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Parent's Guide to YouTube: What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

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This YouTube guide will help you learn:

  • What is YouTube and why do students want to use YouTube?
  • The top dangers for students using YouTube
  • Tips for helping someone with screen time addiction
  • Recommendations to have fun on YouTube as a family

Unlock this lesson to learn what you can do to keep kids safe on YouTube!

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Full Event: Navigating YouTube: A Course for Parents, Educators, & Students

YouTube is the app where users can spend endless hours learning to play guitar, watching funny viral videos, discovering new music, and perhaps accidentally seeing something inappropriate.

Creators add new videos to YouTube each day, at an astonishing rate, making it challenging to keep unsuitable content away from students. Certain YouTube features make it all too easy for any user to give in to the temptation to “watch just one more video.”

YouTube and YouTube Kids can be fantastic sources of education and entertainment, but the SmartSocial team wants parents to know the potential for dangers on YouTube and help your families use the parental controls to set limits and be safer across the YouTube platforms.

What are the top concerns of YouTube for kids, tweens, and teens?

  • Addiction - The YouTube algorithm is designed to keep users watching videos. It uses a user’s watch and search history, subscribed channels, country, time of day, and more to automatically select videos to play next
  • Mature Content - Students may see content or hear words/subjects that are not appropriate for their age no matter what parent settings have been set. YouTube is user-generated and relies on users to flag videos that violate YouTube’s terms of service (for harmful content like violence, nudity, encouraging danger, hate speech, etc.)
  • Advertisements - Companies pay to get their messages seen and advertisements are everywhere in free versions of YouTube and even within videos in YouTube Premium subscriptions
  • YouTube Live - YouTube has a live stream option where users can view videos in real time. It’s very popular with gaming, music, and news but because it’s “live” there is not a safe way to watch. There is also a live chat option with YouTube Live where users may be able to see or participate in inappropriate messaging

How can parents keep kids safe on YouTube?

  • Talk as a family to find out why your student wants to use YouTube and discuss the potential dangers so everyone understands
  • Talk with your students and use our  Social Media Agreement so that everyone understands the expectations
  • Review the “Time watched” report together, and follow the important safety settings
  • Set up a shared family Google account and supervise your students through the YouTube Parent settings
  • Discourage students from watching YouTube live streams as content filtering and chat functions may present inappropriate images or swear words
  • Encourage your student to use YouTube in a positive way by watching educational content and learning new skills
  • Subscribe to safe channels your children would like, so they get those YouTube videos recommended to watch next

Additional YouTube information

  • YouTube is a free video sharing site that makes it easy to watch and share videos online
  • YouTube promotes paid and sponsored videos
  • YouTube Premium and YouTube TV are subscriptions paid monthly
  • YouTube Live allows viewers to watch creators live stream gaming, music, sports, and news and allows users to chat during the live stream
  • YouTube has 2.6 billion users worldwide as of 2022 and the only platform that has more active users than is Facebook
  • It’s ranked as the second-most popular social network and the 2nd largest search engine
  • There are more than 1 billion hours of video watched every day
  • Five official apps for YouTube exist:

SmartSocial.com App Zone Category: Gray Zone

Apple App Rating: 12+

Google Play Rating: T (for Teen)

Owned by: Google

Terms of service

Privacy Policy

How to set restrictions on YouTube?

YouTube Time Watched
  • Review the “Time watched” report from the YouTube app together as a family and discuss appropriate watch time limits for YouTube
  • Set reminders through the YouTube app to take a break from streaming videos
  • Autoplay is a default setting on the app which makes a new video automatically play once another video ends
  • Students could unintentionally watch inappropriate or dangerous videos because content is automatically suggested
  • Tap on your profile image in the top right
  • Tap on “Time watched”
  • Turn on “Remind me to take a break” and set the break to every 20 min
  • Turn on “Remind me when it’s bedtime” and set your bedtime hours
  • Turn off “Autoplay next video”
  • Or, access “Autoplay” from the “Settings” menu
YouTube Restricted Mode

