Kony 2012 – What Can Teens Do?

Dana is a 16-year-old from San Diego, CA. Her love of reading and writing has allowed her to share the experiences and lessons that have taught her so much with countless others. She enjoys traveling to new places, dancing and cooking, and hopes that one day she will both work in the education field and become a published author.

Advocacy, clubs, invisible children, joseph kony, posters, social awareness, video, youtubeWith the rise of the viral video, Kony 2012, teens have been mentally and physically on the move. Posting posters around school, creating Invisible Children clubs, and simply spreading the word through Facebook and the media are among the most popular methods teens have employed to respond to the video.

The organization, Invisible Children, created the 29-minute video to raise awareness through the media to put Joseph Kony behind bars, and the effects have triggered a thin line between two different responses. While some question the reliability and authenticity of the organization and bring up controversies regarding Joseph Kony’s current whereabouts, the video, nevertheless, is a stimulant to raise awareness among the new generation of teens and adults who utilize the media to become a part of a social movement.

Teenagers who view the video see the way Jason Russell explains the issue to his own child, and realize that they have the power that they can do the same to others.

Thus, regardless of the controversies and rumors about the organization and the video, teens hold the power to act to the video in the following ways:

1) Send the video to others. A simple click of the button is spreading the word and raising awareness. Nothing is more important than taking full advantage of the potentiality of media to bring movement for a cause.

2) Numerous Facebook pages have been flooded with teen’s comments on their views of the video. If Kony 2012 is a controversial issue, then question it and speak up. Use the media to voice opinions – Kony is a hot topic and teens are willing to debate about it.

3) Make a response video. Teens are the backbone of the Kony video and can strike back with a video of their own. YouTube has several videos circulating right now.

4) As mentioned above, make posters, flyers, or create a club. Groups of students went around schools in San Diego County to plaster advocacy posters. Some started a club.

5) Use talents to appeal to local communities. Whether through writing, music, creating t-shirts, or sending a letter to a local radio station or school newspaper, a single teen has the greatest opportunity to act out during an event where the new generation of teens is the main target – teens can take advantage of this and learn how to take a step towards a mass movement.

Photo by Mathieu Le Floch on Flickr


The Best Youtubers to Watch in 2012

Sam is a seventeen-year-old from Montgomery, NJ. When she isn’t obsessing over the New Jersey Devils, Sam is doing charity work, reading magazines, and hanging with friends. She also wishes to make an imprint on the world in the future.


Everyone in my school, from the jocks to the gamers, has a Youtube personality that they love, from Wong Fu to Smosh to Phillip DiFranco. Here are some personalities to watch for 2012:

Youtube, internet, web, star, videos

For the fun-loving girl: Jenna Marbles


It seems 2011 was the year everyone discovered Jenna Marbles. Who doesn’t love a pretty blonde girl that seems to know exactly how the teenage brain (and mouth) works? From celebrity impersonations (Snooki, Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj) to her insights into the minds of boys and girls, Jenna keeps girls glued to their computers every Wednesday. Her sarcasm is biting, her opinions are blunt, and her advice is straight-forward. Now that 2012 is upon us, Jenna is sure to keep her witty and sharp videos coming.

For the hard-partying bro: Dom Mazzetti

            It is not surprising that the tough jocks in my school have cluttered my news feed with his videos. Most of them love this guy because he talks about topics teen boys love: partying, girls, and being “fly.” In reality, Dom, played by NYU grad Mike Tomabene, is a caricature of his audience. He is loud, goofy, obnoxious, and hilariously idiotic. Bros (and even some girls) absolutely love him. Some people have claimed that Dom is the underrated male counterpart to Jenna Marbles, and that 2012 might be his time to really come into the viral spotlight.

For the off-beat artist: The Real Kat Sketch


            If you are an avid fan of Youtube behemoth Shane Dawson, you probably have seen one his close friends, Kat, in his videos. If you aren’t familiar, Kat is an under-the-radar artist. Her videos vary from kooky creations to sketching blogs to taking crazy drawing requests from people who comment. She lets her creativity shine in everything she draws and makes (who would have thought to make a portrait of Rebecca Black out of different brands of cereal?). If artsier teens need inspiration for new work, Kat is definitely the go-to girl for 2012.

