From the moment you are born, there is a camera shoved in your face 24/7. Every moment, event, and emotion you experience is filmed for the entire world to see. Sounds crazy, right? Unfortunately, this is becoming a reality for many children, as “family vlogging” is on the rise.
Vlogging means “video blogging.” A typical family vlog consists of parents filming a day in the life of their children who can be as young as just infants. According to Intelligencer, over the past five years, family vlogging has skyrocketed in popularity. The top family vloggers “Bring in half a billion views a week and millions in revenue.”
Now, there’s nothing wrong with loving your children and wanting to share them with the world. On the other hand, there is a line that has to be drawn. When does it go from creating family friendly content to exploiting children for money? When does it become too overwhelming for a child and what will the long term effects on children who have grown up in these environments be?
Family vlogging is a relatively new concept and this will be the first generation of children who have grown up with this reality. For many of these children, from the moment they are born, their daily lives are uploaded to the internet for billions of people to see. There is no way to know the long term effects daily family vlogging can have on children, parents, and the dynamic of the family as a whole as it is a concept that has only been around for a few years, but we have to wonder if this is acceptable behavior.
One problem that is especially relevant is that of personal space. When a camera is shoved in a child’s face during emotional events and topics, they may feel the need to bottle up their emotions because they know that their reactions will be available to the public. This simply cannot be healthy. According to Experience Life, bottling up your emotions can lead to emotional outbursts and an increased level of stress.
Another issue with family vlogging is that of maintaining the relationship within the family. Daily vlogging can put a huge strain on relationships and one can imagine that it may become complicated when your family life and business are intertwined. This could create a lot of pressure in the sense that if something sad or negative is going on in your home life, it makes it harder for you to do your job of vlogging. You have to put on a fake smile and pretend everything is fine for the video.
As family vlogging channels grow, many of them begin raking in enough money to support their family through vlogging alone. At this level, it seems that many parents lose sight of their original goals and can honestly do some crazy things for money.
An example of this is the channel, ‘Daddyofive.’ This was a channel where the parents and their five children played “pranks” on each other. However, many of these pranks involved the parents verbally abusing and playing mind games on their young children, and primarily their son Cody who was just five at the time of this channel’s existence.
In one of these videos, the parents make a mess in one of the children’s rooms and blame it on Cody. When the parents “find” the mess, they begin to yell and curse at Cody. Cody begins screaming that he didn’t do it while crying. They continue this for several minutes before telling him it was just a joke.
Many of the videos on this channel were incredibly disgusting and of the same nature. Eventually the parents even lost custody of the children.
Clearly, there are a lot of issues with the concept of family vlogging. However, at this point in time, we cannot know how this will affect children in the future. Now, this article is not to say that every family vlogger is exploiting their children for money or is bad. We just have to think about the pressure it can put on families, and the children especially, and why this may be a business that should cease to continue.
Paige Martin, Staff Reporter