Restricted Mode

  • Restricted Mode will not stop 100% of distracting content, but helps to hide potentially inappropriate videos (including videos on YouTube Live) that want to steal your time
  • In the YouTube app, tap on your profile picture in the top right and select "Settings"
  • Tap "General"
  • Turn “Restricted Mode” on

Reporting inappropriate content

If you see any inappropriate videos or videos containing harmful content or hate speech, report the videos. YouTube policy specialists manually review flagged videos

  • Tap the video and the menu at the top will appear
  • Tap on the three dots in the top right corner
  • Tap on Report
  • Select the best reason to report

Reporting malicious comments

If you see comments on any video that are hateful and malicious or you receive inappropriate comments on your own videos or channel, report the comment to YouTube

  • Tap on Comments to expand (Note: Restricted mode setting hides comments)
  • Tap on the three dots next to the comment you want to report
  • Tap “Report”
  • Tap on the reason why you’re reporting it
YouTube Notifications

YouTube notifications

Apps are designed to keep users online and they send notifications to get users back to using the app

  • From the Settings menu, scroll down and tap on “Notifications”
  • Consider turning off all notifications from YouTube in the app or in your device’s Notifications settings to help prevent distractions

Why do students want to use YouTube?

I use YouTube to either explore my interests, or to take a break from the world around me, or to help myself fall asleep, etc. My friends use it for similar reasons. - Colin, SmartSocial Student Advisor
I normally feel refreshed after taking a break from studying with YouTube, but if I stay on the site too long I often feel I though I have wasted my time. - Kaitlyn, SmartSocial Student Advisor
It's the BEST all-rounder social media platform. You can post images, audio, videos, text posts and links to your personal website through it! - Ziya, SmartSocial Student Advisor
  • To catch up on tv shows in bite-sized clips that they may have missed or to watch downloaded videos
  • To learn new skills such as knitting or how to serve a volleyball
  • To see funny, trending videos that their friends are talking about
  • Many teens enjoy YouTube Music to stream music and podcasts
  • To watch others play video games and learn gaming tricks and tips
  • Some may want to create their own YouTube channel and share their own content
  • To learn how students can positively impact their online reputation with YouTube, visit Can YouTube Help a Student’s Reputation?

Is YouTube Kids right for your family?

  • If your kids are 1-12 years old, consider trying the YouTube Kids app to see if the content and settings are helpful for your family. Visit our YouTube Kids Guide for more information on this separate app for your family and how to set up your child's account

Family Link is YouTube’s answer for supervision options for kids ages 9-17

  • Consider reading our Family Link Guide to use Google’s Family Link to limit content on YouTube by age
  • Or set content restrictions through the “Parent settings” on the parent's YouTube account
  • From the icon in the upper right corner, go to the “Settings” menu
  • Tap “Parent settings”
  • Tap on the child that you want to supervise

What are signs of YouTube addiction?

  • Would your student rather watch YouTube alone instead of talking with friends around them?
  • Are they watching YouTube for more than 2 hours a day?
  • Do they forget to eat, grab junk food, or rush through a meal, just to get back to YouTube or a video?
  • Is their schoolwork suffering?
  • Is there a new lack of hygiene?
  • Are they staying up past bedtime to watch videos?
  • Do they lose track of time?
  • Are they sneaking extra watch time or lying about the amount of time they spend on YouTube?

Tips to help someone who is struggling with YouTube addiction

  • Ask them to do something with you other than YouTube (play a game, read a book, draw, go outside, etc.)
  • Set, and enforce, app time limits in device parental controls
  • Enforce the reminders to take a break
  • Turn off all YouTube notifications
  • Agree to only use YouTube for educational purposes, not for entertainment
  • Don’t allow devices behind closed doors
  • If necessary, block the website on your browser, or wifi router,  and delete the app

YouTube in the news

How YouTube is addictive - ecommendation systems & its impacts
YouTube as a platform fulfills [the] requirements for addiction. The videos provide us with relevant information that stimulates a dopamine response. This process is constantly reinforced by consistently supplying us with more appropriately recommended videos. - Medium.com
BBC News Fact-checkers label YouTube a 'major condiut of online disinformation'
[YouTube] is allowing its platform to be weaponized by unscrupulous actors to manipulate and exploit others - BBC News

Why do teens want to become YouTubers?

