We all have squad goals — your squad being your group of closest friends and your squad goals being everything you’d like your group of friends to do or accomplish. From celebrities to Average Joes, #squadgoals permeate social life in 2016.
But can you build an exclusively online squad? As a cam model? The answers are yes and definitely yes.
Squad building that’s exclusively online is obvious. Gamers, for instance, often are saturated in a social world that exists only online. Though people continue to debate the authenticity and quality of interactions that are face-to-face/IRL over those that are strictly virtual, the fact remains those virtual squads show da fuq up. They may not have been her “closest friends,” but comedian Leslie Jones’ squad was in full effect when she was hacked recently. And the BeyHive, Beyoncé’s legendary online squad, has developed a life of its own.
Usually due to time issues, dedicated cam models often are limited in their off-site social interactions. Though you certainly know lots of other people in the industry, these often-cool interactions may be more frenemy than squad-building. Because your time online likely is largely spent interacting with regulars and new friends in open chat, it may seem like squad-building is beyond your reach. This is not true!
One place to cultivate your squad is right in front of you: with your regulars and established fans. People who “get it” may choose to support you in a number of ways, ranging from voting in contests and showcasing how they’ve donated (e.g. via a screen grab of gifts) to social media promotion. Your regulars and fans can tweet about you, share your accomplishments and schedule with their networks online, and signal boost your relevant @ mentions. All this will enhance your digital footprint and, presumably, extend your reach organically. If applicable, it may also be an opportunity for subs to show their loyalty too.
[There] are other people working behind the scenes to help some camgirls do their jobs. These are moderators (or “mods,” as they’re referred to in the industry), who effectively act as the bouncers of their chatrooms.
Cortana works on Chaturbate, which is one of the most popular sites for camming. But unlike MyFreeCams, a cam site which is essentially a free-for-all in chatrooms, Chaturbate allows models to grant users moderator status. When you’re “modded,” your responsibility is to silence and remove people who spew inappropriate comments, threats, and requests.
Though her personal community has changed and evolved over the years, Cortana’s mods are essentially her squad: special fans who became co-conspirators online. Eventually, some may even occupy the gray-area friend zone between all-business/in-network interactions and “real life.”
Nothing is without some degree of slippery slope, though. Make sure to remember, as with any other sort of social exchange that blurs the boundaries between impersonal and personal — online and IRL — you must be mindful. It is very easy for people to lose their way when emotions and erotic connections are involved. Keeping your squad’s rank-and-file at whatever level you feel comfortable is key.
You also must be mindful of the rules of social engagement (if any) outlined by the network(s) with which you cam. Though no one can control what a fan or follower puts on Twitter, for example, obvious limitations are often put on in-site, network-based interactions.
In 2016, we all need a squad to have our back. As a savvy public person on the interwebs, it’s up to you to cultivate your squad. Where better to draw from than the people you meet who already are interested in you as an entertainer and a person?
How does your squad support you? Give them a shout out on Twitter and tag @ynot_cam. We’ll show ’em some love too!