Technological advancements and evolution are correlated terms. They coexist, they give meaning to one another. Every single invention is another piece in the mosaic of changes. The world changes, people’s experiences change, their lives change. And the sooner one is born, the bigger part of their childhood/life the digitalisation influences. Kids born in the 90s were lucky enough to experience a childhood in its classic form. We all sentimentally reminisce about staying out late playing hopscotch with our mates. And for many of us the most exciting experience with technology was our Tamagotchi. However, today with the help of the above-mentioned advancements, the Internet takes every new-born in its loving arms and raises an extraordinary brand new kid, giving it an extraordinary childhood.
Are Social Networking Sites The New Parents?
What is the case with kids today? They simply live online. Netflix became what it is today in 2007, YouTube gained popularity after 2005. During that period Facebook was still fighting to be noticed, and Instagram was yet to be launched in 2010. It feels as if our childhood before these evolutionary inventions was just a void, a dodgy space filled with sorrow, loneliness, boredom, depression… On the other hand, kids today not only live online. The Internet is raising them. It is even so easy to become popular on the Internet. It only takes having something outstanding about yourself and BAM!: You are a sensation, viral, world-famous. Kid stars today are ubiquitous in the virtual world. Kid stars created by the big bang of social media. These are the ‘extraordinary’ kids the Internet raises.
From Bournemouth To Hollywood
I can’t help but look at the recently born star, the girl who stays behind the beloved Eleven – Millie Bobby Brown. She is a 14-year-old actress with British origins. When she turned 4 her family moved to Bournemouth. We all know her thanks to the 2016 blockbuster TV series Stranger Things. And this is certainly not the end. She is starring in the Godzilla: King of the Monsters film which will be released on May 2019. With 18,1m followers of her Instagram feed, Bobby Brown is the ideal example of an ‘extraordinary’ kid, a brand new kid. Not that much of a kid anymore though…
Her Instagram photos make her ‘life on the fast lane’ quite easily noticed by the naked eye. From posting photos with world famous celebrities (Drake, Ed Sheeran), to her photo shoots for brands like Calvin Klein, awards events (Teen Choice Awards, British Awards 2018, etc.) she seems to be at the peak of her career, and she is only 14. Millie is an UNICEF ambassador, the face of Calvin Klein, she is an obvious fashion icon, wearing high-end brands, starring in popular shows (The Ellen Show, The Jimmy Fallon Show, The Tonight Show, etc.). In other words, she is the ultimate example of a world-famous child star. Are we really talking about a 14-year-old girl here…?
And it was all thanks to one of Netflix’s most watched series. However, suppose the internet did not exist…? Of course such a success was possible 10, 15, 20 years ago, perhaps in a different form. But today the huge choice of digitalised forms of entertainment makes gaining popularity on the Internet a more and more frequent phenomenon.
The Rhythm Of An Extraordinary Childhood
Another brand new kid is Maddie Ziegler, who is also Bobby Brown’s best friend. She first appeared on screen at the age of 8 in the American television reality show Dance Moms (with screen being the key word). From then on, she has been successfully pursuing a career as a dancer. Singer SIA turned out to be watching the show and in 2014 she tweeted:
— sia (@Sia) March 4, 2014
A life- and childhood-changing tweet (key word: tweet). Ever since she has been a key figure in SIA’s music videos, demonstrating professionalism and grace. Maddie Ziegler is 16 now and has already established a fashion brand called Maddie Style, has been credited with writing 3 books. She even has a year and a half long relationship already behind her. Above all, as an expression of her love for Maddie, SIA bought her a brand new Audi for her 16th birthday. Uhm, is this an extraordinary childhood or a premature adulthood?
7 Seconds To Stardom
YouTube is anything but behind in bearing brand new kids. To be a ‘YouTuber’ today is a profession, and some become professional at a very, very early age. Jay Versace is a brand new kid who gained popularity through his Vine channel – a video platform whose users used to create seven-second-long videos. When he was just 15 in only a month his followers skyrocketed from 200,000 to 600,000. When Vine got shut down, Jay continued posting on YouTube. Now he is 20 and has over 800,000 subscribers, and almost four million followers on Instagram. How many people you know have become stars, trendsetters and world-famous ‘Viners’ at the age of 15? Exactly.
At the end of the day, it is undeniable that these brand new kids are a ‘production’ of the Internet. The digitalization of life is just making the process faster by giving them much more opportunities to show what they can do and who they are.
To sum up, it is amazing what the Internet can do to a kid. It only takes something that makes you stand out in a way – be it acting or dancing skills, or humour, or whatever. Leave the rest to social media. The result: an extraordinary childhood marked with everything you would think is typical of the life of an adult: fame, fans, luxurious life, brand establishment, etc.
What a time to be alive… What a time to be a child…
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