’m inspired by that type of video-making. It’s what I find the most mentally stimulating, while simultaneously being calming. That’s sort of what I’m seeking content-wise for my own viewing purposes, so that’s what I want to be making.
When I was younger, I liked funny stuff that was fast-moving and would keep me entertained for the entire 20 minutes that I was watching it. Now, I’m looking to slow down a little bit. I think there’s a level of humor that I’m missing from my videos that I’m interested in reintegrating. There’s some improvement there that I’m excited to play with.
ED: You’re back on YouTube, but you aren’t coming back to TikTok. Why didn’t you return to the platform?
EC: I’m beaming right now because I can’t even express how amazing it’s been to get off that app. I’m not against all apps; I adore YouTube, and listening to podcasts. I even enjoy watching TV, and I think I can have a healthy relationship with Instagram.
However, TikTok is impossible. From a creative standpoint, anything that I’d put on TikTok, I’d rather just put it on YouTube. From a consumer standpoint, TikTok absolutely just ruins your brain. I mean, it made my anxiety worse. I was so addicted to it and I couldn’t turn it off. I would spend two or three hours a day scrolling on TikTok. I would recommend everyone who’s reading this to get it out of your life, and watch as you get four extra hours a day to do whatever you want. I’m passionate about this. Maybe that’ll be my first TED Talk, the anti-TikTok TED Talk.
ED: Without TikTok, what are your current phone habits?
EC: I enjoy posting online, but I’m not like, “Oh, I need to be posting a YouTube video or on Instagram on a schedule.” The only part of my career right now that’s on a schedule is my podcast. If somebody wants to hang out with me, they can go there and listen to me talk twice a week.
With everything else, like Instagram and YouTube, I let myself be more intuitive and creative. It’s kind of allowing me to be free in those spaces and just do whatever I want, whenever I want.
ED: Speaking of social media, you hard launched your relationship with Role Model on Valentine’s Day this year. What made you want to go public?
EC: We’ve been together for three years now, and he’s become a really big part of my life. At this point, we’re both mature enough where, no matter what happens, it’s OK that it’s out there. I can’t say the same for other situations. There’s sometimes this ounce of doubt, but whether we get married and have 50 kids or we break up tomorrow, I’m happy that our relationship is public because he’s been such a huge part of my life.
He’s really great. He’s a good person, and that’s what’s most important.
ED: That’s so sweet. Can we expect any appearances from him on your YouTube?
EC: I’m really careful with putting a camera on anyone’s face because not everybody wants that. It’s definitely not impossible, but I won’t make any promises. I would love to put him in some videos. He’s the funniest person I know. It would be incredible to get to include some of his humor. He’s way funnier than me. So stay tuned. Anything’s possible.
ED: I would love to see you guys together if he’s funnier than you.
EC: He literally is. I’ll work on it. I’ll start microdosing the idea there.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.