What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

KIRSTY GRAY 30.08.2017 5 MINS

An Actor? Lawyer? Writer?….No, today’s children would love to become successful YouTubers and Vloggers.

It’s an evolution of ‘I want to be famous’; but does it have substance?

Recent research reports that 34% of children (1,000 respondents aged 6 - 17 years), would like to be a YouTube personality, and one in five wish to start their own channel. YouTuber / Vlogger was the most popular career amongst this age group, with traditional careers like Teachers and Lawyers less popular. 

When I read this, I wasn’t sure whether this was a good thing or quite sad, so I started to look into it…

With video blogging culture at its peak, there’s a new wave of career making young YouTubers. Take for example Tiana, a 9 year old who has nearly 5 million subscribers with over 200 million views on her most popular video. Successful young Vloggers can reach millions of views and they are showered with free toys and games year-round. Managing young stars has always been a challenge and perhaps this is more important in the over commercialised society of today.

A Vlogger can have everything from crazy food challenges to detailed toy reviews, jokes and practical craft videos …Children give their honest opinion and that’s what viewers like. I can see why children watch children these type of videos, which seems like the new after school activity.

Mollie Smith, a vlogger of only 4 years -  seems a reflection today’s generation ‘generation Alpha”’, but is a ‘YouTube Star’ at this age, appropriate? There’s parental censorship and involvement in their direction at this age, so how honest does the vlog then become? I am sure that if a child says ‘I want to start my own YouTube Channel’ there will be some concern around digital safety and therefore parental management. So without the uncensored opinions, is it more like traditional advertising than we think? 

The research also revealed that children would rather learn how to use video editing software instead of studying traditional subjects such as maths and history. They also displayed a strong interest in technology, with a third saying they would like to increase their knowledge of computer programming. With the rising need of this interest, surely we may see future curriculum changes to cater for this. As everything continues to evolve, this would be a positive change. 

In summary, exploring this further has highlighted that these young Vloggers are entrepreneurial and creative individuals - so the research shouldn’t be seen as negative. To become a successful young Vlogger you will need to learn new skills, be motivated to produce the content and savvy to create a unique channel. The force of YouTube provides a strong advantage for brands that know how to navigate these influencers and shows no sign of slowing in popularity, anytime soon. 

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