  • Students may want to share their experiences online
  • The creativity behind making and sharing videos is appealing
  • They might want the popularity and recognition they see their favorite YouTubers have, even if it’s just among their peers at school
  • Some YouTubers make money as social media “influencers”
  • Some teens may want to make an online resume and post it on YouTube for college admissions officers and future employers to discover

Tips if your teen wants to be a YouTuber

  • Have students agree that all content is reviewed by an adult before posting publicly
  • Limit who can view your student’s videos by setting their videos to to” Private” or “Unlisted”
  • Disable the comments on their videos to prevent negative comments and cyberbullying
  • Help your student craft a positive message in their channel that they will be proud to use as college or job portfolio examples in the future
  • Talk as a family about your favorite YouTubers and what makes them so popular or fun to watch
  • Talk about how videos can easily be taken off YouTube and re-used out of your control
  • Discuss your channel’s themes and messages and make it positive and helpful

More resources for parents, students, & educators

To learn more about YouTube Kids, visit our YouTube Kids Guide for Parents

Apple Parental Controls (iPhones and Other Apple Devices)

Android Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls: Complete Guide for Parents

Google Play Parental Controls: How to Block Mature Apps & Media

Google Family Link Guide for Parents & Educators

Family Media Dialogue Guide and Agreement Templates

Parental Controls on Student Devices: What Parents & Educators Need to Know

Conclusion

YouTube can give students a platform to learn and to Shine Online by showcasing their personalities and talents. But YouTube can also give students a window to watch all kinds of content - good and bad - created by all sorts of people.

If you plan to let your student of any age use the YouTube app or website to watch or share videos, SmartSocial strongly suggests that you closely monitor what they are watching and how much time they spend on YouTube.

Full Event: Navigating YouTube: A Course for Parents, Educators, & Students

What Students Think About YouTube & Social Media (For Students, Parents & Educators)

More resources for parents, students, & educators

To learn more about YouTube Kids, visit our YouTube Kids Guide for Parents

Apple Parental Controls (iPhones and Other Apple Devices)

Android Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls: Complete Guide for Parents

Google Play Parental Controls: How to Block Mature Apps & Media

Google Family Link Guide for Parents & Educators

Family Media Dialogue Guide and Agreement Templates

Parental Controls on Student Devices: What Parents & Educators Need to Know

Conclusion

YouTube can give students a platform to learn and to Shine Online by showcasing their personalities and talents. But YouTube can also give students a window to watch all kinds of content - good and bad - created by all sorts of people.

If you plan to let your student of any age use the YouTube app or website to watch or share videos, SmartSocial strongly suggests that you closely monitor what they are watching and how much time they spend on YouTube.

What Students Think About YouTube & Social Media (For Students, Parents & Educators)

Navigating YouTube (Parent, and Educator Video)

More resources for parents, students, & educators

To learn more about YouTube Kids, visit our YouTube Kids Guide for Parents

Apple Parental Controls (iPhones and Other Apple Devices)

Android Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls: Complete Guide for Parents

Google Play Parental Controls: How to Block Mature Apps & Media

Google Family Link Guide for Parents & Educators

Family Media Dialogue Guide and Agreement Templates

Parental Controls on Student Devices: What Parents & Educators Need to Know

Conclusion

YouTube can give students a platform to learn and to Shine Online by showcasing their personalities and talents. But YouTube can also give students a window to watch all kinds of content - good and bad - created by all sorts of people.

If you plan to let your student of any age use the YouTube app or website to watch or share videos, SmartSocial strongly suggests that you closely monitor what they are watching and how much time they spend on YouTube.

