Because we all know YouTube and use it every now and then, here’s a list of the pros and cons it brings.
The advent of YouTube has allowed millions of internet users to view a vast number of both public and private videos online. YouTube has created a following through its very lenient policies on membership and viewing. You don’t even have to be a member to be able to view one of their video uploads! Although for videos that contain pornography and sensitive issues, you need to sign up first and verify that you’re of legal age. But still, verifying is equal to stating that you were born more than eighteen years ago. Not quite hard, eh?!
Let’s Start with the Pros
- Ease of use. Even someone who has zero knowledge on computers can work his way around YouTube. Creating, uploading, viewing and downloading of videos are as easy as 1-2-3.
- It is a good and inexpensive tool for advertising. If you’re in business, YouTube has the facilities you need to gain more views for your ads. Whether you’re into printing personalized shirts, laundry business or into web designing, YouTube is the right place for you. Just make sure that you do not just upload a video that shows a link to your site. You can experiment with taking shots of your work or maybe a video of you-in-action. This way, viewers will have an idea of what exactly you do and how you do it.
- It promotes awareness. I will not be specific on the type of awareness it encourages. I just know that whenever there is anything that is the talk-of-the-town, one cannot be left unaware because he can access it anytime in YouTube where surely, someone has uploaded it or created a video blog of it.
- YouTube can be useful and informative in a good way. Really. You know how my kid sister was so engrossed with solving a Rubix cube and she wanted to perfect it without having to read the complex step-by-step instructions provided by some other sites? She “YouTubed” it and voila! She”s now a walking instructress of Rubix 101. And she’s eleven years old, by the way.
Now the Cons
- Whenever you upload a video in YouTube, you are giving the whole world access to it. So if it’s a personal video you choose to upload, you have just given Planet Earth access to your personal life. I suggest that you try to divulge as little information about you, i.e. your real name, your exact address. This will protect you from any unwanted crazy stalkers who may end up giving you something to worry about.
- YouTube is very lenient. Kids these days have unlimited access to computers at the convenience of their own homes or at a nearby internet shop. Parents should be on the look-out for the possible negative effects some sensitive videos may bring. I know a pair of parents who refuse to let their kid watch any TV until age two. They learned from somewhere that kids who are not exposed to televisions in the first few years of their life tend to be more attentive and have a longer span of memory (due to non-exposure to 30-seconder commercials/advertisements). It makes me wonder now how YouTube’s sex scandals and violence in various forms affect kids below ten years old.
- Copyright infringements issues are common. You have to be careful in reposting videos in your own sites as these may be protected with a copyright, thus, reposting without the permission of the owner is prohibited and can result to unwanted involvement in legal issues.
Generally, the advantages of having YouTube around outweigh the disadvantages it brings. This is most especially true when parents and kids remain responsible and alert; leaving no room for exposure to violence, sex and other unhealthy dynamics that can do nothing but harm teens and kids who happen to be the active market of YouTube.