YouTubers negatively effect young kids development

YouTubers negatively effect young kids development

Haley Shock, Reporter

As of July 2020, reported that an average of 85% of kids ages 3-11 watch YouTube regularly.  

With the exponential growth of young kids watching this popular streaming app at such an impressionable age, we may wonder who is creating content on this site, and what kind of long term effects it can have on the next generation. 

Young children are said to be large sponges, soaking in everything around them and developing their personality based on their experiences and the people around them. Developing behaviors similar to those often in their lives is normal, which explains the phrases “You’re just like your father.” or “You’re just like your mother.”.

With many kids’ screen time reaching multiple hours a day, some kids spend as much time watching online celebrities and influencers as they spend with their parents. Spending this much time watching an online persona whose goal is to entertain with fantasies and sometimes extremely dangerous activities, the influence they can have on kids can be detrimental to their development and behavior.

Two of the largest and most well known YouTubers on the internet are the Paul brothers, Logan and Jake. Logan having amassed over 22 million subscribers and Jake having a little over 20 million. 

With both of their demographics consisting mainly of ages 7-15, according to The Social Blade, these two are responsible for setting a good example for their young viewers.  Yet time and time again, they disappoint. 

Among Logan’s many controversies and scandals, one stands out as his colossal, career and reputation-ruining moment. 

On December 31, 2017, he uploaded a video called  “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest…” which contained a viewer discretion warning, which did very little to deter most people from watching further. 

The video follows Logan and his crew on a trip to Japan, where they documented their time in Japan’s infamous Aokigahara forest, the place that is known as “suicide forest” to many. While walking through this forest, Logan and his team come across a body, and instead of avoiding it like they should have avoided the entire forest, he chooses to film it, reacting in an extreme and rude way. 

Despite the obvious red flags Logan and his entire team seemed to miss while filming and editing this video, there is also an extremely disturbing effect this type of video can have on children. 

Logan showed a deep disregard for human decency by recording this extremely inappropriate moment which never should have happened in the first place.

As young kids, seeing this kind of content can scar them for life, or even make them think that this type of action is okay. 

Many kids look up to their favorite YouTubers, and copy a lot of what they see on the internet. So publishing this video and allowing his young, impressionable audience to view him joking about such a serious matter could teach kids that it’s okay to do this type of thing, which it definitely is not. 

The day after uploading, January 1, 2018, after receiving extreme backlash, Logan took the infamous video down.

Despite the prompt removal of the video, it had already amassed over 6 million views as well as grabbed the attention of many angry influencers, leading them to announce their disdain for Logan and his actions. 

While it is not known the exact amount of money Logan may have made off this video, making any amount of money off of sharing inappropriate content with children is not right and should not be acceptable. 

The same day the video was taken down Logan posted an apology on Twitter, which many called “self-centered” and “missing the point”.

The next day, Logan did what most YouTubers must do at some point in their career and made an apology video titled “So Sorry.”, which gained over 60 million views, over 1 million comments, and if monetized, could have made Logan approximately $29k-238k. 

Being able to make any sort of revenue off of his bad decisions may make young children think doing this type of thing is okay, which it certainly is not. 

Along with Logan, his brother Jake has also made some bad decisions in his career which are having bad effects on children.

While none have been quite as large as his brother’s, Jake isn’t exactly innocent. 

The majority of his content is him and his friends doing dangerous stunts, often hurting other people and ruining expensive things for views. 

A few years ago, Jake’s neighbors came out and said living next to Jake was like a “living hell” and a “war zone”. He and his friends have set many things on fire as well as ride motorcycles and four wheelers around the neighborhood often.

Adding on to the disturbances Jake and his crew cause in their neighborhood, Jake also once released his address, which caused viewers to go to their neighborhood in masses. 

Jake’s neighbors met with police and city officials to discuss the possibility of a class-action public nuisance lawsuit, and the company that owned Paul’s house sued him for $2.5 million. 

After the lawsuit, Jake was fired from his acting job as Dirk Mann in Disney’s Bizaardvark, which led Jake to say he wanted to pursue more adult roles and focus on his YouTube channel.

With the sudden loss of one of his streams of revenue, Jake was looking for another way to make money. 

Jake is firmly against school, seeing as he didn’t do well in school and is now a successful YouTuber making millions of dollars doing what he likes. So, he preaches to his viewers that they don’t need school, that they can be just as successful as he is. 

After being fired, Jake tried to start two of his own educational programs, teaching kids how to become a successful influencer like him. 

His first site in 2018, “Edfluence” cost $7 that was supposed to unlock important tips, but instead just gave tips like “Have a phone” and “If you have makeup, make makeup videos”.

To unlock the rest of the site and access his actual informational videos, you had to pay an additional $57. 

Once the parents put their debit card information in to pay for the small $7 amount for the tips, the cards information was saved on the site, available for kids to put in to get to the videos. By doing this Jake is using his younger audience to get away with stealing their money for some crappy videos that won’t actually help you become famous. 

The cold hard truth is that most people that start a YouTube channel will never become as famous as the Paul Brothers, and giving these kids false hope and taking their money is just a cruel scam to make a quick buck. 

Later on in February 2020, Jake created the “Financial Freedom Movement”, another subscription-based platform.

Initially you can create an account for $19.99, then to access informational videos you could have to put from under $20 to thousands of dollars. 

Since the release of his site, Jake hasn’t said much about it or any updates, but you can still access the sites and the videos uploaded at the time. 

To round out Jake’s inappropriate content, he has also been known to upload sexual content such as his video titled “I lost my virginity” which featured a thumbnail of him and his at-the-time girlfriend, Erika Costell partially nude in a sexually suggestive pose. 

After receiving some backlash from others he changed the thumbnail, and then deleted the video completely. 

The Paul Brothers are just two of the many adults creating content for kids, but don’t seem to realize that their content has severe effects on their young viewers. 

With the world quickly becoming fully digital, it can be hard to be prevent these people from influencing children badly, but they at least need to be held accountable for their actions much more severely than they currently are.