Social Media Changing the Next Generation

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Social Media Changing the Next Generation

Brady Bush, Musi.cally STAR

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As time goes on and the world grows more reliant on their cell phones, the same phenomenon occurs in children. Parents have started giving 8 year olds new iPhones for their birthdays and children are starting their obsession with their phones at a younger age than in the previous years. Regardless of how you feel on the issue, this is causing children to become more interested in social media applications, such as Youtube, Musical.ly, and Snapchat, rather than the TV shows and movies that our generation grew up on.
In addition to kids getting access to social media platforms at younger ages, the social media creators know their new audience, and often target their newfound audience of children from ages 7-13. Youtubers such as Jake Paul and the Dolan Twins, while fully grown adults, play on the fact that little girls are obsessed with them. Knowing that they are the new ‘teen heartthrobs,’ they often use this to their advantage in creating content geared towards children in order to gain more subscribers or likes. Additionally, former star of Dance Moms, Jojo Siwa, also knows her audience but in a different way. While she is actually 15, Siwa acts like she is still 8 so that her younger viewers will relate to her and she can grow her fame. These strategies are obviously working. You see Jojo Siwa merch EVERYWHERE, namely at Claire’s, and kids idolize her and often try to dress like her.
I took the opportunity to interview my 10 year-old cousin, Maddie, who is obsessed with Jake and Logan Paul. Ever since they started picking up fame, she has been obsessed with them to the point where she asks me if I watch their videos every time I see her. She told me she watches way more of their Youtube videos than TV or movies and rewatches them as well. I asked her what she thought of Logan Paul’s scandal from last year and she completely ignored it and kept dodging the question, not understanding that what he did was wrong on so many levels. What’s perfect about this for the creators is that they can make these immensely inappropriate mistakes, and not lose many subscribers due to the fact that children don’t understand what has happened.
Due to this phenomenon, Disney Channel is going down the drain, losing viewers to Youtube and Musical.ly. However, this phenomenon isn’t something new. The same thing happened with our generation as we started watching TV instead of going outside. While it might be bad, it’s just the way that new technology affects the world, especially those who are just being brought into it. In my opinion, I think it’s ridiculous how stupid teen boys can gain so much fame and success from literally just doing a “Name That Song’ challenge on Youtube, but they obviously know their audience and it doesn’t appear like this social trend will end anytime soon.
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