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YouTubers "behind the scenes"

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YouTubers are a popular presence in many of our lives, but is their constant posting a healthy and happy way to live – or is it more about being lonely with a crowd? Recently, the BBC did a report on YouTubers who have millions of followers, but few real friends:

When watching entertaining videos, it’s easy to forget – and we’re encouraged to forget – that the video is a construction, a product that’s put together to entertain us or inform us or to “sell us.” And when we post on our own social media platforms, it’s important to remember that we are only showing a part of ourselves or our day – which is no substitute for the “real” us.

AHA! YouTubers images may not be as real as they seem online.
Grade Level: 9-12
Materials: YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUrNbl1lNV4

Key Question #1/Consumer: Who created this message?
Core Concept #1: Media messages are constructed
Key Question #1/Producer: What am I authoring?
Key Word: Authorship

Activity: Show the YouTube video that gives a “behind the scenes” look at YouTubers. Divide the students into pairs, and ask them to discuss with each other:

  1. What effect did being a YouTuber have on the lives of these young people? Give some specific examples.
  2. There was mention of an algorithm that drives the number of views. Who makes the algorithm? Does this algorithm have feelings? Does the algorithm have purpose?
  3. When you post on social media, what do you typically share? Do you feel that people who see your shares really know you?

After students have a chance to discuss, ask each pair to report to the class what surprised them the most about their discussion with their partner.


The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework. Used with permission, © 2002-2019, Center for Media Literacy

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 January 2019 02:28 )  
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