For the opinionated: Teens React (by The Fine Brothers)

            With the success of their “Kids React” series, in which children watch viral videos and make precocious comments, the comedic duo the Fine Brothers felt that a similar series involving teens was inevitable. Needless to say, the idea still works. The topics are more relevant to teens, from fandoms like Twilight, to politics like Rick Perry, and the rest of the presidential race. The teens vary in age, race, and quirks, which gives the show a vibrant array of personalities. Perhaps 2012 might be the year “Teens React” will go viral, and maybe even surpass its predecessor.

Photo: Rego Korosi courtesy of Flickr

What’s Goin’ On: Jonah Mowry’s Inspiring Video

Jonah Mowry, bullying, youtube, viral videos, teasing, harassment Matt is a 17-year-old from New York City, NY. He loves to be social and spend time with his friends, as well as being an active leader in his community. However, school also plays an important role in his life and he is motivated to achieve his dreams.


In this day and age, if someone wants a large population to know something, he or she goes to Youtube.com to upload a video. For some time now, there have been funny viral videos of babies laughing, animals dancing, and really bad wipeouts. However, that does not mean there isn’t any room left for inspiring and heart wrenching videos. On August 10, 2011, a young boy of thirteen went on YouTube and uploaded a video. Jonah Mowry is one of the bravest kids I have ever witnessed. If you have not seen his video titled, “Whats goin on..” click on the link and then return back to this page. If you have seen the video, let’s discuss. Whats goin on..


First, let’s summarize what occurred in Jonah’s video. The description tells us that it is very early in the morning (or late at night, depending on how you keep track of time) and he could not sleep. There was a lot on his mind. Jonah’s video was about him being scared of starting high school because of all of the teasing and ridicule he obtained throughout the years for being gay. He even writes on one of his cards “suicide was an option.…many times.” A few minutes into the video, Jonah starts to cry. We started to cry as well. We all felt his pain and wanted to go and give him a huge hug . We wanted so badly to tell him he must stay strong.


Why did Jonah’s video go viral?


Like I said earlier, his bravery is inspiring and his honesty is touching. This video is short, yet so powerful. It takes a lot of guts, for lack of a better word, to do what he did. Within a few days, my Facebook News-feed was buzzing with comments and links to Jonah’s video. After watching the video, I was surprised by some of my friend’s responses. I was surprised because all of the comments were positive. I was convinced some of my friends would be harsh and closed-minded. I was amazed that it was those close-minded friends, more than others, who posted comments. Jonah’s video truly changed lives and perspectives on the young adult life. Not even just that though, Jonah’s video started an uprising on YouTube. After Jonah, many kids went on YouTube and uploaded videos about how they were feeling and about things that were on their minds. All of them are real, true, and inspiring.


Back in the old days, when movies were in black and white and the actors did not speak, the emotions spoke for them. Jonah’s video, and the videos that stemmed from his video, followed the old Hollywood tradition. Though the audience could read Jonah’s cards, the emotions on his face spoke louder and clearer. He was hurt, scared and needed help.


The last few cards changed the mood of the video from woeful to hopeful—something that I think everyone needs to focus on. Jonah writes, “I have a million reasons to be Here.” To all of those out there who are facing a rough time in their lives, you too have a million reasons to be here.


This video is amazing because it is so honest and comes from a thirteen-year-old boy. This video shows how hard a young adult’s life can be. The bullying needs to stop now. The teasing needs to stop now. Everyone, young or old, needs to take one giant step back and look at the world we live in. Who wants to live in a world where a thirteen-year-old thought about suicide to end his pain for being gay? Who wants to live in a world where young adults cause pain to each other? Who wants to live in a world where people’s disagreements end in ostracizing groups? Change needs to happen now.


Jonah wrote an update on his video a few days ago. He wrote, “I never expected in a million years that it would have such a wonderful impact on so many people. I am truly humbled and truly thankful for all the love, encouragement and support from people all over the world. It’s been incredibly overwhelming. I don’t know what to say. Thank you so, so much!” Jonah changed the world. Jonah’s video gives hope to everyone that is hurting—not just to the gay community, but to everyone who has ever felt hurt and lost before.


