Our Budding Influencer

“Hi guys,” T says sweetly and excitedly to his phone, on video record mode, to his imaginary followers.

He goes on to narrate what he’s doing, emulating the online influencers and livestreamers he enjoys watching, like Ethan Gamer.

It appears we have a budding influencer.

T started doing this at his grandparents’ cottage during our visit earlier this month, using the hubby’s old phone that he inherited, and his videos are usually of him touring our home, playing with toys, or pretending to cook.

It’s innocent and adorable and I’m not too fussed, as the videos are not posted or live-streamed.

I recognize T was born a digital native and this is the world he’ll mature into.

I think about how FASD will influence his life as a digital citizen – and am mindful his impulsivity may increase his risk of trouble or danger.

I also worry about T growing up in a world where social currency is measured in likes, views and followers – and the effects that may have on his self esteem and mental health.

That’s why I’m glad schools teach digital and media literacy starting at an early age – and we will have conversations with him about digital safety and citizenship as he gets older.

The hubby and I supervise his use of devices – including no data on his phone, parental controls and he can only use phone on weekends during the school year.

We recognize the benefits outweigh the risks.

Seeing and hearing him make his videos give me joy. I think about how he’s building digital skills, creativity and ways to express himself.

I hope this will help him grow his confidence as a public speaker at school.

And who knows, when he’s older, maybe he’ll get into hobbies like podcasting or even make a career out of digital content creation.

I am, of course, getting far ahead of myself. For now, I will enjoy this for what it is. Innocent fun.

When T got home tonight, I was nearly finished making his dinner. He quickly looked for his phone then started to “stream” to his followers.

At one point, T was talking and I responded then he quickly retorted, “I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to my subscribers.” 😆

Oh this kid.

And now, I must end this post because I promised him we’d go to our basement crawl space to start packing for our upcoming weekend camping trip.

And of course, he wants to share the experience with his “followers.”

“Ok guys,” he says excitedly to his phone. “In one minute, we’re going into the crawl space with Papa.”

I surely must go. This kid is on my case and nagging me. Have a good night, all!

31 thoughts on “Our Budding Influencer

  1. It’s crazy how much things have changed for kids. All I can say is that I’m glad I never had to navigate social media when I was younger! Glad to hear that media literacy is now being incorporated into the curriculum. I get the feeling T has no shortage of creativity! Enjoy the rest of your long weekend and best of luck with the start of the school year!

    1. Thanks Linda. I’m with you on this, I am so glad I did not have social media as a teen as I dread to think of the artifacts that will live on forever on the Internet. 😆

      We had an amazing time at Killbear and just relaxing today before return to school tomorrow. I hope you and K are enjoying Yukon. I can’t wait to read all about it!

  2. I think this is absolutely wonderful!!! Who knows, he might someday have his own cable network program!!! And it’s an outlet for his thoughts and emotions … yes, let him have at it! Also, teach him to really cook so he doesn’t have to pretend, and maybe he’ll be the next Alton Brown! Hugs to you all!

    1. Thanks Jill! It’s a wonderful outlet indeed. He helps with cooking from time to time and I hope to do a proper real cooking video with him one day. 😊🙏

  3. What a world we live in! My boyfriend’s nephews are the same, and I read a few years ago that ~80% of kids hope to grow up to be influences. Gone are the days of aspiring doctors and astronauts! I’m so glad that T is having such fun and, as you mention, hopefully developing some valuable public speaking skills!

    Have a great time on your camping trip!! That sounds like a blast. 😊

    1. For sure, Erin! If I was T’s age, I’d probably have similar goals. But yes, it is also an incredibly competitive field and I can imagine a lot of work and stress behind the glossy image we see for the successful influencers.

      Hope you have a nice weekend too!

  4. I love that T is exploring his niche within social media! One of my grands believed she was going to be a YouTube star at nine. Sadly that had to end as her devices kept getting taken away and her co-creator friend got tired of putting in the effort alone 😉

    Have a great camping trip Ab!

    1. Haha, that is too funny Deb. It’s fun seeing our little ones explore the world and their self expression.

      Hope you have a nice weekend too!

  5. I love this. O does the same. I used to find her talking in the bathroom and when I ask to who, she’d replied, “My guys!” I love that your schools teach digital and media literacy. We need some of that curriculum. It’s fascinating to watch these kids grow up with the tools in hand – nice work to you all for creating such a safe space and lane for him to learn in. Have fun camping! <3 <3 <3

    1. It must be very cute to see Miss O do that. I bet she’s very articulate and has insightful and amusing things to say. Especially now that Cooper is around. T loves to do videos about the cats too.

      And thanks about camping. We’re excited. Enjoy the final summer weekend as well!

  6. I do believe it’s very important to teach kids digital and media literacy so that they can reap the benefits of the latest technologies while keeping themselves safe. Have a great camping trip! There must be a lot of things T can tell to his “subscribers”!

    1. Thanks Bama! Yes, he’s gonna start spilling all our secrets to his subscribers. 😆🤣 We’re excited about camping and hope you have a great weekend too.

  7. Oh the life of an influencer. My kids did the same af his age. I loved it. Their imagination made me.smile, and it kept them occupied during covid while I worked from home. Enjoy every minute. Before you know it he will be going into 10th grade and taking the PSATS! Have a great night! Rebecca

    1. Thanks Rebecca. I’m going to hang onto to these innocent years because you’re right, he’ll be a tenth grader before we know it. Have a great rest of your week and long weekend as well!

    1. Thanks Margie. He certainly is bossy like a director. I took a camping pad out of the crawl space and he told me to put it back again and do it again so he can capture it on film. 😆🤣

  8. This is so cute and creative! Best line ever is “I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to my subscribers.” I might start saying that to my husband! 🤪 I hope you all have a blast this weekend!

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