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#Kids making a Name for Themselves in the #Vlogging Economy

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Kids are apparently the new hot commodity in the social media world, their cherub like faces can earn them a haul of free goodies worth over £1000. I don't know about you but as a kid, even having £50 gave me the feeling of practically owning the whole world. Imagine a grand, one thousand smackers in your tiny chubby hand. Well, is it in their hands? Or is it in their parents? Also, is this not another form of social boundaries blurring in terms of childhood? So many questions.

YouTube seems to be the platform for these rising stars or 'child Vloggers' as they're known. Kids get recorded to talk about their days, their hobbies and the clever ones do product reviews. Yes that's right, children as young as 4 are actually being endorsed to review things. Mollie Smith, aged 4, was given a segway worth £500 to test and keep. Can a four year old even ride a segway? I suppose it must be a tiny one but still, this is ludicrous, no? She is also a certified toy tester, being shipped an assortment of new goods.

I could make fun of her reviews (like I so nearly did) but really, her reviews are probably spot on. She is the desired target audience and 4 year olds can be eloquent enough. If we we're told to test toys we'd probably slate them for being too simple or maybe too confusing and being too small because in comparison to the miniature scooters, we are giants; although it is still fun to try and squeeze yourself on and ride them isn't it?
Also it's a great marketing ploy for the companies sending her gifts, a cute little girl squealing about your product is sure to melt the ovaries off the mum watching it and increase your sales.

Kushi Singh, who is 11, sought inspiration from her mum, who is also an interior design blogger making a sole living from the hobby. She regularly received free products to review. Her comments to the Daily Mail were "Whatever I fancy for my home I basically call up one of my contacts and offer to give them a review on my website in return for a free product. By early last year I was getting so many parcels delivered that Kushi would say to me 'Mummy, can I get freebies too?' I told her that she could if she also started blogging regularly and in a professional manner". So essentially you told your child that all she has to do is want something and ask for it

In fairness Mollie's mother does tell her to donate a toy to charity when she receives a new one, which is a lovely sentiment but does it not then teach Mollie that toys have a sell by date? And then they loose all sentimental meaning. 

I get it, I get it, blogs can be a lot of work and who doesn't want nice free things? But we have to think of the message we're sending to these kids. That if they want something, they are entitled to it for free. That's not the way the world works cupcakes. Blogs or Vlog's are also a lot of work to upkeep, and for someone that's 4 its okay, because your job at 4 is to be 4 and run around hysterically all the time. And to read, kids should read. But at 11 shouldn't her main focus be on school? And, you know, having a social life and just being a kid!

Being on the internet also creates a certain vulnerability. You're putting yourself out there for people to see and pass judgement on you; well, like I'm doing... I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be mean, I just think that kids shouldn't be a commodity, or be worrying about stuff and toys they want, or money. Money stresses most adults out and can turn them into horrible human beings so why subject a child to that? Plus it will definitely marginalise them from their peers to an extent, you might think its great being a kid and having everything no one else does but it creates social barriers that are hard to break. 

I don't know about you, but I find it sickening how much childhood is diminishing. Yes its a social construction, but a rather great one at that. We are supposed to protect children, to allow them to have their innocence. This is far from that.



Robyn is a self-proclaimed book nerd/punk goddess. She has always had an adoration for writing and is hoping to find her feet in this creative and intrinsically exciting career path. She may only be an intern but don't underestimate this girl. Follow her @Songbird_Robyn


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#Kids making a Name for Themselves in the #Vlogging Economy Reviewed by Robyn Tillett on Saturday, March 12, 2016 Rating: 5

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