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Distorted Virtual Role Models

Essay by   •  March 18, 2018  •  Essay  •  569 Words (3 Pages)  •  464 Views

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Distorted, Virtual Role Models

Everyone has a childhood role model- someone to look up to, to admire, to learn from. In the past, it could be firefighters, or one’s own father. However, what becomes increasingly apparent is that future generations will have a very different role models- ones they can only see through their phones.

Distorted role models increasingly dominate social media, influencing millions of children with their morals displayed in ‘vlogs’ (video blogs), which could lead to disastrous consequences for future generations to come.

Take, for example, one of the most prominent social media ‘influencers’- the Paul brothers, consisting of Logan and Jake Paul. Together, they have over 30 million subscribers on YouTube, and millions more across their various social media platforms. They rose to fame through Jake’s debut on a Disney Channel show, which he later got booted off due to his toxic antics. As expected of two twenty-something, conventionally handsome people on YouTube, their viewership is primarily young teens who regard them as their role models.

However, the Paul brothers aren’t exactly the prime example of a role model for young teens. In late 2017, Logan Paul visited Japan’s Aokigahara forest, otherwise known as the Suicide Forest, and came across a dead body. He then decided that the most appropriate form of action was to video blog the entire situation, filming in front of the hanged man. In Jake Paul’s case, he is well known for being notorious, with multiple accusations of abuse, manipulation, and racism.

Surprisingly, their fan base has not taken significant hits. Both YouTube channels are still growing day by day. Every video gets millions of views within hours. Jake Paul has teen fans lining up outside his house every day, some fans travelling across the globe just to crowd around his house, hoping to catch a glimpse of the star.

The Paul brothers are not oddities on the social media scene. There are thousands of social media starlets whose influence is toxic at best, and those at their mercy tends to be the easily influenced younger generation. We should not be allowing distorted role models to be the ones guiding our future generation to adulthood.

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