WHAT GEN Z REALLY THINKS ABOUT YOUTUBE
This is an article “What Gen Z Really Thinks About YouTube” by Marc Primo Warren
Since it first went online in 2005, video-sharing platform YouTube became a virtual classroom of sorts for both young and older generations. Today, it has come a long way from being just another Pandora’s Box of funny cat clips and home videos, morphing into something that Generation Z considers to be a life essential.
Perhaps its use as an educational tool is more evident now that a global pandemic has hit the planet with most schools being shuttered and students having no other option than to do online classes. However, YouTube has been more than just a source of entertainment for years already, with children as young as 10 years old relying on the platform to gain knowledge.
As the world accepted Generation Z as the first digitally native age demographic, so did YouTube rise to be their digital bible. However, there’s also social media wherein 83% of most users rely on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others for communication. Despite this, YouTube still remains as the go-to platform for education videos on the net.
The YouTube Classroom
Due to the global pandemic, 120% of students took to YouTube for online learning by surfing live stream education channels and guides for math lessons and learning tips. It has become a virtual classroom wherein the search bar is the student’s gateway to immeasurable content of varying interests. From modules on biology to a basic SEO marketing course, YouTube has been populated with helpful information over the years and further amplified with the emergence of 5G technology.
However, there is also the risk of information overload right at the tip of our fingertips. The platform has also made a stand of leaving channels up on site with questionable news and information just as long as they are from ‘authoritative sources’. Having false information available to students is equally detrimental to their formative education as it is convenient. Safe to say that YouTube content should always be tagged with a ‘Parental Guidance’ classification if it is to be used for education by the younger generation so that it remains to be informative and compelling rather than the opposite.
Gaining knowledge from YouTube
There’s no doubt that most of the young ones still indulge in more videos about gaming and entertainment than they do learning about their academic subjects when on YouTube. However, this doesn't mean that they don’t get nuggets of knowledge from the online video platform as well.
More students are drawn to the platform today because it has become an almost infinite source of reference for any subject out there. Learning about something that captures a student’s interest is as easy as typing a question in the search bar, with hundreds of TED Talks on the platform too.
Enabling Generation Z
It helps that Generation Z is also a more social age group than their predecessors because information about social issues and current trends are spread more rapidly than ever before. Some red flags may still arise, though, in how YouTube can be addictive and a medium for bullying via the comments section, but kids are smarter these days which can also be attributed to how the digital age has informed them well about such issues. Today, more children are able to navigate the platform and weigh what is positive or negative on the site or the Internet in general.
For adults, the platform has been a huge source of relief as well whenever their kids ask them questions about their academic subjects. Somehow, the school of YouTube has captivated Generation Z both education-wise and as a source of entertainment the way no other physical classroom can. Fortunately, despite not having known a world without YouTube, today’s children still have the good sense of using the platform in ways that can help more people than cause harm, as evidenced by the majority of Generation Z channels within the platform.