For many children and adolescents, recording a video and asking their parents to upload it to YouTube is a game, in which they imitate what they see on the platform. But when this game overflows the near field and the child happens to have thousands or even millions of followers, suffers the same risks of overexposure and fame of children and youth actors, among which there are examples of broken toys. "If adults are often not able to withstand the pressure, for children and adolescents it is much more difficult, because they do not have the tools to manage it," he explains. Silvia Álava, doctor in Clinical and Health Psychology.
"They do not understand that in real life people do not give you things or make the same case," says this specialist in children and adolescents. "They run the risk of not seeing the world as it really is, but mediated by this favorable treatment, in personalities under construction – the brain has just matured at 25 – it does them a disservice, they are not prepared to digest it" .
Álava alerts parents against the commodification of their children's image or trying to realize their own aspirations through them. "The child is not trained to understand the repercussions of what he does: how many people will see me, if they will recognize me … You do not know how he will react when he is older, if he is going to tell you he did not want to do that and let everyone see it, "he says. "Adolescents may understand these consequences, but many are not prepared to assimilate it," he warns.
From there may arise problems such as "the anxiety of not getting enough likes (I like you) or in case the brands will stop sponsoring them; or even depression, for example if a video is worse than the previous one, "says the psychologist." The problem is not so much when they get likes, but when not, because irrational ideas arise, that no longer taste, when the first thing they have to do is to like themselves. "
The kids, here rather teenagers, who continually expose their extimacy – A term that the experts began to use with the rise of social networks and reality TV to define external privacy – "may suffer some dissonance between what they hang and their real life," says Álava. "You sell you're showing your daily life, but it's not real, we project an image, a showcase of what we want them to see." And for the teenagers who follow these guys, it also has consequences. "Many times they compare their life with that of youtuber or instagramer, and yours seems uninteresting, without thinking that boring moments, like having to go to the institute or make the bed, do not show them. They have a distorted image of reality, which generates great frustration. "
Álava recommends parents of children and adolescents youtubers "Minimize the risks: comply with work schedules and supervise that it does not affect the other aspects of your life: that you do well in school, that you still have time to carry out activities, interact with your friends … That is, that his life as a child or adolescent is not affected, "he says. "And the moment you stop being fun, where you feel pressure, anxiety or prefer to do something else, it's time to stop."