In recent years, YouTube has made it easy for younger pupils to become stars. Their families can earn thousands or milions of dollars per year only by advertising toy brands by connecting it to fun and games, in a way that create needs for their viewers. What parents of these stars would want better than that– no traditional full-time job and spending lots of fun time with their young loved ones, while getting paid by toy brand companies?
At first glance, it all seems amazing, harmless, and even fun for both kids and families to become social media celebrities and make money.
However, kid psychologists’ and social science experts’ new research shows other aspects of this new phenomena, which answers possible questions and concerns, such as: is being a Youtuber all fun and joy for kids, as others see on the screen?
Does it lead the young stars and their little followers to bright futures? This article discuss the possible challenges of being young YouTubers, to warn parents who are interested in involving their children in this new culture and the parents of children who are following these stars as their role model.
Through studies on young Youtubers real life, child psychologists warn parents about the serious challenges that these young stars might face, due to being forced to perform in front of the camera, back to back, day and night, seven days a week, to produce professional and attractive videos, in order to increase their followers and perhaps increase their incomes.
As per the experts, children should not perform for more than six consecutive days,for a maximum of 2.5 hours per day.These young kids have to work very full-time jobs while they are still too young to understand what is really going on out there, and what earning money really is! It is sad that no law protects them.
Child psychologists have listed the possible short -term and long -term harmful side effects of being YouTube stars, as follows:
1-Emotional and self-esteem issues: As the very young Youtubers grow up they might be bullied by their friends and schoolmates simply because of their posts on Youtube or other social media when they were two or three years old and it will be very distressing for them once they reach teen ages.
2-No longer have a sense of autonomy: Those kids who learn to perform in front of the camera, whether in traditional media or on Youtube and social media, will not longer be able to act on their own character and values. They are too young to know how to protect themselves from this problem.
3-Mental Tiredness: Children must have proper hours to rest during the day and night so being restless and somehow forced to be active while they are really tired in the short -term can cause brain tiredness and in the long-term can cause general anxiety disorder, panic attacks and trouble in focusing and even sleeping disorders.
According to the definition of a role model, he/she is a person who stands as a good example for others to follow them in the right way. When it comes to children, they mainly know their parents and caregivers as their first role models, as well as many other role models out of their families. These role models mainly affect their social behavior at school, university, work, relationships, and even in the most critical conditions of their life.
Therefore, if we consider Youtube as one the most effective media outlets which are directly linked with the children’s daily life, then YouTubers can act as a double-edged sword. Following paragraph discuss the main reasons:
1- Youngsters and young adults trust YouTube’s young celebrities and they follow their favorite celebrity with no doubts, especially because Youtubers can be everywhere from malls to playgrounds,restaurant and other public places and meet and greet with their followers more often and build close relationship with their fans.
2- Young kids and teenagers adapt their behaviors from their YouTube role models such as their accent, attitudes, opinion, social behavior and even outfit style whether those are close to their tradition or not.
3- Youtube stars build consumption behaviors specially in young children and encourage them to buy- their own brand-toys and products or other brands, even the toy shops and shopping centers.
In nutshell, since YouTube’s young stars mainly step into the world of vlogging for being famous and financial purpose either through their parents (youngsters and preschoolers) or by themselves as teenagers, they perform whatever can highlight them more and grab their viewers’ attention,they can not be a good role models for other kids. Especially the teenagers that mainly want to increased their fan base, by doing some dangerous actions or by making some pranks, talking about critical subjects for teenagers with no professionals or expert supervision. Conseqently, parents must keep an eye more on what their children are pulling out from Youtube, and social media concerns.
Psychologists believe parents and caregivers should put some limits on Youtube videos and try to introduce better alternatives to their children, especially for preschoolers, such as kids and teens TV channels and encourage them to watch by sitting beside them and watching with them,spending fun time beside them and discussing the positives and negatives part of the movies.