Um…not my usual post but I had something to say on this so here we are.
Declaimer: This post is pretty much based on my personal thoughts and experiences! It’s not very positive and it discusses some umm…more problematic stuff….so AVERT THY EYES if you’re sensitive and I’ll see you next post with something more lighthearted!
→If you agree/ disagree or have other thoughts on the matter: I would very much like to have a discussion about this!
After Logan Paul’s recent actions I thought I should discuss a bit about what effect does this have on his younger audience that he may not realize it does.
I am not some big media outlet hating on these influences because I feel my job is threatened, which seem to be the predominant articles that come up when you search this kind of stuff that’s meant to make parents uneasy and become over bearing over what their child is doing on the Internet (“Zoella being blamed for declining teen literacy”?!….get out of here).
I’m the opposite actually: I WOULD ENCOURAGE kids to go an the Internet on their own and find stuff. There is nothing BAD about watching vlogs and tutorials. Let your child learn on their own.
It becomes bad when children start putting these people up on pedestals and looking up to them.
A Youtuber’s main audience is impressionable young teens. Yes they won’t admit they are impressionable (I will fight you if you call ME impressionable and I’m 15 let’s be honest I probably am impressionable) but they are.
I know a lot of younger children who watch Logan and Jake Paul. I myself was a smol bean that grew up on the internet and looked up to different people not that long ago (cough I am grateful these 2 weren’t a thing back in my day). And that’s why all the stuff they do makes me so angry.
When Jake Paul cheats on his girlfriend repeatedly and uses racial slurs against Mexicans what example does he make? When Logan Paul makes fun of Asian culture and suicide what example does HE make?
I know you might be thinking : “Oh but the children can see trough their lies it’s so obvious.” Well…no. You might be as surprised and saddened by this as I was when I found out that the children TAKE THE PAUL BROTHERS’ SIDE.
They think this it’s ok because their fave is doing it and look he apologized. These are children we’re talking about.
Their content doesn’t challenge ideals : it doesn’t teach them tolerance, or about feminism or other stuff that I personally consider brain food – I would actually say that those vlogs effectively murder brain cells and make the IQ go lower but hey who am I to judge “personal taste”.
But does it have to?
Does content have to be remotely intelligent? Of course not. I am not preaching elitism here and I’m not trying to say that I’m superior because I watch other stuff. I spend hours watching Vine completions let’s be real I’m not on some moral high ground. But.
Ugly truth – I don’t live in a very accepting country – it’s predominantly white and very homophobic. I learned acceptance by interacting and reading and seeing all this stuff ON THE INTERNET. I broke my own bubble of ignorance.
The Paul Brothers? They very much still act inside that bubble. THEY ARE SAFE. Ergo this children NEVER LEARN. They never break out. And yes they are still very much homophobic and use racial slurs. Which is sad and it makes me angry hearing an 11 year old say the N word. It’s not caused by the Pauls per say (if they ever said something like that on video then I’m sure they would’ve gotten well deserved backlash) but it’s not discouraged either. Which makes is almost as worse.
Yeah so the creators did some pretty nasty things but the FANS went rabid over the people that dared criticize their faves. With really awful insults and extremely toxic behavior. So that brings me to:
Where does one draw the line between creator and their fanbase?
Where does the creator stop being held responsible for what their fanbase does? It’s obvious that one draws the kind of audience that enjoys their content…so if the Paul brothers never said “hey saying this and this is BAD don’t do it” their fanbase uses said words.
Parents are still responsible!
Your child should not get their basic commune sense education on the internet. That much should be obvious. I’m not saying that these children use this kind of language or are homophobic solely because Logan Paul never said it wasn’t ok. Parents didn’t discourage this kind of behavior either. Don’t trust rich and entitled 20 year olds on the Internet to teach your kids some manners – that is your responsibility as a parent.
What you need to do is teach your kids the basic baggage and then trust them to use that for good and trust yourself that you’ve done a good job preparing them. Sorry but you wanted a small human now you’ve gotta deal with it and do this properly.
Also if you’re wondering – Logan Paul actually GAINED subscribers after that video. Take it for what it is.
HEY INFLUENCERS : DO BETTER.
So you know me wanting to always be thorough so I’m linking some YouTube videos as well:
interview with a child by Dodie (which really shows how mature some 10-13 year-olds can be and I would’ve liked to discover it when I was 12 myself)
Zoella and Exploiting Teen Girls (this one is a very interesting discussion about HOW influences can manipulate teenagers when they are in their most vulnerable years)