Tag Archives: social media

What YouTube means for representation

When he was about three years old, my now six-year-old son, discovered YouTube. Like many toddlers and preschoolers, my child would stare in awe as other children un-boxed and played with toys — many of which we had in our very own home, sitting un-played with on a shelf near by.

Maybe it was the comfort of hearing another child’s voice in the home, or the thrill of watching a kid get a new toy, but for whatever reason, my kid just ate this stuff up.

Above all, one YouTube kid kept making his way onto our screen.

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Ryan.

Ryan, the now eight-year-old star of the behemoth YouTube channel, Ryan ToysReview, began making videos with his parents in 2015, and has grown into what may be the biggest child star of my kids’ generation.

What Macaulay Culkin was to the 90s, Ryan is to this decade.

My older son has mostly moved on to watching gamers, but my four-year-old has found his own joy in watching Ryan’s channel.

And, I know that grinds a lot of gears.

Parents, including myself, often disgruntling watched our children stare fascinated at Ryan, all the while calculating in our heads all the money he and his family earn from every single video.

I thought of how this poor child was being exploited, for some sort of bastardization of entertainment. This wasn’t acting, this wasn’t a skill.

Any parent with a cellphone camera could do this.

But, one moment changed my view on Ryan and his YouTube fame. Continue reading

No two truths are alike

I am a terrible liar. Withholding truth manifests as physical discomfort in my body. Perhaps, this is why my five-year-old knows more about where babies come from than most of his peers, and I will probably end up buzz killing the tooth fairy. If there was an opposite for compulsive liars, it would be me. I am compulsively honest.

truth

My propensity toward the truth doesn’t mean I never lie, or skew the facts. There are aspects of my life, which I choose not to share on this blog, for example, as well as the general societal expectations, such as not telling a stranger you find there outfit unattractive. We all have to navigate our own reality.

We are a society craving authenticity. We want to experience things that are tangible and real. We want to read an article and not have to second-guess its motives. We want to follow our favorite influencers and trust they are presenting their true selves.

What is truth? Seems like a simple enough question to answer. Truth means facts. Truth is real. Truth is right. Truth cannot be debated or skewed. There is the truth and there are lies.  Continue reading

Sharing baby Zuckerberg: The first kid of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, recently shared the news (on Facebook, what else?} of his wife’s pregnancy, noting he and Priscilla Chan had been trying for a long time to conceive, and offering encouragement to other couples with similar fertility challenges.

Continue reading