Meet the 10 Years Old Star of the Youtube
The daily routine of almost every child in the world is very similar: getting up, school, extracurricular activities, homework, dinner and bed. With some exceptions. In recent times, some children have included other activities in that routine: record videos, edit them, interact with their followers, be recognized by the street. It’s the youtuber children. We have known firsthand what life is like for one of them and we have also approached the opinions of experts on the advantages and disadvantages of this new reality.
Why there are children on YouTube
The answer is simple: because there is demand. Children have been YouTube users for years as consumers of videos. And the platform is not alien to the phenomenon. In fact, the latest Adecco survey What do you want to be when you grow up? left a surprising fact: for the first time, the youtuber option appeared among the ten most desired professions by Spanish children.
It is easy to find success stories of children who achieved fame by starring on YouTube videos. The most famous case, probably, is that of Justin Bieber, who rose to fame thanks to his videos singing on this platform. But the child youtuber phenomenon goes much further: the idea is no longer to use YouTube to make themselves known and make the leap to the traditional industry. The youtubers children triumph in this medium, they dominate it and they turn it into their window into the world (and also, of course, into their source of income).
Sophie Giraldo: ten years and more than half a million subscribers
In June 2014, the Colombian Sophie Giraldo, who was then 8 years old, began recording with her mother’s mobile phone. In pajamas, without worrying about lighting or thematic and without even considering uploading your videos to YouTube. A little more than two years later, her channel Estilo Sophie has 571,000 subscribers and she is one of the stars of the Spanish-speaking youtuber phenomenon.
Johanna Medrano is the mother of Sophie and the first person to realize that the girl had the talent to express herself before the cameras. He proposed uploading his videos to YouTube and Sophie loved the idea. Then, a video production machinery was set up that has involved the entire family nucleus.
3.00 pm: Sophie arrives from school, rests for a while, organizes her homework and records her videos. The recording dynamics only breaks if you are very tired, do not feel like it too much or have many duties. “The school always has priority, but at the moment it has not been a problem. She is extremely responsible for her duties and her notes, “Johanna tells us.
But there is a day when the hobby stops being just that and becomes professionalized to a certain degree. Sophie’s first followers were her parents, then she expanded to the rest of the family and grew very slowly. The boom came about a year ago: subscribers began to grow, the interaction in the comments also and the family thought that it was necessary to improve the quality of the videos and be constant in the uploads since the followers of Sophie wait in time for their videos of every Saturday.
The whole family participates in the process: together they choose the themes of the videos (crafts, fashion, cooking, school life), they vote among the proposals made by their followers, the father prepares the recording set, the mother controls the camera and the subsequent editing process, Sophie takes part in all the decisions … “It has become the family plan on weekends,” Johanna confesses.
Fame, money and the future of a youtuber girl
Sophie is famous in her environment. At school they know her as “the youtuber”. On the street, people of all ages stop to ask for autographs and photos. It has been a long time since he goes out into the street without meeting someone who recognizes him. He also interacts with his followers on social networks and reads the comments they leave on his channel. Also the offensive, to which “reacts very well because we have explained why some people behave like this and prefer not to give importance.” Sophie enjoys the relationship with her fans, but she still finds it a bit strange that unknown people admire her so much.
Being youtuber is a hobby for Sophie. But it is a hobby that brings economic benefits. She works with several brands, especially with two Colombian companies, which, her mother tells us, “are delighted with her work and consent her a lot”. They have received proposals from China, Japan and the United States, but it is Sophie herself who is responsible for discarding some of them because she does not consider them of interest to her followers or to avoid saturating the channel with advertising.
Her parents advise her when managing the money she earns, but it is Sophie who makes many of the decisions related to the benefits. «She saves one part and invests another. For example, we have bought lights, a camera and a new video editor. Besides, of course, there is an occasional whim ».
The future is uncertain and in the hands of Sophie. “If one day you decide that you do not like this or that it takes too much time, the decision will be yours and we will support it in everything.” She does not rule out continuing to be a youtuber when she is older, but she also likes other very varied professional fields. After all, he’s only 10 years old.
What the experts say
Actually, public exposure of a child is not something new. The means have changed, but not the fact that a child reaches stardom and his face becomes known. Perhaps today’s youtubers are the children’s actors or singers of the past. And yes, there has been a lot of broken toy among them. But also many that have not been.
There is a lot of stereotyping around the youtuber, adult or child phenomenon. And youtubers themselves, in many cases, maintain a defensive attitude in their contact with the media. A good example has been the development of this article: we have contacted seventeen youtubers children (with their parents, actually) and only one has been willing to approach their day to day naturally. In the rest, we have only found silence or vague answers.
In the United States, the issue has brought controversy. Michael Brody is an American psychologist, member of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, which has become the scourge of youtuber children. Or, rather, of their parents, especially those who participate in reality TV channels. «What are these parents thinking? To attract so much attention to a child, obviously, is not healthy. Is this what you want your son to be? A YouTube star, instead of being out playing? ».
But there are also those who defend the phenomenon. Juan García, a specialist in training in new technologies for students, young people and teachers, published a few weeks ago in his blog the article I want to be YouTuber, which aimed to break some stereotypes created around the adult youtuber phenomenon. But not only that: it also defended the educational potential of a children’s channel on YouTube.
What can a YouTube channel contribute to the development of a child or adolescent? Juan García mentions, in the first place, the development of his creativity. But also many others:
- The acquisition of digital skills of video editing, audio and post-production.
- The creation of a meeting point with people with similar interests.
- The satisfaction of having created a unique content after working hours.
- The demonstration of one’s own competence in a specific field.
We talked to him to expand his vision on the subject and begins with a reflection: YouTube channels are for generation Z what blogs were a decade ago for millennials. “If those of us who made a blog in the past decade have found personal and professional opportunities thanks to him, why can not the same thing happen with video blogs from here to a time? It is essential to take advantage of this platform to channel the creativity of the children ».
But not everything is positive either according to your point of view. Obviously, public exposure is much greater in a video than in a written text and there is a certain tendency to think that YouTube only talks about personal life. There, Juan García would mark the red line in the children’s channels: in maintaining a certain privacy and a control over one’s own image that does not end up bearing a bill in the future. “Separating offline life from online life is a necessary digital competence for Generation Z.”