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Arts commentary: Family vlogs exploit children and privacy

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Arts commentary: Family vlogs exploit children and privacy

Photo obtained from YouTube

Photo obtained from YouTube

Photo obtained from YouTube

Photo obtained from YouTube

By Amy Grunther, Arts and Culture Editor

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Family vlogs document the birth of a child, a family picnic or a kid’s first steps, creating memories that can last a lifetime. While most people participate in family activities with the hopes of making memories, it seems that the adults in family vlogs just plan events for the purpose of vlogging them and then posting them on their YouTube channels. These vlogs have become controversial, for they put children in the public eye from a young age, and they turn private moments into potential streamable sources of income.

The Labrant family is one of the most popular family vlog channels on YouTube. The Labrant family consists of Cole and Savannah, a young couple in their 20’s, and their daughters Everleigh, and their newborn daughter, Posie, who was born in December, and the family’s channel is called Cole&Sav. The family vlogs everything, from birthday parties to Posie’s birth. However, Everleigh is only six and Posie is not even a month old, and already their whole lives are displayed across the internet. From the time they were born, both girls have had close to no privacy because their parents decide to make the girls’ lives public. Being in the public eye from such a young age must take a toll of a person’s wellbeing, confidence, etc. Some may argue that the girls could just tell their parents that they did not want to be on the vlogs if it bothered them, but due to their age, they  may not even understand what being displayed all over the Internet really means. Her life is in the public eye, and since the Labrant vlogs are very popular, she will most likely never have a private life.

“ I also think family vlogs are dumb because they are exploiting their children through social media and they are bringing attention to their private lives. The kids are so young and they are already being exposed to this,” Junior Reem Aly said.

Family vlogs aren’t only controversial because they display the lives of children on the Internet, but they also turn family memories into a source of money. Instead of going on a family trip to make memories and have fun, they plan crazy pranks and activities, so that they receive views and get money from these views. The idea of only having fun for money must influence the children in the vlogs. They will grow up thinking that money is the key to happiness and overall success, but in reality, money can only bring so much to a person’s life. If all the children know is that money means happiness, they will not put value in anything but their bank accounts.

Another flaw of these family vlogs is that they are a misrepresentation of family dynamics. In these vlogs, the families seem to live lives full of sunshine and rainbows where all they feel for each other is love, when struggle and tension are also very important for humans and family life. The personal problems that every family faces are ignored, giving a very false view of what a family “should be”. The way in which these vlogs glorify life can cause viewers to have false expectations for their own families and lives. When they face a problem, they will not know how to deal with it.

An example of a family vlog channel that gave a false look into a family’s life is Daddy O Five. This family planned many, very extreme pranks on their kids that were meant to be “funny”. However, as the pranks became more extreme, the channel was reported for child abuse. Although they may have come off as happy on the outside, many channels, such as Daddy O five, might have darkness going on beneath the surface.

Although YouTube is a great creative outlet for many people, when it exploits children and ruins a family’s privacy, it turns into something out of a scary movie.

 

Behind the Byline
Amy Grunther, Arts & Culture Editor

Amy Grunther works for The Wessex Wire. Amy loves performing on stage and singing. Her favorite activities include shopping, watching Glee and Supernatural...

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