My kids’ aspirations look to YouTube!
I don’t get it, but apparently “YouTuber” is now a profession, at least in my kids’ eyes. Lately talk around the table or in the car of what do you want to do when you grow up turns to becoming a YouTuber. For those of you that don’t know, a YouTuber, I guess, is someone who makes videos on YouTube all day and somehow makes a living off of that, maybe. My kids don’t have a real firm grasp on the fact that they’ll need to have some kind of profession or at least a job when they get older since they’re young enough that they don’t have to worry about such things yet.
It’s not just my kids that want to be YouTubers either, their friends do to. When the topic comes up they start spouting off names like DanTDM and other people I’ve never heard of. DanTDM and others are apparently big time YouTubers, if your kids haven’t already told you that. They get, like, a ton of views, or whatever. Some of them have so many subscribers they get special gold and silver YouTube logos. So my kids and their friends want to emulate this. (My son had an assignment to design their dream home a couple weeks ago and his drawing included a recording studio for making YouTube videos.)
It makes sense. I remember a similar desire when I was a kid. The NES was a big deal and for a brief moment I wanted to make video games. If I remember right, the inspiration came from the original Castlevania (that game was bad ass). It’d be simple, right? That’s when my older brother laid some information on me about the planning and everything that goes into making a game, even the games of the time. You can’t just slap something together and make A jump and B shoot. There’s a lot of thought, planning, design, testing, etc. that goes into creating a viable game.
As a responsible father and adult, I feel the need to lay a little reality at my kids’ feet without crushing their dreams. I don’t get the aspiration to be a YouTuber, but I want them to have a little perspective when they go out into the world to earn their YouTube glory. By all means, if their objective in life is to be a successful YouTuber, then fine, I’m not going to stop them. But with many things, acting, sports, writing, there are many, many people that have those similar goals, but only a precious few that succeed at it. I know through work that everyone’s definition of what “success” is will be different, but I would at least hope that they are successful enough to pay for their rent, and food, and things like that. As I told them last week, they can’t live with mom and dad forever — to which my 8-year-old replied that she fully planned on living with us forever.
I think this is important, and it’s something I talk to my kids about somewhat regularly. If they want something they should work for it. If they want to achieve something, they need to put in the effort. People are rearely handed things in life, and my kids should certainly expect no different.
So, as weird as it sounds, if my kids want to grow up to be YouTubers I just want them to be armed with the information they need to be successful at it.