Vlogs and Views: The Effects of YouTube on Teens


Sidney Marenkovic, Junior Staff Writer

Do you vlog?  Any teen would understand that question immediately, but many less media savvy adults would wonder at the meaning.  Vlogging is a popular trend that has taken over the YouTube world in recent years, but what exactly is it? A vlog is a personal website or social media account where a person regularly posts short videos to entertain an audience. The YouTube audience consists of a variety of age groups, including: children, teens, and adults. However, a majority of those who vlog in today’s YouTube world are teens. In addition to the creators being mostly teens, the greater part of a YouTube vlogging audience contains teens and young adults.  As many people know, YouTube is the most commonly used online posting network in the United States, but can this network and the act of continual posting be dangerous for teen vloggers and their viewers?

The influence of YouTube on children and teens is something that researchers have examined in recent years. Problematic content is often released on YouTube, causing controversy that children and teens should probably not be exposed to. Along with YouTube subscribers and viewers, the teen creators within the YouTube culture are often placed in dangerous situations concerning their well-being and privacy. While being a part of the YouTube community and posting vlogs, teens are subject to harsh criticism, and this could be dangerous to one’s self esteem and confidence. Junior Sydney Vaupel states, “Some kids think that vlogging can make you look super interesting, and sometimes it can. Vlogging can also lead to people on YouTube mocking the teen vloggers and that can lead to a lot of personal problems.”

YouTube vlogging allows teens to post personal stories and talk about their own life experiences that can be confusing or distressing to younger viewers.  For instance, consider the fact that some vloggers post about their problems with mental illness and depression. These stark portrayals can often be upsetting, and certainly make the posters vulnerable to the cruelty of others.  “I think YouTube Vlogging can be harmful because you are very exposed when you post things on the internet and teens often take comments very seriously,” says Junior Elaina Villano.   Still, the trend to reveal or expose/experiment online with an audience of thousands continues.  According to the online article How are YouTubers influencing Children, teens often feel under pressure to produce a high-volume of video content for YouTube. When under this type of pressure, teens can act in ways that are harmful to themselves and others while trying to create content that viewers find entertaining or engaging. 

Teen vlogging surrounds a variety of healthier topics as well including beauty, fashion, gaming, and lifestyles. In most cases, this vlogging is generally safe for the creators and spectators, but caution still needs to be taken regarding what is posted and how people react to it. Considering the popularity of teen vlogging, it is most likely a trend that will last a long time. As long as teen vloggers do not expose themselves dangerously in order to gain popularity, and as long as the vlogs do not upset or unbalance either the creators or the viewers, the YouTube community will remain safe to all. 


Source: https://www.internetmatters.org/hub/expert-opinion/youtubers-influencing-children/