In 2021, nearly 95% of 3-17-year-olds used video-sharing platforms (VSPs) like YouTube and TikTok. Many of these children also had their own social media accounts even if they were under the minimum required age.
Because of their access to a wide range of content, children might come across influencers that they admire. They could be gamers, streamers, artists, personal trainers, crypto bankers or any other person. If your child has an interest, they can find an influencer.
Many children and young people may aspire to the wealth or status of influencers they follow. They may do this without questioning how the celebrity gained their status or whether what they say is accurate.
If a child admires something about an influencer who then starts sharing misinformation or misogynistic ideas, they fall victim to believing the same things. So, if someone has a lot of money, has expensive cars, is charismatic and shares hateful and outdated ideas about women, an impressionable person might latch onto those same ideas.
An important way to challenge this is by talking about your child’s interests. Who is the influencer they’re watching? What do they like about them? Are there other influencers like them?
The conversation can help show your child that you’re interested in their hobbies. Also, it can help you keep on top of anything that might suggest harm.