No job is easy, and sometimes even the funniest can be extremely stressful, as some users learn on September 7th. YouTuber Punz, known for his Minecraft content, has announced that he is taking an indefinite hiatus from streaming, due to mental health concerns. His short Twitter announcement was immediately met with support, as he received hundreds of messages from fans and friends wishing him good luck.
Punz’s announcement comes just days after tennis star Naomi Osaka announced that she, too, was going to take an indefinite hiatus, following her shocking exit from the US Open. Last month, Iggy Azalea went viral for dropping several mental health truth bombs on Twitter, including asking for labels to hire psychologists. The once-taboo subject has now become a key topic of conversation around the world, inspiring storylines like that of Apple TV Plus’s “Ted Lasso” Season 2.
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The effects of social media on mental health have been well documented, but those who create content have often been left out of the conversation. In the past, there have been reports of the difficulties that content creators face, but since they are indeed freelancers, they have little recourse to seek help. That’s why Punz’s break is important. He’s not the first to take a break, but he’s one of the biggest YouTubers to publicly announce his mental health issues.
Who is Punz?
As with many YouTubers, Punz’s true identity remains a bit of a mystery. On Instagram, he only revealed his name as Luke, and he is said to be from Massachusetts. We know he has a dog named Teddy, and a website says he lives with his parents, but it’s unclear where. The 24-year-old star joined YouTube in 2018 and has since racked up 353,000 subscribers. Before YouTube however, it became famous for its content on Twitch, where it is now an “official streaming partner”.
Initially, Punz rose to fame for streaming Minecraft and even joined the 2020 Minecraft Championship. However, since then it has branched out a bit. He now downloads Among Us content frequently and even runs an official merchandise store. In November 2020, he received the YouTube award for surpassing 100,000 subscribers. It also has a partnership with G Fuel Energy, the energy drink brand well known for sponsoring esports tournaments. However, it’s unclear how much this deal is worth, or even what his net worth is.
Punz on pause, “don’t apologize” Internet responds
On September 7, Punz tweeted, “Hey guys, I know it’s a bit out of the blue, but the streams are going to be paused indefinitely for a sanity break. I’m sorry.” The tweet immediately sparked a wave of support, as people rallied around Punz.
Hey guys I know it’s a bit out of the blue, but the streams are going to be on hold indefinitely for a sanity break. I’m sorry
– Punz (@Punztw) September 8, 2021
“Don’t apologize, you got it,” replied fellow YouTuber Quadeca. Another influencer tweeted: “Breaks can be the best thing you can afford Punz. Treat yourself with love and respect!” One user replied, “I still love you Punzo! As much as I always tease you, I hope you know really proud that I am of you. I consider myself very lucky to call you my friend! Take all the time that you need lovely, we will all always be there for you! “
I still love you Punzo! As much as I always tease you, I hope you know how proud I am of you. I consider myself very lucky to call you my friend! Take all the time you need honey, we’ll always be there for you! ❤️
– Captain Puffy – Cara (@CptPuffy) September 8, 2021
“Take all the time you need,” one person said. Another user tweeted: “I’m really sick of my heart for the punz. I wish he knew he didn’t need to apologize for taking a break and getting first: (( he’s still worried about us, so I really hope he can spend this time focusing on himself. “
my heart really hurts for punz. I wish he knew he didn’t need to apologize for taking a break and putting himself first: ((he’s still worried about us, so I really hope he can get through this time to focus on himself
– dev (@imissppcrew) September 8, 2021
In 2018, YouTuber Lilly Singh hit the headlines as one of the biggest stars to announce a mental health hiatus. Over the years, countless other people have also suffered from burnout like Elle Mills, Rubén “El Rubius” Gundersen and Benjamin Vestergaard (Crainer). Pauses are no longer considered a taboo, but challenges persist for creators, especially in the post-pandemic world where more and more people are going online as creators.