Children's safe internet use

Explore the challenges of navigating your child's online experience, from potential exposure to harmful content on YouTube to the impact of influencers. Learn how critical thinking and media literacy play a crucial role in empowering both children and parents. Uncover the risks associated with prank and mocking videos, as well as effective strategies for fostering a healthy digital environment.
Written by
Mikko Perälä

How to Identify the Negative Impact of YouTubers and Influencers on Children?

Many parents are aware that YouTube may contain harmful content for children. Exposure to harmful content on YouTube and other platforms can be prevented by setting up restrictions on phones and browsers. For this purpose, Finnish company F-Secure provides effective tools to block inappropriate content for children. However, how can one recognize and prevent the potentially harmful content presented by seemingly harmless media channels, especially when it comes from individuals who may be considered idols by children? How can one identify the negative influence of YouTubers and influencers on children?

Critical Thinking and Media Literacy

Many YouTubers may not be experts or specialists in any particular subject. They may pick up topics here and there without necessarily spending much time verifying whether it's a fact or a rumor, truth or half-truth. They present things convincingly in a way that appeals to a younger audience, but what they say in their videos may simply be their own opinion, not necessarily based on reliable sources. They may also speak on behalf of advertisers, as their income often comes from various commercial collaborations.

It is crucial to talk to children and young people about applying critical thinking to all information they encounter on the Internet. The same advice applies to adults as well! Developing media literacy skills enables individuals to interpret and evaluate the accuracy of information, create quality media content themselves, and navigate different media environments effectively. These skills can be learned and practiced, and School of Gaming's media clubs provide an opportunity for this ;)

Prank Videos Normalizing Unauthorized Filming

Laughing at the expense of others has been a source of entertainment throughout human history, from the first ape slipping on a banana peel. We've all watched hidden camera shows or similar TV programs featuring funny home videos or carefully crafted harmless pranks. Therefore, it's no surprise that YouTube also hosts a lot of content where people play pranks on others.

The difference here is that YouTubers act as their own censors in deciding what content gets through. This is not the same as if a responsible and knowledgeable entity had done it. Additionally, the target of the prank is not always asked for permission to spread the video. Some online prank videos are not even funny but border on bullying and cruelty. Creating such content is easy for young mobile users, and children who admire YouTubers may think of creating similar content to gain popularity in their channels. This can easily lead to innocent bystanders being bullied, for example, at school or in hobbies. Prank videos normalize filming others without consent for the sake of one's own reputation or channel popularity.

Parents should be very critical of these videos and discuss the issue with their children.

Mocking Others in Videos

In English, mocking videos are called "roasting." Making such videos may be tongue-in-cheek and sometimes good entertainment, but a child may not perceive it that way. In the world of YouTubers, mocking another YouTuber or influencer in their own video may be agreed-upon "feud" to gain more followers for both parties. Or perhaps these YouTubers genuinely disagree on something. Regardless, to a child, this may seem like an acceptable way to resolve differences of opinion or express a different viewpoint. Parents need to be attentive to this and discuss with their children why someone would do this and why it's not a good way to handle disagreements between two individuals.

Watching Videos Together

In parenting, it is crucial to understand the child's world. On the other hand, it is also understandable that, amidst all the busyness, parents simply do not have the time to stay on top of everything new. And new things come at such a fast pace. The world becomes more complex, and while it may seem that children are keeping up with everything new, they, too, are overwhelmed by the stimuli that different devices and channels bombard them with. The pressure for young people to be up to date on everything is immense, and the desire to belong to a group is great. The role of parents is to protect and set boundaries.

School of Gaming is the safest place for children to play online games. Our safe and secure service gives parents peace of mind and offers children super fun weekly lessons in a gaming environment they love. These lessons include opportunities to make new like-minded friends and are supervised by adult game-based learning professionals. Try out our lessons now:

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