Thursday, March 31, 2011

Apparently, You Can Be Too Old

My YouTube Experience

Since launching my YouTube Channel a couple of years ago, for the most part, I have had a very positive experience, and enjoyed the many comments certain videos attracted.

However, apparently you CAN be too old to do videos on YouTube. I had no idea!..... Did you know that?..... Frankly, I am shocked! I never knew there was an age requirement to put up a video and engage others with what you enjoy doing....hmmm....color me blind.....I guess I am suppose to be sitting in a rocking chair knitting something instead.

Now for those that may not know me by now, I am being totally facetious and actually found a lot of humor in my latest comment by another YouTuber, after it sat a moment and I digested it fully. This YouTuber had just created their channel a couple of months earlier.

The comment went something like this: (Paraphrasing) "Wow, you are really old to have a YouTube channel. I guess it is great though that you help others that are your age. Hope you don't take offense to this, but I think what you do is good, and great videos."

At first when I received this comment, I went slack jawed, an insult followed by a compliment, thinking WTH....then I realized, okay this is just another "hater" which has stumbled on my videos, and then my brain began processing this remark and I thought to myself, "the beauty and irony of this commenters observation, is one day they will be my chew on that for a minute."

If the comments aren't directed at my age, then they are directed at my looks....basically coming from people with nothing better to do than troll YB Channels and proceed to hurl insults at other youtubers....However, I simply ignore these types of comments as with this one also, preventing it from being published. Comments that are nothing more than controversial or don't serve any other reason except to be mean spirited, do not see the light of day. This particular comment only became funny however, when I clicked on the commenters page to see who could be so....well gosh.....for lack of a better word, thoughtless.

To my surprise it was a channel put up by two little girls, maybe all of the age of 9 to is so hard to tell these days. They had already published two or three videos of themselves sharing what they enjoy. The comment now made perfect sense, since when I was their age, we also thought people my age WERE "old".

Many fell into the category of Grandma status at the ripe old age of 50 and up. Also some of the elderly were characterized as having wrinkles and gray hair or were either sweet or bitter depending on how they perceived life, but no matter their demeanor, there is a history behind their expression. In my new found opinion, 50 is the new 40, anyway....and when I am 70 then I'll be 50, you know skipping a decade of my 60's.

In fact many women, in my humble opinion become more beautiful as they age and don't come into their own until they become empty nesters, finding more time for their passion.....a time when they truly blossom.

Lacking in language skills and probably not much interaction with those my age or older as having any influence in their lives, it was understandable to me now, what level of intelligence the comment generated from.

Personally, I was lucky and had a wonderful grandmother, and grew up loving and respecting my elders and the elderly. I taught my daughter and son the same, even though their grandmother passed away 2 years after my sons birth and before my daughter was ever conceived.

My grandmothers' influence lives on in me and something I cherish and share with my children throughout their lives. Mentoring a child to help them to be good people and kind to others and show respect for those that live past the respectable age of 50, is a key focus and something that seems to be lost on many of our youth today. Traditional values and the "golden rule" have all but lost ground in a world of technology and personal exchanges via the Ipod, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. We have become a society of blurters without reservation it seems.

On A More Serious Note

Now, where a concern goes much deeper, well beyond the innocence of their videos and their lack of people skills, this may also leave them vulnerable to predators on the internet. I am sure they are having fun exploring the world of technology, but at the same time, a growing trend in internet stalkers has clearly not been factored in by these girls parents.....or perhaps they are absentee in their lives and are not aware of the new distraction they are participating in.....either way it is a tentative situation, and not very well thought out.

Advertisers Aren't Helping

The flip side of the obvious stated above, it is also their perception of themselves based on the comment they left. It is a shining example of how pervasive advertising is amongst our young girls, in promoting anti aging products to tweens, body image created by marketers using anorexic girls to model their jeans and creating sexual overtones to our 8 and 9 year old girls with marketing of padded two piece swim suits by Abercrombie and Fitch, (mothers have gone insane over this one) Here is an article by one such mom: Abercrombie Sells Padded Bikini To 8 Year Old Girls.

I was thrilled to find this article, as it gave me peace of mind to know there are still plenty of moms out there trying to instill values of morality and modesty in their daughters.

Although, with all of this in their face, people my age don't stand a chance against the images created in our young girls mind. Apparently only women with perfect skin, who are in their 20's should be allowed to create videos aimed at women in the beauty category, according to these young girls' self image, personified.

This is truly a sad commentary of what is happening around us, that women are perceived as having a shelf life, and once we reach it, we are not to be taken seriously and should be discarded. What is lost on this culture, is for every year we live, for every wrinkle we gain, life's lessons become second nature and the knowledge we bring to the table should be tapped as an unyielding resource. If only our youth would learn from us, their lives would be so much simpler and they would make far fewer mistakes going forward.

I am fortunate, my daughter takes this to heart and even though she has grown into a wonderful independent young woman, her dad and I have been a port in her storms many times, saving her a whole lot of grief, time and energy. My son on the other hand, has and does need to always do it his way, the hard way, and flounders through his life....but as the old wise ones we have become, we simply step back and allow him to be himself, as much as it pains us.

For these young girls on YouTube, I have a concern, I do worry for their safety and their lack of sophistication to keep them safe on the internet, and I sincerely hope, at some point an awareness will befall their parents, or at the very least they are involved in their venture, but I feel this is highly doubtful....
Sometimes I don't think it even occurs to them their videos can be seen by millions of people once they hit that UPLOAD button. I believe they think it is just something they are doing in the privacy of their bedroom with girlfriends, and no harm done, not considering the ramifications of being involved on YouTube. The reality though in those millions that may see their video, there are going to be the opportunists who take advantage.

I love YouTube and I have had a lot of fun with it and have also enjoyed the countless videos provided by others. They make me laugh, cry, go deep into thought and have given me a level of outreach I could not otherwise achieve with just writing my blog or answering emails....I just feel with it's use however, it also requires responsibility and caution when opening up ones' life to the masses.

If you have daughters or granddaughters, join with me in recognizing this cultural shift toward technology and help guide our young girls in a direction which will keep them is a new age to be sure.......and perhaps revive what seems to be lost on others at times, the "golden rule."

~You got to love them though~


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  1. Great post, Katherine! I love your videos too, and I share your concern for the young girls. My daughter is 9 and she only watches YouTube with my supervision, and when she visits friends, I have conversations with their parents to limit YouTube use. I don't think many parents realize that allowing their young children to visit YouTube is like dropping them off a street corner and hoping for the best. As much as I shield my children, I also educate them that all of the Internet can be a very wonderful place, but that it is also filled with potential dangers that they are not prepared to handle. They don't always like hearing that, but so be it. It is what it is. Thank you for this insightful post, not only about the kids, but also because it shows what a shining example of entrepreneurship you are, and we all an be -- at any age.

  2. Thanks dM,

    I appreciate your effort of keeping your children out of harms way and realize YouTube is fun when used responsibly. So happy to hear from another Mom who gets it and is passing this wisdom onto her daughter.

    Kudos to you!