Waiting room full of people. Food in a restaurant where there is not a pin. Children who do not know how to sit still. Parents who, fearing that their offspring bother others, take their mobile phone faster than a cowboy gun in the Old West to offer it to their children and to stay calm while watching videos on YouTube . Does it sound?

The wonderful thing about this application is that if you do not like the video you are watching or when it is over, just tap your finger to start a new reproduction. And from this, to another. Even one of the suggestions offered by YouTube itself.

But is YouTube something appropriate for children?

Algorithms are also wrong

The cartoons are not always for the youngest of the house: from series like South Park or The Simpsons to contents in manga or famous dubbing through internet creations that show anything but appropriate content for minors .

To err is of humans and the machines and algorithms that govern technology like the one behind YouTube also fail. Therefore, from time to time we find news that reminds us that the supervision of the content that children see on the part of adults is something that we should not stop doing.

Not even YouTube Kids , the specific application for children, is free of these controversies, although it is true that the contents here seem to be more filtered.

Football is soccer

However, YouTube Kids only feeds on children’s programs, so there are parents who can not find content that their children demand in this channel . “My son is a football fan, so what he asks to see are summaries of matches, compilation of best plays …”, Elena the founder of Skwebdesigningsolutions tells us.

“The problem is that, sometimes, in the videos suggested appear videos that are supposedly related but that have little to do with football: explosive girls, the most beautiful girlfriends of the players …”, Elena tells us, who acknowledges that she supervises that videos that your child views are appropriate for their age.

My son is YouTuber

However, there are many parents who do consider that YouTube is a tool like any other indicated for children.

“YouTube can be a suitable tool for children, of course! The volume of quality information and entertainment on YouTube is spectacular and put in a way that catches children’s attention. Children can learn or satisfy their curiosity and unleash their creativity and imagination with YouTube videos, “explains Laura, whose son not only has his own channel on the social network, but has learned more about space or the body human, to learn drawing techniques, to know more about movies that he likes or to discover more of his favourite music … “It’s like a great encyclopedia mixed with entertainment in a format that appeals to children and motivates them much more”.

But should we let kids use YouTube just for consumption or also to create their own content like a youtuber? ” Would you encourage your child to draw and produce his own comic, for example, or would you only allow him to read comics but never create them? The answer is obvious, is not it? Well with YouTube happens exactly the same, “says this mother, who remembers that the idea of ​​his son having his own channel was the youngest.

The advantages, for Laura, are many. The biggest problem is that there is so much content that there is also poor quality or not suitable for children. “But YouTube would not change itself, because in the end it is still a platform, a stage where we show the best and worst of each house. But we must take this into account when giving access to our children to this platform. Neither YouTube is the devil nor is it a perfect kangaroo to trust fully, “he says.

Technology yes, but with a head

She is not the only one who thinks like that. In fact, the judge of minors Emilio Calatayud has exposed on several occasions the danger of leaving children alone with a technological device with connection to all types of networks and access to all types of content. “Many parents give their children these instruments to be left alone without understanding that they are very dangerous instruments to commit criminal acts, such as threats, blackmail, coercion or bullying, and very dangerous to be a victim,” he says.

Therefore, Laura understands that it is a mistake to use this tool as a nanny. “In YouTube the amount of channels and videos is immense and the process of control and filtering is a little more complicated, but with education and communication, everything is achieved. In the end, the error is using YouTube or TV as a babysitter. Those of us who educate are the parents, not YouTube, but YouTube can be a valuable tool. ”

That is to say, it is not so much a matter of YouTube’s specific problem as of the use made of the technology itself. These tools are not good or bad per se , but the use we give to them is what ends up perverting their use and their benefits.

In fact, it is not the first time that the voices of experts  who claim that children are exposed less to the constant use of screens, for the possible consequences that these can have on their development, both physical and emotional, have come to light. and intellectual.

From the child’s perspective

Therefore, this mother believes that perhaps the mistake is to analyze YouTube from the adult perspective and let yourself be carried away by the bad content instead of looking at all the good that it has. “When you let a child have access to YouTube, you realize that they use it for everything. Any problem or doubt or question they have, look for the answer on YouTube. It’s almost like your Google. ”

So, this mother remembers that her son went through a time when he read a series of stories called Horrid Henry. “One day I saw him in the official channel of the book illustrator (he knew the name, I did not even) with YouTube on the iPad on one side and one sheet on the other, following the instructions to correctly illustrate that character … and how he learned it! “, he recalls.

“He also went through a Spiderman phase, he was very interested in the movies … so he saw many videos of movie reviews, he learned the names of all the actors and in the end he came to his own conclusion of what was his favorite actor and why . And now he also uses YouTube as a music channel, because listening to music he likes a lot, but seeing it is the most . He makes his own music lists and watches the videos of his favorite groups. YouTube mixes knowledge with entertainment and that has to be valued very much “.