Our diverse community is not always well represented in mainstream media. Social media is a low cost way where young people with disabilities can have a voice.
If you want to be a YouTuber, and you have permission from your parents and carers, make sure you stay safe.
Julia from Eastside reports on the power of vlogging on YouTube
Look at this video by the Mandeville Sisters who live in London.
The Mandeville Sisters are popular YouTubers who talk about all sort things relating to their lives.
Grace Mandeville has a shortened arm.
Listen to her vlog here:
Do you like the humour in this vlog? It had over 982,072 views. What made this vlog so effective?
The fun in vlogs helps make them so popular. Fun is key to the success of social media. Sociability is how social media works. It’s the same in real life. At school, college or parties people usually make new friends through smiling and good humour. For example, if you crack a funny joke at a party, people will laugh and feel good and probably think you are likeable. This is how it works online as well. Fun is an important part of social media because it helps with likeability. Some people call it “positive emotional content”.
Imagine you are a YouTuber.
If people see you smiling and having a good time, they are more likely to “like” your vlog and “subscribe” to your YouTube channel. This creates engagement. Engagement builds followers. More followers means a bigger audience.
If your audience is big enough you can attract sponsors. Have a look at the Mandeville Sisters website: http://www.mandevillesisters.com Do you think they may be sponsored or receiving money to show certain products or brands?
If your YouTube Channel is very popular, you can make money from advertising. Creating a video that “goes viral” offers the best chance of building followers and making money. Here is a example of a famous viral video.
Does it make you smile or laugh?
Expensive and hard work
However, the world of being a blogger can be very demanding.
Think about how long it takes to plan, film and create a vlog. It may take hours and hours to edit a vlog.
Although many YouTube videos look like they are made at home, many young people actually pay others to edit their videos. This can cost of lot of money. Even videos edited at home can take many hours of work and recording and capturing equipment is expensive.
For many families, this is a lot of money.
Hate crime and bullying
Vlogging or YouTubing to the general public means you are open to hate crime and bullying. This can have a very bad effect on your life so you need to think carefully about it in advance.
If you look on the Mandeville Sisters website you will see many positive comments such as “also being in one handed woman, I love this video, totally made my day.” However, people can easily leave negative comments and they can even do so anonymously.
While it’s easy to set privacy settings so that all comments are moderated, you still need to read them. And trolling – where people deliberately make hurtful and unpleasant comments online – is a common problem for vloggers.
Negative comments, bullying and hate crime can badly affect your self esteem.
How would you keep safe?
Here are my top tips:
- Be safe.
Learn about how to go online and keep your personal information private and secure. Learn how to block and report hateful comments. Look after your confidence and resilience. Think about you reputation and how you can look after it. Anything you post now will exist online forever. You may like to restrict the audience who can see your posts.
If you want you be a YouTuber then do your research. Talk to your parents, teachers or carers about what work, time and effort is involved. As part of your research, ask your parents, carers, teachers and friends to help you find YouTubers who will make you laugh, learn and feel good.
Learn social media skills including how to create and upload content in a way that is safe, legal and engaging. These skills may help you in the future at work or further education. Learning about marketing, branding and the laws of copyright.
- Be critical.
Social media can generate money for young people but this is rare and it takes some luck as well as hard work. Don’t believe that everyone is hugely successful. Remember, YouTube is about appearances. And not everyone who appears happy on YouTube is actually leading a good happy life.
- Be Creative
You don’t have to use your own body or self in order to create a video for YouTube. Look at all sorts of creative ways to send a message. Consider animation for example.
- Have fun.
It should always be fun and uplifting. Don’t let events and interactions that occur on YoutTube make you unhappy. Don’t let you use of Youtube stop you sleeping, exercising, eating well or enjoying the company of your friends and family who live around you.
Enjoy vloggers like the Mandeville Sisters but remember to stay safe.