Jonah, thank you for all that you have done so far. You are an inspiration to many and have only begun to change the world. Enjoy high school and stay true to who you are!


Your friend,




Image: photosteve101 from Flickr

Best Family and Parent Vloggers on Youtube

vlogging, youtube, online video, internet personalitiesA vlogger is someone who posts regular videos documenting their lives or tips and ideas in their favorite area. There are some great parents and families who posts videos about themselves or interesting how-to’s and I wanted to mention some of my favorites here.

1) Jen and Marissa


Jen and Marissa do some great videos that are very sweet.

2) Kyle and Court


Love some of these Kyle and Court videos!

3) The Mom of 6 Boys


It is amazing they have 6 boys! I love some of their adventures they capture on video.

4) Shaytards

The Shaytards are so funny and their videos are fast paced and super amusing.

Meet the Teen Youtube Sensation: xxAllieCosmeticsxx!

Daniela is a 16 year old from Miami, Florida. She enjoys helping others and writing.  Her favorite subject is psychology because one day she hopes to major in psychology.


For those of you who don’t know, Youtube is a website used for more than just searching song lyrics or music videos to your favorite songs. There are people who actually do Youtube videos for a living. I have been watching Youtube videos since around late 2009.  My favorite Youtuber has to be Allie, or better known “xxAllieCosemeticsxx”.  She is a young 16 year old girl from Montreal, Canada.  She is a Beauty Vlogger on Youtube. She started her channel in 2008 and has been making beauty and fashion videos ever since.  Now, almost three years later she has over 30, 000 subscribers on Youtube.  You might be thinking, “Oh, a makeup and fashion channel? That sounds so vain” But in reality it’s not. Allie always stresses the fact that beauty comes first on the inside.


There’s way more to Allie than just make up and clothing. She has inspired me and over 30,000 other viewers with her dramatic weight loss. As a child, I had always been overweight just like Allie stated that she was in one of her other videos “My Weight Loss Story!”. Then people started to send really mean and hurtful messages about her weight to her on the anonymous question and answer website called “Formspring”. She calls those people her “angels in disguise” because they motivated her to lose weight. According to one of her responses on Tumblr, she has lost over 40 pounds. Allie has always been beautiful but now with the confidence that she has earned from her weight loss, she has blossomed into an even more beautiful individual.

I remember the day I saw that video of hers, I felt like I could relate so much to what she had gone through. It was like finally someone out there finally understood how I felt. That video and many others helped me start my own weight loss journey.  On June 13th, 2011 I decided to get healthy. I worked out at the gym over 5 times a week and I completely changed my diet in order to accommodate my healthier lifestyle. Although, I’m not as successful as Allie I have actually lost a good amount of weight. I can see the difference in how I act and how my clothes fit and I owe a lot of it to Allie’s inspiration. As “cheesy” as it sounds, I felt like if Allie could do it than so could I. I could also relate to Allie’s anxiety issues that she has shared with her subscribers on her channel. I know how it feels to be in that position, and even though she lives thousands of miles from me it’s great to know that someone else has faced those same struggles.

I am subscribed to over 200 Youtube channels, and I could honestly say that Allie has been the biggest inspiration to me. Her videos have made such an impact on my life. She has also inspired me to make Youtube videos. I will be starting my own channel soon and I hope to be as successful as Allie. There is no one else that could ever be classified as my “favorite You tuber”.  I also enjoy other Youtubers that are not beauty related. Good examples would be “TimothyDeLaGhetto2” or Timothy Chantarangsu from Paramount, California who makes comedy videos and “CTFxC” or Charles Trippy and Allie Speed from Bradenton, Florida who make daily “vlogs” talking about their life and sharing their life with the world. Both of those Youtubers have over a million subscribers in total and I look forward to their videos every single day.

