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  • Writer's pictureZaynab Ravat

Family Vloggers and everything wrong with them.

There has been a rise in family youtube channels over the last decade; a huge increase of families documenting their whole lives for the whole internet and earning profit from their various challenges and stories. How ethical exactly is this? I'm not on board with the idea of family bloggers to any extent.

Throughout the stages of life when a human is born they are under the care of their parents until 18 years old; that is the age of an adult in the UK, until then children are in the protection of their parents, live under their roofs and responsibilities like hospital appointments are made by them. Children are always learning how to deal with situations, emotions and developing their personalities and responses constantly. What children see in their environment and nurturing reflects on how they develop into young adults.

I personally see no wrong in vlogging for yourself; you can do schedules according to yourself, make fun vlogs on what you enjoy and be on the pace with what you are comfortable with. Children and young kids don't follow schedules they like to play around and discover things for themselves, I think that's nice and clear to everyone; that's how kids learn and have fun.

Imagine having to wake up every day knowing you'll be facing a camera, what if the children wanted to do something else and do their own activities but no, fake pranks take up their time; making them into unpaid full-time workers at such a young age. That doesn't seem ethical. The ace family buy car after car, mansion after mansion is there any sort of money going to their kids? I really hope so as their audience is brought in by their children.

On the left are Michael and Heather Martin apologizing for child neglect after being taken down from youtube. The Guardian report states 'In one video, Michael Martin, posting as DaddyOFive, sprayed disappearing ink on the floor of his son’s bedroom, before calling him in and scolding him for it. As the son broke down in tears, Martin revealed the joke-telling him it was “just a prank.” Is that even remotely a sensible prank to play on a child? Someone who hasn't even developed how to use their emotions? It's common sense that this was borderline crazy.

Families should be observed on what they are posting, is it sensible? Will other kids look at the videos and try something outrageous on another? Youtube is a worldwide platform accessible to all ages, kids are easily influenced by what they see; youtube as a platform needs harsher guidelines and need to enforce labour requirements where children are given a specific amount of salary per video which can only be accessed to them when they are adults.

Also when parents vlog their kids having a meltdown or when they're upset, turn the camera off! Console them properly and listen to them, don't make their worries unheard by focusing on the camera and telling them to repeat their situation to a bunch of strangers. Imagine how embarrassed the kids feel.

The video below is a prime example of a poor parent profiting off her child sadness. You can clearly see how much the boy is upset and how sullen he looks by his unbothered mother telling him to pose for a thumbnail.

Making videos and talking about your personal stories is a big step for one to make; the whole world knows your problems whether good or bad you'll be judged because you put something out which others can react to. These kids in these channels don't realise it's on the internet forever, the parents blindly acknowledge how this can take a toll on their kids later on in life. Will they have anxiety or disorders because everyone recognises them and they never wanted to be known? Will they always feel discomfort and uneasy in their home, which is supposed to be their safe space, because all their lives they were forced to make fake reactions, pretend in front of the camera and no matter what be a part of the vlog scenarios?

I think it can be very detrimental to the children's mental health and they'll find it quite difficult to come to terms with what they went through. So I conclude with the fact that humans who understand the basics of vlogging, what it is, and what youtube is should vlog; it's that simple, they understand what they're doing. Those who are not aware and just playing along with happy family vlogging should have some constraints so that children can at least have their own time and development or even better make an age limit to appear frequently on the platform with a wage only accessible to them.


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