Did your child tell you that s/he wants to be a YouTuber yet? Is your child trying to emulate those How Tos, Minecraft Guided Tours, and self-interview videos which fill YouTube?
You may have a wannabe YouTuber. These are not the career dreams of our youth, so parents need to know how to support, nurture, or maybe redirect this career aspiration.
Wannabe YouTubers: The Good Things
There has never been a wider of variety of content; and not just on television, but on the Internet. And that is where YouTube comes in. YouTube is not only offers up content for viewing, but provides a platform for sharing. Today’s personal devices are portable video production labs. All of this adds up to the most democratic environment yet to create and consume content. What a wonderful model for our children that anyone with interesting content can draw an audience.
In this environment, influence in the market is measured by subscribers. They are no participation subscriptions on YouTube, this is honest feedback on the product available. Authentic work receives authentic likes or dislikes.
Wannabe YouTubers: The Not-So-Good Things
And about those subscribers, or non-subscribers, they leave comments. Some comments can go beyond criticism, straight past constructive, and park themselves in the obscene and/or mean. The comments section of a YouTube is not a place to constructively increase a vocabulary. Sure, criticism could be constructive, but much of the comment section is not aimed at improving the production future of the YouTuber.
Without a solid level of confidence, the critique could easily be more than a young person could take.
Your child, or the other children watching your child, are subject to a lot of advertising, that is how YouTube makes the money. So preview some of the advertisements on the channels you child wants to emulate. It is a good gauge of if you would want that advertising surrounding your child.
Wannabe YouTubers: The Technical Things
YouTube requires users to be 13. However, if you have created a gmail account for your child they may already have the capability to post to YouTube. Talk to your child about publishing unlisted YouTubes and share them out via other social media channels controlled by the parents/family. This constranes the content to family-friendly when child know the audience is not The World. This also allows parents to know everything published by the child. Private blogs, My Photos (Family Share), and messaging are all options to sharing videos before opening them up to the big world of YouTube.
Your child cannot use copyrighted video/music in the background even, YouTube has a Content ID system which eventually finds such content and alerts the owners; at that point you usually note that the music or such is taken down. A portion of the creative process can be creating visuals and sound, more than just recording their voice over someone else’s product. Encourage all parts of the creative process to make critiques as much about other elements as the YouTuber themself.
There are some awesome ways your child can already create videos. But consider investing in some other basics as well: a small light, a lapel mic, headset, small tripod can all enhance the production experience on most smartphones. Engage your child in the process of creation over the praise of an unknown audience as possible.
Be a YouTuber Later, Be a Kid for Now
Protect your child as long as you know they need to be protected from the wide open spaces of YouTube. You can give them experiences in creating content and a smaller, protected audience of admirers, who really have your child’ best interests at heart.
In the meanwhile, encourage their creations and contributions to an amazing new world where anyone can create and have access to the world. Maybe just don’t expose them to full on YouTube just yet though.