What Does The Future Hold For Viral Video Child Stars?Steven Folkins

There are certain videos you see and almost immediately know that they are going to go viral. We’re on the tail end (or more likely the end has passed) of the Harlem Shake videos. I could probably keep watching them for a few more days, though, honestly – they kind of amuse me. I was watching one of them with my boys earlier and asked them if they wanted to make one. We have a giant Minecraft cardboard head and a webcam, pretty much all you need to do it, but they opted to do something else. “Maybe later, Daddy.” That’s when I thought that maybe they have the right idea.

My boys and I started talking about YouTube. What do they use YouTube for? Mostly looking at videos about Minecraft (I can’t wait for this trend to pass) and silly animal videos – their favorite is the one of the baby monkey riding backward on a pig. Would you want to put up a video on YouTube? Yes! I want to drink some Coke and eat hummus and chips so I can fart and put it on YouTube so all my friends can watch it. You wouldn’t be embarrassed about that? No way!!

What’s the likelihood that they wouldn’t be embarrassed about that video when they get older? What kind of parent would I be if I let them upload that kind of video? Don’t worry, we didn’t record it, let alone drink Coke or eat hummus and chips. This thinking though led me to wonder about all those other kids and parents that have actually uploaded videos of themselves or of their children – Will they think this cute video is still cute in the future?

YouTube has replaced the home video for most people. The difference between the home video and YouTube is that everyone can watch. It’s in that detail that changes everything – EVERYONE can watch them. Anyone uploading a video can all of a sudden have a viral video on their hands; it’s all in who watches it, the right who.

I found this Huffington Post article about Sophia Grace and Rosie when looking up things about this topic of Viral Videos and children.

Making a video was her Aunt Danielle’s idea. So was pulling some tutus and tiaras out of the dress up box, creating the look that the girls are now known for. The addition of Rosie on-screen was a last minute thought. “They are both only children and they play together all the time,” Dominic says. “So Rosie just joined in and danced” while her mother filmed that first video on her iPhone.”

What happened next is a tale that is becoming increasingly familiar in the YouTube age — although the plot has not gone exactly like this before. Aunt Danielle put the video on YouTube on September 19, 2011. Within hours the views started accumulating. In early October, the Ellen Show called. “When we got that invitation I thought ‘there’s no way that Sophia will walk out there and perform’,” her father says. “But then they also asked for Rosie, and I knew that would make her more confident.”

I wondered how calculated this whole thing was and it seems as though it may have started out with Sophia Grace singing along to Nicki Minaj, but quickly escalated into something else once adults got involved. What will Sophia Grace and Rosie think about this whole thing when they get older? Will being a YouTube child celebrity be likened to a child actor and the many tough transitions into adult acting they face? Will Sophie Grace and Rosie still be sporting pink tutus when they are doing karaoke at age 25? I guess the adage, “only time will tell” really rings true here.

Image via Vibe

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