Turn Off YouTube
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While there are great videos on YouTube, there is a lot of junk as well.
If you step back and look at YouTube for a moment, you’ll come to realize that the platform is absolutely massive in size and nature. Millions of videos are added to the site every week, and many more millions of views of those videos happen on a daily basis. The sheer amount of content on the site is unbelievable.
With so much content being created on a regular basis, there’s bound to be some really bad and terrible videos. Most of those videos don’t get a lot of views, so you’re probably not even really aware that they exist. However, some of that content gets millions of views because of their addicting nature and popularity of the channel.
The real problem with YouTube is that while there is some excellent content that is actually educational and motivational, there’s just too much junk to wade through. Because YouTube likes to serve up the videos that it thinks you’ll actually watch all the way through, there’s no simple way to control what content may show up after your child finishes watching a video that you wanted them to.
This puts you in an area where you’re going to have to make a decision as a parent - you either let your child watch YouTube, and that comes with the good and the bad, or else you don’t let them watch it. This means that you’re going to have to find other sources of videos for your kids (or else not let them watch anything at all).
We’d highly recommend that you remove YouTube completely from your child’s life (yours as well, although hopefully you have a little more control over what you’re watching). Children can’t understand that they’re generally being sold some type of product or content when watching YouTube, and they’re becoming addicted to some character or people that usually don’t have their best interests in mind. Furthermore, YouTube doesn’t curate it’s content which means that whoever is making the video is free to say and do most anything that they want.
For kids, you’re almost always better to get your child on to a paid streaming service for letting them watch videos and shows. While you may not love some of the shows that are on those sites, at the very least the content is monitored and curated to some degree compared to YouTube.
Our top recommendation is to go with Amazon Prime Video and a PBS addon subscription, but Netflix, and Disney+ are also good options as well. All of them have some excellent content that’s educational and less addictive than the stuff that you find on YouTube in general. You can certainly feel more confident about your child not getting into something inappropriate on one of these services.
Turn off YouTube, and remove it from your house. While it may be painful at first for your kids, you’ll likely find that your child is less addicted to watching the TV when you do so, and they’ll be less inclined to want some new toy that they’ve just seen someone playing with on TV. Save your sanity.