Navigating YouTube (Parent, and Educator Video)

YouTube Quickstart Guide (Parent Video)

More resources for parents, students, & educators

To learn more about YouTube Kids, visit our YouTube Kids Guide for Parents

Apple Parental Controls (iPhones and Other Apple Devices)

Android Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls: Complete Guide for Parents

Google Play Parental Controls: How to Block Mature Apps & Media

Google Family Link Guide for Parents & Educators

Family Media Dialogue Guide and Agreement Templates

Parental Controls on Student Devices: What Parents & Educators Need to Know

Conclusion

YouTube can give students a platform to learn and to Shine Online by showcasing their personalities and talents. But YouTube can also give students a window to watch all kinds of content - good and bad - created by all sorts of people.

If you plan to let your student of any age use the YouTube app or website to watch or share videos, SmartSocial strongly suggests that you closely monitor what they are watching and how much time they spend on YouTube.

YouTube Quickstart Guide (Parent Video)

Important YouTube Settings (For Parents & Educators)

More resources for parents, students, & educators

To learn more about YouTube Kids, visit our YouTube Kids Guide for Parents

Apple Parental Controls (iPhones and Other Apple Devices)

Android Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls: Complete Guide for Parents

Google Play Parental Controls: How to Block Mature Apps & Media

Google Family Link Guide for Parents & Educators

Family Media Dialogue Guide and Agreement Templates

Parental Controls on Student Devices: What Parents & Educators Need to Know

Conclusion

YouTube can give students a platform to learn and to Shine Online by showcasing their personalities and talents. But YouTube can also give students a window to watch all kinds of content - good and bad - created by all sorts of people.

If you plan to let your student of any age use the YouTube app or website to watch or share videos, SmartSocial strongly suggests that you closely monitor what they are watching and how much time they spend on YouTube.

Important YouTube Settings (For Parents & Educators)

Navigating YouTube (Parent and Educator Video)

Questions to prompt discussion with students:

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

More resources for parents, students, & educators

To learn more about YouTube Kids, visit our YouTube Kids Guide for Parents

Apple Parental Controls (iPhones and Other Apple Devices)

Android Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls: Complete Guide for Parents

Google Play Parental Controls: How to Block Mature Apps & Media

Google Family Link Guide for Parents & Educators

Family Media Dialogue Guide and Agreement Templates

Parental Controls on Student Devices: What Parents & Educators Need to Know

Conclusion

YouTube can give students a platform to learn and to Shine Online by showcasing their personalities and talents. But YouTube can also give students a window to watch all kinds of content - good and bad - created by all sorts of people.

If you plan to let your student of any age use the YouTube app or website to watch or share videos, SmartSocial strongly suggests that you closely monitor what they are watching and how much time they spend on YouTube.

Navigating YouTube (Parent and Educator Video)

The Psychology of YouTube, Media Consumption, & Addiction (Parent and Educator Video)

Questions to prompt discussion with students:

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

Parents of Elementary School Students (SEL Questions):

Role Modeling on Social Media

  • What are some things you could learn from YouTube yourself and set an example for your kids of productive YouTube use?

Engaging as a Family

  • What are some ways your family could engage with YouTube together?

Educating Kids about Addiction

  • How can you help your kids understand that YouTube is “gamified” to keep them glued to the platform beyond what you consider a healthy time limit?

Parents of Middle School Students (SEL Questions):

How Much Is Too Much?

  • How much time are you comfortable with your student spending on YouTube?  

“Nutritional” Videos vs. Negative Content

  • What kinds of videos are you comfortable with your kids watching, and what videos do you wish they would avoid?

Addressing Difficult Topics

  • How can you start a dialogue with your student about inappropriate content they may have seen, or may see in the future, on YouTube and other sites?

Parents of High School Students (SEL Questions):

YouTube as a Tutor

  • How can YouTube help your student master a topic they’re studying at school?

YouTube for Parents

  • Do you use YouTube yourself to learn new skills and share that with your student to offer an example of active versus passive watching?

