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Podcasts, gaming and music channels...Young children in Bengaluru are using screen time productively to build their presence in the digital medium 

Published: 11th November 2021 04:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th November 2021 02:05 PM   |  A+A-

Aryaa and Sriram Sullia

Aryaa and Sriram Sullia

Express News Service

BENGALURU: When the pandemic-induced lockdown was announced last year, parents worried endlessly about not knowing how their children would stay entertained. Too much screen time was a worry that many had, but some parents used that to their advantage and introduced their children to interesting variations on the internet. This eventually led to some new young YouTubers. Kids under the age of 10 are exploring YouTube, instead of just watching videos... they are making them, in the form of showing the computer games they play, the new toys they got and some even exploring their singing skills. 

The youngest of the lot appears to be Bengaluru’s four-year-old Aryaa Sriram. She was two years old when the lockdown was announced and her father, who is popularly known as RJ Sriram, turned a bedroom in his home into a radio station. When Arya was curious to know what was happening, Sriram slowly started introducing her to his work. “She then started participating on a couple of my shows and would randomly chat with people. So this led to the idea of starting a YouTube channel for her in a podcast format,” explains Sriram. 

Sharing an episode every week, the father-daughter duo chat about everything under the sun. “It could be a movie we recently watched or a new toy she got her hands on. She’s even become a director now where she tells me how she wants the introduction to be and what my dialogues should be,” Sriram says with a laugh. To give it a teaser, Aryaa also has an Instagram account where she posts content about her daily affairs, trending reels or anything else the four-year-old wants to share. 

She’s just 10 but she’s way mature for her years. Meet singer Megan Rakesh, who, after her daily Instagram live shows with the UK and US artistes, is working consistently on building her public profile. “My parents help me with the content on YouTube. We started off by putting videos on my songs in the YouTube Shorts section. But now that my social media platform is doing really well, I’m focussing on YouTube as well,” she says. Megan is building her profile ahead of the release of her next single in January 2022. “I hope to premiere my next song on YouTube and even have an online release party,” she exclaims. 

Taking his audience to another dimension is 10-year-old Tarunkrishna R who uses his YouTube channel to share the games he plays. “I record my video games when I’m playing and do a voice-over as well. Depending on the game, the videos uploaded can be anywhere between half an hour to one hour,” he says. It was his father who helped him set up the YouTube channel.  “I have a few friends online that I play the games with. They too are very excited to be part of it and support my interest in this,” he adds. 

While the children are busy exploring the digital world, parents too are equally involved in the process, monitoring their every move. But are parents worried about their child’s safety? “Of course, we are. It can be a scary world out there,” says Sriram, adding, “But we are managing all of Aryaa’s social media accounts and it’s become a space for her to learn and become confident. Having said that, we know that she will learn about harsh reality and we hope that she’ll also learn to deal with it the best way possible.”


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