Children As Social Media Influencers: Do We Give Into Juvenile Demands?
According to a survey 34 percent of children between ages six and 17 would like to be YouTubers when they grow up. The survey conducted by travel firm First Choice also found that almost one fifth of the participants wanted to be bloggers or vloggers in future, reports BBC. Making YouTube videos has emerged as a huge opportunity for fame and money for youngsters around the globe. With independent content creators like PewDiPie and Lilly Singh to look up to, the youth knows that vlogging or generating videos for YouTube is a mine waiting to be explored. But how young is too young, to be a ‘young’ online content creator? For instance, would you be okay as a parent if your six or ten year-old wants to do this?
- A survey has found that 34 percent children want to become YouTubers.
- Would you be okay if your child, not even adolescent, wants to take this up?
- Should parents look at the consequences of vlogging etc. on mental health?
- Or should the give into their children’s demand to seek fame?
With independent content creators like PewDiPie and Lilly Singh to look up to, the youth knows that vlogging or generating videos for YouTube is a mine waiting to be explored.
The effect of instant digital fame on mental health of youngsters has been a talk of the town for some time now. Let alone kids, but even well-established influencers and YouTubers face exhaustion. In 2018, popular YouTuber Lilly Singh took a break from making videos citing burnout and feeling, “mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted.” It was the relentless demand to create and upload new content on the medium, to stay on the top of her game, which finally got to her. “It makes creators believe that we have to pump out content consistently,” Lilly said in her video, adding, “Even at the cost of our life and our health, because if you don’t, you become irrelevant.”
Can you imagine what such pressure could do to a child’s mental health? Having to deal with unending demands from consumers, which if not met could take away all the hard-earned fame and incoming payments. While children may not care about the financial aspect much, popularity is something they are well-versed with. They all want to be the next Ryan from ‘Toys Review’, and is it their fault honestly? Don’t we all glorify social media success in front of our kids, seldom talking about the struggles these influencers have to face to get where they are? There are a lot of parents who would love their child to become social media celebs, but then they must also ensure that their aspirations do not cost their child her or his wellness. Eventually, if it is the child whose face will be on a YouTube channel, then it is she or he who’ll have to truly deal with instant fame, both in school and neighbourhood, and online. This is something every parent needs to think thoroughly.
There are a lot of parents who would love their child to become social media celebs, but then they must also ensure that their aspirations do not cost their child her or his wellness.
Parenting is a struggle on both the sides of the smartphone screen. You have to mind your child’s digital consumption, and similarly, you’ll have to mind your child’s digital exposure. All children have the right to dream big and as parents, we are expected to encourage our kids to do so. But then there are times when you have to take a call for the sake of your children. Should you choose to give in to their demands so that they are happy, or should you take a firm stand, because you know better, and you are unsure of treading into the waters that your kid wants to plunge into? Perhaps there could be a middle ground here, as long as a parent is confident that this is the best thing for their kid.
Picture Credit: The Independent
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are author’s own.