One of the most difficult act of a modern human is to eat alone. The essentially mechanical act of carrying a spoon from the plate to your mouth 50 to 100 times, can get lonely if you have no company. Even science proves that eating with company is healthier.
The solution that many have devised of watching a video while eating is rejected by Indian ayurvedic doctors, who say that the food does not support the body effectively when you are distracted by some media.
But now the Koreans have innovated a novel way to eat alone.
Originating in South Korea during 2010, Mukbang is a portmanteau of the Korean words for eating and broadcast. So, basically you set up a camera, get your food before it and record whilst you eat. You earn revenue with the adverts that companies run on your video. And the viewers get company whilst they eat with you. Some on diet eat salads while they watch the YouTuber devouring a pizza.
Viewers also comment on live Mukbang videos. And the YouTuber interacts with them through the process.
While some fans do appear to crave the company of eating with someone else, if only virtually, others seem to be using the videos as a way to change their own relationships to food. Some use the videos to stimulate their appetites, and others as a dieting tool.
Several channels on Youtube and other streaming services are entirely dedicated to Mukbang, gaining millions of views daily. While in India, YouTube is still popular for DIY videos, and the likes of cup song. Even comic stars have become a huge hit in India. But in Korea people garner million followers just for the simple act of eating.
Some YouTubers in India, with a following of a few lakhs, have begun conducting Mukbang on their channels.
But in Korea, there are YouTubers who earn more than $20,000 in a month just with Mukbang videos. Of all the things happening on the internet, this could really be the funniest one, or the saddest.
In comedy lies tragedy. And this is exactly what Mukbang is. Though it may seem funny, it highlights the extent of loneliness among us presently. That you have to seek professional YouTuber’s company when you eat alone.