The Plugged In Show, Episode 51: YouTube: Where the Kids Are

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A heavy-handed public service announcement that ran from the 1960s to the 1980s intoned ominously, “It’s 10p.m. Do You Know Where Your Children Are?” Apparently, parents who had lost track of their kids’ whereabouts were supposed to head to the car and start looking for them. Or at least worry about what they might be up to. (No good, the PSA implied. No good.) 

These days, that’s a pretty easy question for many of us as parents to answer: “Yeah, he’s watching YouTube videos right there.”

We hear a lot about screen time these days. But if you drill down further, you find that most kids’ favorite things to do on screens are to watch YouTube videos—especially for boys. If you’ve got a teen or tween, there’s a good chance that your child has looked at a YouTube video of some kind today. The average adolescent spends about an hour or so on this screen activity alone each day.

Kids are watching all kinds of things on YouTube, from their favorite bands, to videos on how to mod NERF guns (ask me how I know), to videos on making colored slime to … well, you name it. If it’s a thing, someone on YouTube is creating videos about it. And kids are watching.

This week on The Plugged In Show, we unpack the YouTube phenomena: where it started, why it’s so popular, and what parents need to know. You might even find out a bit about the YouTube channels that the Plugged In team likes to browse, too!

And if you haven’t done so already, you can also head over to Plugged In’s new YouTube Channel Review section to learn more about the some of the most popular channels there today. And be sure to check out the resources and reviews listed below that we deal with in this week’s episode.

Adam R. Holz

After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.