Kids React to KONY 2012
I’m a huge fan of the “Kids React to Viral Videos” series by the Fine Bros. I always like to see what the kids have to say about viral videos and the ideas expressed in those videos, since kids seem to watch the bulk of their TV on YouTube, and they’re so impressionable and honest about it.
I was especially excited to see the “Kids React to the KONY 2012” video. It was released immediately following all the backlash and controversy surrounding the video and the subsequent arrest and reactive-psychosis diagnosis of the video maker (Invisible Children’s Jason Russell). The KONY video was the most viral video of all time, reaching over 40 million viewers around the world in 3 days and over 100 million viewers to date. In an older post, I was tracking the video in real time, collecting articles and reactions to the viral phenomenon. Click here to visit that post. Also, check out this graph that appeared in Mashable, Jezebel, etc, placing #KONY2012 as the fastest spreading viral video of all time, reaching 100 million viewers in just 6 days:
It’s worth watching the “Kids React to Kony 2012” video because the kids (ages 8-14) have a fresh perspective, and the video already has almost 500,000 hits in 3 days (verifying, perhaps, that the Kony 2012 campaign has staying power and it’s still a topic of interest). The Kids React crew (the next generation) were surprisingly, refreshingly thoughtful about the video and passionate about the cause. They make some really interesting points about the film and the way it reached them. Since the video was viewed by so many kids, one of them pointed out that they felt more aware of world events than their TV-watching parents, since they watch YouTube over TV and communicate primarily through social media (where they initially heard about the video, watched it, and passed it along). A 14 year-old girl in the video mentioned having to tell her parents who Joseph Kony was. She mentioned that:
… younger people watch YouTube. Older people watch TV now. That’s how it is. Why isn’t [someone] on the news telling us about it instead of kids telling their parents, ‘hey mom, hey dad, do you know who Joseph Kony is?’ because that’s what I had to do.
Tracking digital-awareness is fascinating nowadays, because news cycles move fast and they may in fact hit the youngest demographic first. It’s amazing that the littlest kids are becoming more informed via social media and passing this information along to their parents.
For a little more perspective on the Invisible Children charity and the evolution of their awareness-raising videos, you could also check out Invisible Children’s bizarrely Glee-ish “Global Night Commute” music video from 2006. They’ve apparently come a long way:
(If you somehow missed the KONY 2012 video, you can click here to view it.)