Striking a Balance

  • Where do you draw the line between your student spending an acceptable amount of time on YouTube and watching it obsessively, which could be a sign of addiction or avoidance?

More resources for parents, students, & educators

To learn more about YouTube Kids, visit our YouTube Kids Guide for Parents

Apple Parental Controls (iPhones and Other Apple Devices)

Android Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls: Complete Guide for Parents

Google Play Parental Controls: How to Block Mature Apps & Media

Google Family Link Guide for Parents & Educators

Family Media Dialogue Guide and Agreement Templates

Parental Controls on Student Devices: What Parents & Educators Need to Know

Conclusion

YouTube can give students a platform to learn and to Shine Online by showcasing their personalities and talents. But YouTube can also give students a window to watch all kinds of content - good and bad - created by all sorts of people.

If you plan to let your student of any age use the YouTube app or website to watch or share videos, SmartSocial strongly suggests that you closely monitor what they are watching and how much time they spend on YouTube.

The Psychology of YouTube, Media Consumption, & Addiction (Parent and Educator Video)

Parent's Guide to YouTube: What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

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YouTube is the app where users can spend endless hours learning to play guitar, watching funny viral videos, discovering new music, and perhaps accidentally seeing something inappropriate. 

Creators add new videos to YouTube each day, at an astonishing rate, making it challenging to keep unsuitable content away from students. Certain YouTube features make it all too easy for any user to give in to the temptation to “watch just one more video.” 

YouTube and YouTube Kids can be fantastic sources of education and entertainment, but the SmartSocial team wants parents to know the potential for dangers on YouTube and help your families use the parental controls to set limits and be safer across the YouTube platforms.

What students think about YouTube & social media (video)

(This student-friendly video can be shown in the classroom or at home)

Student, parent, & educator training video

(This student-friendly video can be shown in the classroom or at home)

Quick tips for parents (3 min video)

(This parent and educator video is best to be shown to adults)

Important YouTube settings (video)

(3 minute video lesson for parents and educators)

Parent and educator video lesson

(This parent and educator video is best to be shown to adults)

Psychology of YouTube (expert video)

(This parent and educator video is best to be shown to adults)

What are the top concerns of YouTube for kids, tweens, and teens?

  • Addiction - The YouTube algorithm is designed to keep users watching videos. It uses a user’s watch and search history, subscribed channels, country, time of day, and more to automatically select videos to play next 
  • Mature Content - Students may see content or hear words/subjects that are not appropriate for their age no matter what parent settings have been set. YouTube is user-generated and relies on users to flag videos that violate YouTube’s terms of service (for harmful content like violence, nudity, encouraging danger, hate speech, etc.)
  • Advertisements - Companies pay to get their messages seen and advertisements are everywhere in free versions of YouTube and even within videos in YouTube Premium subscriptions
  • YouTube Live - YouTube has a live stream option where users can view videos in real time. It’s very popular with gaming, music, and news but because it’s “live” there is not a safe way to watch. There is also a live chat option with YouTube Live where users may be able to see or participate in inappropriate messaging

How can parents keep kids safe on YouTube?

  • Talk as a family to find out why your student wants to use YouTube and discuss the potential dangers so everyone understands
  • Talk with your students and use our  Social Media Agreement so that everyone understands the expectations
  • Review the “Time watched” report together, and follow the important safety settings 
  • Set up a shared family Google account and supervise your students through the YouTube Parent settings
  • Discourage students from watching YouTube live streams as content filtering and chat functions may present inappropriate images or swear words
  • Encourage your student to use YouTube in a positive way by watching educational content and learning new skills
  • Subscribe to safe channels your children would like, so they get those YouTube videos recommended to watch next

Additional YouTube information

  • YouTube is a free video sharing site that makes it easy to watch and share videos online 
  • YouTube promotes paid and sponsored videos 
  • YouTube Premium and YouTube TV are subscriptions paid monthly
  • YouTube Live allows viewers to watch creators live stream gaming, music, sports, and news and allows users to chat during the live stream
  • YouTube has 2.6 billion users worldwide as of 2022 and the only platform that has more active users than is Facebook 
  • It’s ranked as the second-most popular social network and the 2nd largest search engine
  • There are more than 1 billion hours of video watched every day
  • Five official apps for YouTube exist:

SmartSocial.com App Zone Category:  Gray Zone

Apple App Rating: 12+

Google Play Rating: T (for Teen)

Owned by: Google

Terms of service

Privacy Policy

How to set restrictions on YouTube?