Teen Trend: Haul Videos – From The Perspective Of A YouTube Beauty & Style Guru

Haul Videos, YouTube, Teen Trends, Teen Fashion, DaisyLove03


Samantha is a 17-year-old from Tulsa, OK. She enjoys babysitting, sewing, drawing, crocheting, writing and anything creative. She loves to hang out with her mom and two sisters and hopes to someday work in the fashion industry.


The New Oxford American Dictionary defines a haul as: ‘(of a person) pull or drag with effort or force.’ By Youtube’s beauty and style community standards, a haul may be defined as: a video, debuting items (clothes, makeup, food, etc.) typically bought on a recent shopping spree. Though hauls may, superficially, seem vain and self-centered, after digging deeper you can see there is a lot of positive that spurs from this trend. This double-edge sword is best left to conclusion after weighing the good from the bad and reading Radical Parenting’s Q&A with DaisyLove03, a popular beauty guru on YouTube. She is adept to answer, having made several different haul videos of her own.



Q&A with YouTube.com/DaisyLove03



How did you get started making haul videos?


“Prior to creating my own channel I was always watching other gurus such as MakeupByTiffanyD, JuicyStar07 and SparkleMissA. I found that it was really fun to watch, especially when their style and preference for clothes/makeup etc we’re really similar to my own. I got started in making haul videos on my channel because a few of my viewers started requesting for them. I didn’t realize how big this trend was until I started doing more research about it!”



Overall, do you believe that haul videos are a positive or negative trend?


“Even though haul videos do carry a negative trend of causing people to purchase unintended items. I find that overall it is a positive way for people to share with others what they are interested in. It is a great way to help inspire, connect and hear feedback about what the latest trends in fashion/cosmetics etc are through networking within this YouTube community.”



Why do you like to make haul videos?


“Creating haul videos is really enjoyable because it gives me a chance to share with others my own personal taste in items. It is a great way to hear feedback! Sort of like going through the items that you just purchased with a friend after a finished shopping trip.”


What is the upside to haul videos?


“The upside to haul videos is that it is a great way for people to share with others what they recently purchased. Usually this is one of the best ways to discover new products that you might have never known of! Also haul videos, in a way, serve as mini reviews. This is a great resource for those who are looking for a second opinion before purchasing.”



What do you think the downside is to hauling?


“Even though creating hauling videos are really fun to do, I believe that there is a downside in doing it. It can often lead people to go shop for unintended items because it is so easy to become infatuated with certain items that are shown in haul videos.”



What makes this kind of video so appealing to watch, especially to teens?


“Haul videos are one of the most popular videos to watch simply because people are curious about what other’s purchase. These videos really appeal to teens because it shows them what the latest and greatest products are and how their fellow peers feel about each product, especially when going through the phases of trying to find your own style.”



Are haul’s your favorite kind of video to make or do you prefer OOTD/Tutorials/Reviews etc.?


“I prefer making Tutorials and Reviews more than Haul videos. I find that Reviews and Tutorials are much more fun to make in my opinion because they are more informative.  I feel that I can really help my viewers by sharing with them my experience and knowledge with a certain product or how to create a new make up look.”



Which one of your haul videos is your favorite?


“One of my favorite haul videos is actually my Hot Topic Haul that I posted recently. I went there to go purchase a Harry Potter ‘Snuggie’ for the premiere. It was a great investment =)”



Check out some of DaisyLove03’s Hauls:


Haul: Harry Potter and more –



A Christmas Haul –



Target Haul! –




As you can deduce from the above Q&A, hauls are rich with positives that prevail over the unfavorable aspects of this trend.


Did you like this post? Check out our new book: Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded? This is the groundbreaking new parenting book written by Vanessa and her teens! Get a secret view into the world of adolescents and prescriptive advice on everything from lying, to texting to procrastination.

YouTube Sensation: Shane Dawson

youtube, shane dawson, youtube comedian, shane dawson tv

Kaelyn is a 16 year old girl who is from Corona, CA. She enjoys playing soccer, socializing with friends, and writing for her high school newspaper, The Husky Express. Her favorite subjects are Language Arts and Journalism because she wants to be a journalist when she grows up.

