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Streaming, whether it be video games, cooking, or just live conversations, has never been more popular. More and more of our kids are hopping into live stream channels every day and it is important that we help them understand how to behave there. 

The most important thing to remember is that while live-streaming does give more of a personal connection between a streamer and their audience that doesn’t mean that the streamer is their audience’s “friend.” They are not really much different from a radio DJ or a TV weatherperson. The only difference is that they have an easier time responding to people. 

That ease of response makes people feel comfortable in their channels and can lead to some embarrassing results. Below are some guidelines for how to interact with streamers that you can keep in mind while you talk to your kids about the streamers they watch.

Great Guidelines to Share With Your Kids

  1. Don’t call a streamer by their first name unless they tell you that you can. This implies a level of familiarity that your child doesn’t have. You should encourage your child to use the streamers screen name or handle instead. 
  1. Subscriptions buy entertainment. They do not buy access. Many people on the internet believe that subscribing to a channel on Twitch or to a user on Patreon should grant them more access to the content creator. Sometimes they even think that it makes them “friends.” This just isn’t the case. A Twitch subscription grants you access to more content from the creator, but it doesn’t mean that they should give you more access to their personal life. 
  1. The very first thing your child should do when they start to watch a new stream is read the rules. This will let them know what kind of channel they are in, what the expectations are of them, and what the environment will be like. This will be a great way for your child to know if the chat will be safe for them. You should tell your child to be wary of streamers with no rules. These streamers can have pretty toxic communities. 
  1. Every channel has different rules for how to behave there. If your child spends time in those channels they will learn those rules. They should not, however, try to enforce those rules unless they have been chosen to be a moderator by the streamer. This can add to confusion in the chat and make it harder for the moderation team to do their work and interrupt the stream for everyone else. 
  1. Teach them to interact more with the chat than they do with the streamer. The streamer is performing for a group of people and shouldn’t be expected to talk to everyone. Instead, the community is supposed to form around the streamer and talk amongst themselves. 

The below video is a panel hosted early on during the pandemic. It features a diverse group of streamers with years of experience. They talk a lot about how users should behave while watching streams and talk a lot about the experiences they have had. It is an enlightening video for anyone who watches streams regularly.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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