YouTube Time Watched
  • Review the “Time watched” report from the YouTube app together as a family and discuss appropriate watch time limits for YouTube
  • Set reminders through the YouTube app to take a break from streaming videos
  • Autoplay is a default setting on the app which makes a new video automatically play once another video ends
  • Students could unintentionally watch inappropriate or dangerous videos because content is automatically suggested
  • Tap on your profile image in the top right
  • Tap on “Time watched”
  • Turn on “Remind me to take a break” and set the break to every 20 min
  • Turn on “Remind me when it’s bedtime” and set your bedtime hours
  • Turn off “Autoplay next video”
  • Or, access “Autoplay” from the “Settings” menu
YouTube Restricted Mode

Restricted Mode

  • Restricted Mode will not stop 100% of distracting content, but helps to hide potentially inappropriate videos (including videos on YouTube Live) that want to steal your time
  • In the YouTube app, tap on your profile picture in the top right and select "Settings"
  • Tap "General"
  • Turn “Restricted Mode” on

Reporting inappropriate content

If you see any inappropriate videos or videos containing harmful content or hate speech, report the videos. YouTube policy specialists manually review flagged videos

  • Tap the video and the menu at the top will appear
  • Tap on the three dots in the top right corner
  • Tap on Report
  • Select the best reason to report

Reporting malicious comments

If you see comments on any video that are hateful and malicious or you receive inappropriate comments on your own videos or channel, report the comment to YouTube

  • Tap on Comments to expand (Note: Restricted mode setting hides comments)
  • Tap on the three dots next to the comment you want to report
  • Tap “Report”
  • Tap on the reason why you’re reporting it
YouTube Notifications

YouTube notifications

Apps are designed to keep users online and they send notifications to get users back to using the app

  • From the Settings menu, scroll down and tap on “Notifications”
  • Consider turning off all notifications from YouTube in the app or in your device’s Notifications settings to help prevent distractions

Why do students want to use YouTube?

I use YouTube to either explore my interests, or to take a break from the world around me, or to help myself fall asleep, etc. My friends use it for similar reasons. - Colin, SmartSocial Student Advisor
I normally feel refreshed after taking a break from studying with YouTube, but if I stay on the site too long I often feel I though I have wasted my time. - Kaitlyn, SmartSocial Student Advisor
It's the BEST all-rounder social media platform. You can post images, audio, videos, text posts and links to your personal website through it! - Ziya, SmartSocial Student Advisor
  • To catch up on tv shows in bite-sized clips that they may have missed or to watch downloaded videos
  • To learn new skills such as knitting or how to serve a volleyball
  • To see funny, trending videos that their friends are talking about
  • Many teens enjoy YouTube Music to stream music and podcasts
  • To watch others play video games and learn gaming tricks and tips
  • Some may want to create their own YouTube channel and share their own content
  • To learn how students can positively impact their online reputation with YouTube, visit Can YouTube Help a Student’s Reputation? 

Is YouTube Kids right for your family?

  • If your kids are 1-12 years old, consider trying the YouTube Kids app to see if the content and settings are helpful for your family. Visit our YouTube Kids Guide for more information on this separate app for your family and how to set up your child's account

Family Link is YouTube’s answer for supervision options for kids ages 9-17

  • Consider reading our Family Link Guide to use Google’s Family Link to limit content on YouTube by age
  • Or set content restrictions through the “Parent settings” on the parent's YouTube account
  • ~From the icon in the upper right corner, go to the “Settings” menu
  • ~Tap “Parent settings”
  • ~Tap on the child that you want to supervise

What are signs of YouTube addiction?

