In this day and age, YouTube is just a part of everyday life but, if we want to protect our children from the ever-growing volume of inappropriate content found on this site, we need to give ourselves, and our children, some basic YouTube safety ‘training’.
“Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube and 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute” ( http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html)
As these statistics suggest, YouTube is not going away any time soon. Kids use it without even giving it a thought. When my daughter got a Rainbow Loom for Christmas, the first thing she wanted to do was to search YouTube for videos on how to use her Loom to make hundreds of elastic band crafts. For this purpose, YouTube has been a wonderful tool…she has been able to watch someone perform each step of the process and pause and/or replay the video whenever it suits her.
Of course, that’s the ‘sunny side’ of YouTube but, like in so many cases, there’s also a ‘dark side’. Since YouTube is open to everyone with an internet connection, there can be some pretty ‘whacked out’ stuff posted on there. I’m not just talking about the videos themselves, but also the comments posted below even the most ‘warm and fuzzy’ video (e.g. derogatory insults and obscenities).
Let’s face it, there has always been, and will always be, a small percentage of the population who will use this type of public forum to spew hatred and post inappropriate content…if only because they can. They may even disguise their motives, to trick people into becoming their audience (e.g. by titling their videos in a way that misrepresents what they are truly about).
However, we as parents are not completely helpless. Like anything that impacts our children’s safety and well-being, we should do what we can to keep them out of harm’s way. Of course, that is only part of the picture, since there will be times when we can not be there to protect them. That’s why, we should also do what we can to teach our children about the ‘dark side’ of YouTube and how they can minimize their own exposure to it.
For immediate access to some YouTube safety tips that can help make YouTube a safer place for your children, click here for my FREE report, or enter your name and email into the box to the right of this post (at the top of the screen) and click the ‘Get Instant Access’ button!