When I think of Shane Dawson, I think of him as a regular guy who makes anyone, specifically teens, laugh or connect with him in a way to where fans can relate to what he is feeling. He posts new videos on his main channel, ShaneDawsonTV, every Saturday and video blogs on his second channel, ShaneDawsonTV2, throughout the week. On his main channel, he has a series called “Shane and Friends”, which he does once every month. This series includes him giving advice and talking as basically all his characters. Every video he makes can either make you laugh out loud, remember the time when you felt that way or make you think about a situation you have never been in. Shane Dawson appeals to so many people because he’s entertaining and makes fun of current topics, movies or music videos. In some videos he also likes to give advice to his fans about life or situations that he has learned from in his own life. For example, as a child he went through some hardships like being over-weight and being beaten by his alcoholic father who later abandoned his family. His main advice to his fans are to be themselves and dont let anyone bring you down. Many people who have seen his channel, either say he’s amazing and is hilarious or some think that he should be flagged for violation of the site’s standards.

Personally, I like him because the humor I like can be immature or can reach a subject in my life where a comical person like Shane Dawson can turn it into the funniest thing ever. Something that I cherish about him too is that he is so open and honest with his fans about everything. He also impersonates celebrities, which I find entertaining, like Miley Cyrus and Paris Hilton. He also has his own characters that he has created and impersonates from time to time. In his personal life, he has never had sex or drank any alcohol but he always seems to talk about it in his videos like he has done it before. To me, he’s like an innocent guy with a bad mouth but he always seems to put a smile on anyone’s face regardless on how they’re feeling that day. In a way, Shane connects with me and knows how I feel because sometimes I can feel like an outcast and not myself. But I know that when I turn to YouTube and go to his channel, he’s there in my computer screen smiling. I am glad to be a fan of Shane Dawson.

Image: The Bui Brothers from Flikr


Ark Music Factory: The New Birthday Gift…A Music Video?

ark music factory, music video, youtube, teen video, pop starAnyone who has attempted to dislodge the pesky lyrics of Rebecca Black’s hit “Friday” from their head knows the potential danger of allowing every pop-obsessed teenager to purchase their own music video. For approximately $2000 any doting parent can procure a personalized, heavily auto-tuned music video of their offspring. Unfortunately, music videos are quickly becoming the next coveted Bar-Mitzvah or Sweet Sixteen gift.


Driving the popularity of the buy-your-own video trend is Ark Music Factory. The companies’ seemingly exploding business taps into this generation of fame-hungry teens and yes-man parents. Their formula could be both pure genius and toxic poison: Start with a base of catchy lyrics, add one celebrity-obsessed teenage and an appeasing parent, throw in a rapper in sunglasses, stir in a corny story line, cover with auto-tuner and repeat.


The formula worked wonders for the Black family when in 2010 Rebecca Black’s music video, “Friday” went viral—attracting over 164,000,000 views on YouTube and reaching the top of the charts on iTunes.


Rebecca Black’s Friday with Ark Music Factory:



Ark Music Factory’s success is driven by the fact that it’s formula perfectly fills some of the needs of this generation of parents and teens. First, for young adults today, celebrity seems tangible. Tweens can stay up to date on what celebrities like Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher eat for breakfast or wear to bed. They can be Facebook friends with Demi Lovato and comment on her status updates from rehab. This makes the idea of celebrity seem real, relevant and attractive.


Second, our kids are aware that they are one YouTube video from a million people seeing them. In a matter of hours, an unknown teenager with an interesting story can garner thousands of views on YouTube. This is a lot of power and opportunity to give an 11 year-old. Instead dreaming of becoming a rock star for a few weeks, singing in front of the bathroom mirror and then deciding to be a veterinarian. Kids practice in front of their web cams, start a YouTube channel and Tumblr with their lyrics and, now, beg their parents to get them an Ark video.


Lastly, as more and more parents feel pressure for their kids to go above and beyond for college applications and to be competitive in the job market, Ark also fills a need. For a fee that is less than the cost of a college admission tutor, parents can create an ever-lasting homage to their teen. And if they are lucky enough to get a hit, make millions on music sales and sponsorship deals.