  • Would your student rather watch YouTube alone instead of talking with friends around them? 
  • Are they watching YouTube for more than 2 hours a day? 
  • Do they forget to eat, grab junk food, or rush through a meal, just to get back to YouTube or a video?
  • Is their schoolwork suffering?
  • Is there a new lack of hygiene?
  • Are they staying up past bedtime to watch videos?
  • Do they lose track of time?
  • Are they sneaking extra watch time or lying about the amount of time they spend on YouTube?

Tips to help someone who is struggling with YouTube addiction

  • Ask them to do something with you other than YouTube (play a game, read a book, draw, go outside, etc.)
  • Set, and enforce, app time limits in device parental controls
  • Enforce the reminders to take a break
  • Turn off all YouTube notifications
  • Agree to only use YouTube for educational purposes, not for entertainment
  • Don’t allow devices behind closed doors
  • If necessary, block the website on your browser, or wifi router,  and delete the app

YouTube in the news

How YouTube is addictive - ecommendation systems & its impacts
YouTube as a platform fulfills [the] requirements for addiction. The videos provide us with relevant information that stimulates a dopamine response. This process is constantly reinforced by consistently supplying us with more appropriately recommended videos. - Medium.com

BBC News Fact-checkers label YouTube a 'major condiut of online disinformation'
[YouTube] is allowing its platform to be weaponized by unscrupulous actors to manipulate and exploit others - BBC News

Why do teens want to become YouTubers?

  • Students may want to share their experiences online
  • The creativity behind making and sharing videos is appealing
  • They might want the popularity and recognition they see their favorite YouTubers have, even if it’s just among their peers at school
  • Some YouTubers make money as social media “influencers”
  • Some teens may want to make an online resume and post it on YouTube for college admissions officers and future employers to discover

Tips if your teen wants to be a YouTuber

  • Have students agree that all content is reviewed by an adult before posting publicly
  • Limit who can view your student’s videos by setting their videos to to” Private” or “Unlisted”
  • Disable the comments on their videos to prevent negative comments and cyberbullying
  • Help your student craft a positive message in their channel that they will be proud to use as college or job portfolio examples in the future
  • Talk as a family about your favorite YouTubers and what makes them so popular or fun to watch
  • Talk about how videos can easily be taken off YouTube and re-used out of your control
  • Discuss your channel’s themes and messages and make it positive and helpful

Conclusion

YouTube can give students a platform to learn and to Shine Online by showcasing their personalities and talents. But YouTube can also give students a window to watch all kinds of content - good and bad - created by all sorts of people. 

If you plan to let your student of any age use the YouTube app or website to watch or share videos, SmartSocial strongly suggests that you closely monitor what they are watching and how much time they spend on YouTube.

Additional Resources

More parental control resources

To learn more about YouTube Kids, visit our YouTube Kids Guide for Parents

Apple Parental Controls (iPhones and Other Apple Devices)

Android Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls: Complete Guide for Parents

Google Play Parental Controls: How to Block Mature Apps & Media

Google Family Link Guide for Parents & Educators

Family Media Dialogue Guide and Agreement Templates

Parental Controls on Student Devices: What Parents & Educators Need to Know

YouTube and Tweens: Tips for Families to Use YouTube Safely

Listen to MomTalk podcast to hear Beth and Andrea discuss YouTube

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This YouTube guide will help you learn:

  • What is YouTube and why do students want to use YouTube?
  • The top dangers for students using YouTube
  • Tips for helping someone with screen time addiction
  • Recommendations to have fun on YouTube as a family

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This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

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Sharon M.

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Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

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Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

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This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

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Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

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With over 240 episodes, Josh Ochs interviews psychologists, therapists, counselors, teachers, and parents while showing you how to navigate social media to someday shine online.

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