What Glues Family Vloggers: Children and Religion

I normally don’t write about family and YouTube on my blog. However, I felt compelled to write about the glue that holds family vloggers on YouTube together; for those who do not know, family vloggers are average families who post videos about their daily lives on YouTube. Examples of these type of vloggers are: The ShayTards, The Nive Nulls, The Chick’s Life, Samika Vlogs, Ellie and Jared, and Katie and Cullen, just to name a few.

What exactly are the components, or the glue, if you will, that hold family vloggers on YouTube together? What makes people who watch family vloggers feel as if they are utopian families? That answer lies deep in the components that make up most family vloggers.

My argument is two-fold. First, I believe children and religion play a key role in keeping the family vloggers true to their roots and united. Second, I contend that because of this unity, people who watch the vloggers are impressed by the vloggers coziness and warmth; people feel as if they [the vloggers] are utopian families.

Families are defined as “relationships in which people live together with commitment, form an economical unit and care for any young, and consider their identity to be significantly attached to the group” (Kendall, 2013:447). Now, how does this create a sense of unity? The key phrases are ‘care for any young’ and ‘together with commitment’. Because family vloggers, like most families, have a child(ren) together and are committed to support their young, they set aside or sacrifice personal wants and desires to jointly support their kid(s). Their child(ren) are their priority and they jointly submit their fair share of duties to ensure the welfare of their child(ren). For example, the father may be the breadwinner and pay the bills or the college tuition and the mother may ensure that their child(ren) get a well rounded education [extracurricular activities on top of the schooling]. These roles may be reversed. Through this process, unity is created.

Furthermore, religion, like families, can also create unity. Sociologist Diana Kendall defines religion[1] as “a social institution composed of unified system of beliefs, symbols, and rituals- based on some sacred or supernatural realm- that guides human behavior…unites believers into a community” (Kendall, 2013: 507). Like most believers, Family vloggers who believe in a supernatural being share a common supernatural entity (e.g.: Jesus as the son of God). They also share common beliefs of that religion and congregate as one in a specific institution to praise their supernatural being. For example, people may congregate in a church, temple, or mosque (Kendall, 2013: 507). Peter Berger (1967) states that religion could serve as an answer to commonly asked questions, such as: Who am I, Why am I here, etc.[2] In summary, because believers share a common supernatural being they put the supernatural being ahead of themselves and unite with other believers as one to lead a healthy and holier life.

I contend that through these aspects of family life keep most families, such as family vloggers, united as an entity. Because family vloggers post these aspects on the Internet for everyone to witness, we, as viewers get to see first hand how unity and harmony are created. For some reason, people love to se other people united, living in peace and harmony.

[1] Among others

[2] Stated in Kendall

Kendall, Diana. Sociology in Our Times. Stamford, CT: 10th Edition, 2013.

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