Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Quick Q & A: Should I let my kid start posting on Youtube?

Q: My daughter (age 9) wants to post a video of her teaching someone how to paint a picture of a chicken. It's super cute and totally appropriate, but I'm afraid of comments from trolls and wondering if she is too young to post. What do you think?
A: In all likelihood, the people who are going to be watching and sharing your 9 year old's video are going to be your friends and family. Could it go viral and garner a lot of attention? Sure! Anything is possible, but it's unlikely.

That being said, I also get why you're concerned. Youtube comments can go from totally friendly to really nasty in the blink of an eye. If it's just comments you're worried about, you can always disable them. Also, If the feedback starts to get weird and trollish, you can delete the video or make it private. I would also take a look at other videos that are similar to the one she's going to share, read the feedback they've gotten, and see how you both feel about it.
It could be a really fun experience for your kid (and you) to make a video and share it. I think it's awesome when kids use screen time to create content rather than just consume it. That doesn't mean everyone is going to love it and that's ok. 
I once gave one of my own kids the business because they (and their friend) got a little snotty about a classmates' Youtube channel. While I understood zero of what was being discussed in the video I watched and am therefore totally unqualified to say if it was any good, that wasn't even relevant to me. I got extraordinarily huffy, and then all caps told them: "DON'T YOU EVEN SAY POOPY WORDS ABOUT THAT VIDEO BECAUSE THAT KID IS AT LEAST CREATING SOMETHING AND IS BRAVE ENOUGH TO PUT IT OUT THERE AND YOU ARE JUST SITTING AROUND NOT CREATING AND POOPING ON OTHER'S PEOPLE BRAVE CREATIONS WHICH IS NOT COOL."
My child was delighted with my outburst, as I'm sure you can imagine.
I think it's super cool that your daughter wants to make something and share it. Putting yourself out there is always a little risky, but it's also a really great chance to learn about yourself and get better at something. She may also connect with other kids who love painting pictures of chickens, and that would also be really cool, as I imagine those kids are pretty great. 
If she decides to post it, prepare her for some blowback even though it may never come. Maybe all the feedback will be super positive. And you know what? If it is, then talk about not getting caught up in a feedback cycle where that affirmation means more than the act of making something you're proud of and sharing it with others.
Good luck and I am off to google how to paint chickens!
Oh hey! Here's a link to pre-order #RaisingAScreenSmartKid, out 7/23: https://tinyurl.com/y4ajtzfq

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