“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!