But what effect will this have on our teens? Rebecca Black’s success is only more encouraging for unknown teens who want a chance at stardom. Whether they make their own videos or hire Ark, the fame the might achieve is not only positive. Rebecca Black’s interview on Good Morning America played with the headline: “Worst Video in the World?” She has been ridiculed across the Internet for being everything from fat, to ugly to nasal. Other Ark created quasi-celebrities have achieved moderate success on the charts such as, Abby Victor, Alana Lee and Madison Bray.


Could financial success and fame possibly make-up for the barrage of negative comments directed at these underage girls? Parents cannot possibly prepare their daughters for the hurtful comments that will undoubtedly arise from their videos. Nor can parents prevent the inevitable escapeless stigma their daughters might receive in the workplace or in colleges if their video receives negative attention.


As a community, we have to encourage our daughters and friends that fame can be dangerous for teen girls and that what might seem like a fun music-video birthday gift, could create irreversible damage. In the words of Rebecca Black: “When I first saw all these nasty comments, I did cry, I felt like, this was my fault and I shouldn’t of done this, and this is all because me.” She goes on to say, of course, “Now I don’t feel that way.” But, we wonder, will she ever be able to overcome the negative comments?





Best Videos of Kids 2011

best youtube videos, best videos for parents, funny kid videos, entertaining youtube videosWho doesn’t like watching videos of kids laughing, sneezing and chewing on their brother’s fingers? Here are the top videos for parents in 2011, as well as some oldies but goodies.


Emerson watches his mom blow her nose and gets freaked out—really freaked out, then laughs when it is over. Love this video.


I love this video of how kids can sometimes cause a lot of Drama…on purpose.


This was posted earlier this year and made us all want to a) have a baby and b) rip paper in front of them. This video shows a dad ripping paper for their baby and then laughing hysterically.


Another formula for a great Youtube video, this was posted in spring of 2011 and shows a dog eating bubbles and a baby laughing hysterically.


Sometimes I feel like this at the end of a long day…this baby really needs to just go to sleep.


This video is called “Massive Baby Fat”…can’t go wrong with that.

Have any other videos of kids that we might like?

Bieber Fever

Jennifer is a 18-year old from Long Island, NY. She enjoys playing squash and the violin. Her favorite subject is English because she loves to write and read.

The latest teen sensation is Justin Beiber. The 16 year old Canadidan pop- R& B singer was first found from his videos on YouTube and with the help of his manager and singer Usher, he became the music world’s latest obsession. Justin has a loyal following of millions of girls from ages to 6 to 16 plus a handful of older women. With millions of followers on Twitter and Facebook, his followers are even sometimes called his personal “wolf pack.” The UK newspaper The Observer said that Bieber is more influencial in the social networking world than Obama and or The Dalai Lama.

His music is not the only reason that makes girls swoon. His hair, clothes and demeanor all contribute to his image. The obsession with Justin has even been termed ‘Bieber Fever’ by his ‘beliebers’ (one who is an obsessive fan of Bieber). With just about every product (even a line of nail polish) created by Bieber such as a book, movie, Superbowl commercials, performing at the Grammy’s, being in TV shows and being a guest on almost every TV Talk show, it seems that Justin Bieber is everywhere you look.

Some parents worry about their child’s case of “bieber fever.” His fans are so loyal and obsessed with him that they do crazy things to ‘protect’ their love. For example, fans wrote death threats on stars, such as Selena Gomez and Kim Kardashian’s, twitter accounts after pictures of these stars with Justin sparked rumors of possible relationships. Also, after Justin didn’t win the best new artist award at the Grammy’s his fans filled the winner’s wall with hateful words such as “Justin Bieber should have won, no one knows who you are.”

So has the Beiber Fever obsession gone too far? Now it is not just teens but also older women have become obsessed with the 16 year old. There is even a website called Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Beiber where people post pictures of women that emulate his signature hair cut, by far one of the most important aspects of his appeal.

There is always a teen sensation and Justin Beiber is the current one. Whether or not he will be in the spotlight forever, that is unknown. However, Bieber is taking over now and it is evident that many females all over the world are suffering from a serious case of Bieber fever.