YouTube – History
YouTube is a video-sharing website founded in the year of 2005, by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim and headquartered in San Bruno, California. In the very next year, the website was purchased by Google and functioning as a Google subsidiary since then. YouTube has now become one of the largest video website holders, but instead of doing good, the app is adversely impacting the behavioral pattern of the majority of people, especially kids.
The primary reason for keeping your kids off YouTube is that they completely cut off themselves from their family and environment as their whole concentration goes into watching those videos which they find interesting. Thus, making them lazy and inactive in the distant future. Of course, one cannot deny that YouTube does have great and informative videos in the way of educating kids, enlighten them but along with it, the app also has sexual and explicit videos which you as a parent would not want your kids to watch. Such videos affect the mental health of the kids as they may try to enact such things in public or with friends which they had watched on YouTube simply out of curiosity or beyond.
In addition to it, a majority of small kids also upload videos and content as well. Though, in theory, there is an age restriction imposed by Google in order to upload videos i.e. kids have to be at least 13 years old in age but, one can easily find videos uploaded by these underage kids on YouTube which certainly expose them to cyberbullying with the kind of comments they receive on those videos.
Naturally, Parents are not always present to check which all videos their kids are watching or uploading and during that period only, the kids get the opportunity to search and explore for all sorts of disturbing things on YouTube, things like watching a creepy and horrifying movie on YouTube, scary videos etc. which ultimately develops fear in them.
Apart from explicit content, kids are also copying irresponsible pranks which they had found on YouTube and consider them as ‘cool’ in their perspective. Small kids are idolizing such YouTube pranksters and are trying to copy their style, their actions which are getting such kids in various troubles and thus, causing kids to go under therapy or some sort of counseling for a proper guidance. This whole issue is increasing day by day due to some level of ignorance from parents side as well as lack of awareness they possess in respect of the level of impact YouTube may cause on the whole development of their kids both physically and mentally.
YouTube for Kids
Majority of parents are unaware of the fact that YouTube has also launched a YouTube Kids apps which is available on Google Play Store and the iOS App store in order to provide family-friendly and child-friendly content with features like parental control, video filters, set time limits, restrict search terms and many more which enables parents to have better control over the kind of content their kids are watching without being physically present there. In addition to it, some other tips which parents can follow to have better control over kids watching YouTube are as follows:-
- Try to join your kids while they are watching the YouTube videos.
- Setting a shared Google account to browse YouTube, which helps in keeping a check on what sort of videos your kids are watching or uploading.
- Switching on the Safety Mode which is present at the very end of the homepage. This enables in restricting objectifying content to some extent.
- Encourage kids to subscribe to creative and educational creators or family-friendly channels such as The Muppets or Disney/Pixar on YouTube.
- Create a playlist of videos which you want your kids to watch. The bigger the playlist, the better it is as these are uninterrupted content and reduces the chances of your kids clicking anywhere else.
- Turning on the restriction mode in “Settings” which is visible at the bottom of the homepage helps in restricting the content.
- Communicate with your kids regarding the kind of content they want to upload or share on YouTube.
- While uploading a video, change the default view setting from public to private to share the content with friends and family.
- Observe the kind of suggested videos coming at the right side of the page in order to understand the kind of videos your kids are watching.
- A parent should act as a guide for their kids towards discovering the good and informative content which YouTube possess.