Make Live Streaming Safe For Kids

Every bit of our childrens’ lives have gone online today, whether it’s school or hobby classes. While the Internet has provided relief during stay-at-home months, children are overly exposed to online content and browse constantly which makes them vulnerable to inappropriate content. Of all the content on the Internet, kids are attracted to videos, especially live streaming, which may be easy to understand but harmful.

It’s time to go the extra mile to ensure live streaming is safe, avert risks, and help kids have a productive online experience.

What Is Live Streaming?

Live streaming is all about watching, creating and sharing videos in real time like a live television show. You can stream live videos on smartphones, laptops, or tablets through platforms like YouTube Live and Facebook Live. Live streaming videos are unedited and uncensored since they show events in real time. Comments are in real time as well and viewers can read each other’s comments which means comments are uncensored as well.

Why Live Streaming Is Popular Amongst Kids

Live streaming is inspired by reality TV shows – engaging, intriguing, and appreciated. Live streaming is alluring to both elementary kids and teens since it gives them the opportunity to create and present to a wide audience and be acknowledged by their peers. It’s the world of ‘sharing’ and children are looped in the desire to share everything about them with the world.

Children enjoy live streaming even the simple things they do. For instance, the first day of a new grade, baking a cake, or enjoying coffee with friends. They love to connect with their peers through a platform that is the current trend – a way to show that they are ‘cool’. Children enjoy the attention. Needless to say, such extensive display of personal information makes children vulnerable.

Should Kids Be Allowed To Use Live Streaming

We are raising kids in the age of advanced technology which, by the time they reach their adulthood, would have progressed to levels beyond our imagination. Bearing this in mind, it would be unfair to hold back kids and keep them away from technology.

Live streaming, if used in a positive way, is an excellent platform for children to improve their communication skills and develop confidence to participate in a social setting. By sharing their comments, opinions, and thoughts on a particular live stream, they establish their personality in the virtual and the real world. Appreciation and praises boost self-esteem which plays an important role in their personality development.

Yet another reason for kids to use live streaming is finding similar interest groups. A child interested in Chess or Shakespeare can find others with the same interests easily through live streaming than in the outside world. It gives them a broader opportunity to socialize.

How Can You Ensure Safe Live Streaming For Kids

There are several ways parents can make live streaming safe for children.

  1. Communicate: Parents often jump to establishing ground rules before talking to children about the risks of live streaming and the necessary practices for safe use. This way children would understand how and why they need to be careful while live streaming.
  2. Make A List: Children don’t know what to do and what to avoid in order to be safe online. The most effective and clear way is to prepare a list of potential risks kids might encounter like private chats, sharing private information, location services and so on.
  3. Privacy Settings: Privacy settings can often be confusing so take time off to go through the privacy settings of your child’s online profile to ensure their profiles are not visible to people outside the network.
  4. Script: Encourage children to have a rough script ready before they start their live streaming. Children tend to get carried away while talking and make mistakes or give away information that they shouldn’t. A script will help children stay focused on the topic.

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