When I was a child, my parents could see who my famous role models were. They were on TV show or a movie. As a child, I had no real way to interact with these stars. I watched them over and over. Often what I was watching was well rehearsed, written by someone other than the star, and there was the understanding that actors behaviors on-screen were a result of who their character was supposed to portray.
My children are now living in a different world where their “stars” are in different venues. A YouTube “star” is different than the actors I grew up with. They are not changing behaviors to mimic different characters. In fact, they are branding themselves to be unique to others on YouTube. They are going to be consistent to the content they have created. That content is what has made them a “star.” What they post is not scripted by a writer who is crafting quality content. The YouTube “star” is going to post content that gets more views, shares, follows, and comments. This could lead to content being posted that was not well thought out. Now add into the equation the fact that the viewers, our children, have the potential to interact with their favorite YouTube “star” through comments and other social media and you have a much different famous role model than I did as a child.
A question: If you were able to interact with your famous celebrity crush from your early teens, would you? And if you did and they asked you to send them a picture of yourself, would you? Let’s take a look at YouTube “stars” and how they impact our children very seriously. It’s a different world and we have to protect our children differently.