Just recently, I asked my 8-year-old niece what she wanted to be when she grew up. “A vlogger!” she exclaimed right away. I was not surprised. For kids like her who loved to watch unboxing videos a la Ryan ToysReview and following YouTube personalities like Jojo Siwa, filming videos and getting a million subscribers seem like a great way to make a living. In fact, my niece is not alone — according to a recent survey, today’s kids are three times more likely to dream of being a YouTuber compared to other careers.
The survey, produced by toy production company Lego, collated the response of 3,000 children between the ages of 8 and 12 from the United States, United Kingdom, and China, as well as 326 parents who had children aged between 5 and 12.
The kids were made to choose between five options: vlogger/YouTuber, teacher, professional athlete, musician, and astronaut. In both the U.S. and UK, vlogger or YouTuber was the top aspiration.
In the U.S., almost a third of the kids in the survey said they wanted to be a YouTuber in the future, while 11 percent said they wanted to be an astronaut.
In China, however, the tables were turned. More than half of the respondents said they preferred to be an astronaut when they grew up, and it was also the most popular career aspiration for the country.
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The reason for the differences is unknown but Paul Berger, a meteorologist and senior space editor of Ars Technica who first reported on the survey, thinks it’s a case of “been there, done that.”
“America has been there and done that, in terms of lunar exploration, with the Apollo program,” Berger wrote. “Perhaps it is that America’s kids today grew up with continuous national human representation in space, aboard the International Space Station, and do not find an orbiting outpost in low-Earth stimulating.”
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On the other hand, the reason Chinese children would rather be astronauts is they are not as exposed to YouTube and its personalities. YouTube is blocked in China as part of the tech Cold War between the U.S. and China, according to Business Insider. The country has a “great firewall” of internet censorship where websites and social media companies are unable to reach the country’s 800 million users.
While the Philippines was not included in the survey, we’re sure several Filipino parents can still relate. We asked followers on the SmartParenting.com.ph Facebook page what they think their children would grow up to be based on the child’s current obsessions. Unsurprisingly, many of them suggested their kids will become future vloggers.
If you’re dreaming of a different career path for your little one, don’t fret. The things that he is interested in now, no matter how intense, may eventually stop in big school. What’s most important is your kids can count on you to give them support and encouragement to become whoever and whatever they want to be.