Your children can watch everything with internet access. Yes, he/she can! Your children surprised you when they learned to zoom in and out by moving the thumb and index finger on the screen by the age of 2.
Impossible? Let me tamper that “impossible” for you…
If you haven’t left your page open on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram who does not open an account for anyone under the age of 13 or if you have not set up automatic login in the app you downloaded to the desktop, yes, the little one can not get in there.
What about video sites with UGCs (User Generated Content)? I repeat that your children don’t need to know how to read or write, but if they do know, then search engines (such as Google) can also become tiny (!) problems. Because a search engine is access without a door to all content open to the world. That means access to all visual, literary, and audio content. No, Google is not an information archive in general (it may be, depending on the search terms) because the majority of the content you will reach via google is not written by authors, authorities, or experts. There is also content that does not give information.
What I say about Google is similar to what I have to say for UGC pools like YouTube, so I will not mention them separately. This will prevent possible confusion. Let’s get back to our subject, YouTube…
Nowadays, 400 hours of video is uploaded on YouTube every minute. It is possible to encounter all kinds of themes in 400 hours of content… There are approximately 50 million users on YouTube producing content. Two more striking pieces of information -especially for parents- the most viewed video on YouTube so far is one of the episodes of the Masha and the Bear cartoon series. It was viewed almost 3 billion times. The most popular branded channel belongs to LEGO. (Sources can be found at the end of the article) Of course, adults also love LEGO, but I don’t think that adults and children over the age of 13 are following Masha and the Bear. This information is enough to prove that the number of children among YouTube viewers is too high to be denied.
I’ve been careful to make the picture realistic until this sentence, but this may be a bit pessimistic. We will avert this. Here’s what we all have to do as parents: to be aware of the situation and not to ignore it.
I will explain this with an example…
Imagine that a room in your house is a grocery store. Everything that should be in a grocery store is there, and it’s free and never goes out. Is it possible for your children who have access to everything in that store to have a healthy diet? Do they prefer olives to candies? Unfortunately, this is not possible. (we can ignore exceptions) For this reason, you should also develop a Youtube-specific control mechanism for your children until they know what is good for them and what is not and until they reach the level of awareness of their own benefit. Even though such platforms offer us options such as “parental control” etc., they cannot know for sure who will share what and when. (A striking example of the variations of lack of control can be found at the end of the article!). For adults, almost all digital media can be blessing as long as we consume right. As long as we are able to distinguish between right and wrong, the freedom of quick access to all kinds of information is invaluable. You should decide how much of this freedom you need to share with your children.
You can make this decision only by monitoring and limiting the content.
If you want to continue, click and read Part 3