How to Use YouTube in a Safe and Positive Way
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YouTube can have a positive impact on your digital footprint. Consider creating a YouTube channel under your real name (only if you are 13+ years old and you get approval from your parents). Since Google owns YouTube, creating videos can dramatically affect your search results.
Why do colleges care?
When colleges or employers search for students online, Google will usually display a YouTube link on the first page of results. It’s better if colleges find your real YouTube account, rather than an account that belongs to someone else with a similar name.
Negative YouTube activities
- Creating fake accounts of other people
- Liking or subscribing to inappropriate content
- Posting negative comments
What could go wrong?
- In Ohio, 9 high school juniors were suspended for 10 days for producing YouTube videos that made fun of staff and students
- The suspensions meant that the teens would miss semester final exams. Their school policy states that if a student is suspended and misses a test they will receive a zero grade
- The students were also prohibited from participating in any extracurricular activities — including sports
- Their Superintendent said the incident could lead to expulsion from schools by those involved
How to use YouTube in a positive and safe way
- Establish what kind of content is positive and negative with your parents, before creating your own channel
- Be respectful when engaging others and block users who aren’t respectful to you
- Create a video resume and post it to your YouTube channel. Dress professionally and use your accomplishments to tell a story
- Update your video resume often and put the link of your new video in the description of your old video
- If you participated in a volunteering program, spent the summer working an internship, or seized a rare opportunity, create a video about your experience
- Be sure to thank the organization you worked with and share what you learned
- Find an interest and post videos that tell that story
- For example: if you want to go to culinary school, create cooking videos
- Create unique videos and let your personality shine through
- In the cooking example, you could focus on meals that can be made in 30 minutes or less
YouTube steps for success
- Set your YouTube username to your real name (to help Google find you).
- Example: Youtube.com/JoshOchs
- Link your profile to your Twitter, Instagram and other accounts
- Add the same clear, square photo of yourself that you use on other networks, so colleges and employers will know that they have found the right account
- Decide what subject you can teach (cooking, crafts, math, volunteering, language, programming, etc)
- Have a friend use your phone to record you teaching the subject in a 60-90 second video
- Edit and upload the video in “unlisted” mode using the free YouTube app on your phone
- Rename the title of the video to include the subject and your full name.
- Once you get an approval from your parents, make the video “public”
- Then, when someone searches for your name on Google or YouTube, this video is likely to appear
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