teens

Georgia's parents allowed her YouTube channel at 13. Now she has 500,000 people watching.

When Vicki’s daughter Georgia was 13, she began her own YouTube channel in 2013.

She began posting comedy videos about what she describes as “relatable aspects of everyday life” and now has over 500,000 subscribers to her channel Georgia Productions.

And understandably, it initially caused concerns for her parents.

“Both my husband and I were concerned about her safety and vulnerability being in a public forum at such a young age,” Vicki told Mamamia.

“We knew that once you put yourself online, you are open to other people’s negativity and scrutiny. When people are anonymous they can be cruel, opinionated and inappropriate.

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“Georgia was a very innocent and naive girl, our concern was that she would encounter via comments people that just wanted to upset her and put her down.”

With this understanding and with countless reports of online bullying, trolling and accusations directed at social media influencers, most recently demonstrated by the James Charles scandal, Georgia’s parents were wary, but she wasn’t.

“I was quite oblivious to the dangers of the online world,” Georgia told Mamamia.

“Fortunately, my parents guided and supported me on how to manage the unfavourable or hostile viewer feedback. They still help by previewing all my content before it’s published to YouTube.”

Vicki explained that Georgia was quick to tell her parents if there was anything in the comments that was negative or hurtful.

“If this did happen we had procedures in place to deal with it. The first and foremost was not to respond, then delete, and if if anything serious, block and report,” Vicki said.

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"We had conversations around ground rules." Image: Supplied.

Vicki and her husband had an in depth discussion prior to allowing Georgia to start publishing her videos via YouTube.

"We had conversations around ground rules, maintaining privacy and being aware of items in shot that would provide viewers with too much personal information, for example, photos in the background, documents on the fridge door, emblems on uniforms.

"We also made sure Georgia was careful to keep all her connections to her school out of the videos and have a stage name she goes by. She very quickly became vigilant in checking for these things whilst editing her videos. I can still remember that conversation vividly."

Ultimately Vicki and her husband agreed to allow Georgia to start her YouTube channel because they could see how much it meant to her.

"It gave her such a sense of pride and pleasure for other people to see her videos and enjoy them that we decided with our strict guidelines in place, she could give it a go."

Georgia Productions youtuber
"We decided with our strict guidelines in place, she could give it a go." Image: Supplied.
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With this careful management and moderation by Georgia’s parents, especially her mother and self-described “mumager” who has taken on the official role of full time Georgia Productions manager, personal assistant and agent, they have so far managed to have an overwhelmingly positive experience.

“She has been fortunate to have an extremely supportive audience. 99 per cent of the feedback she receives is very positive. Apparently this is unusual!” Vicki said.

Georgia attributes this positivity to the protocols and procedures she put in place from the beginning and has continued to follow.

“Maintaining the stage name Georgia Productions on all social platforms helps in protecting my everyday identity and private life," Georgia said.

"I use strategies like not engaging the negative comments and blocking users that obviously are not good for my channel. Not only does this protect me, but also the people who follow my channels and feel the need to defend me."

Vicki believes it also has a lot to do with Georgia herself.

“First of all she is very 'real' and genuine online. She is not pretending to be something she's not, and people find this refreshing and endearing. Her audience can relate to her," Vicki said.

"She is not pretending to be something she's not, and people find this refreshing and endearing." Image: Supplied.
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Georgia has since finished high school and is pursing social media influencing in a full time capacity.

“I have seen her confidence grow. She is able to use her creativity to make people happy which is extremely rewarding for her," Vicki said.

"She loves what she does and she has found her 'thing’. Georgia’s only 19, and not many people are so fortunate!”

And it has had a good impact on Vicki's relationship with Georgia too.

“I enjoy supporting my daughter, being involved and genuinely interested in her world. I'm very, very proud of what she does. Everyone we meet within the industry has been so supportive. I love it!”

Although not everyone shares these same positive experiences as the mother and daughter, Vicki believes a lot of it has to do with the lack of support from parents.

“A lot of them are just young people who have risen to fame very quickly and perhaps don't have the support in place to handle the pressure that comes with their fame.

"However, I think that some influencers share too much of their personal life and sometimes this may not work in their best interests.”

Would you allow your child to become a social media star? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

You can view Georgia Productions videos online via her You Tube channel Productions Georgia. She will also be appearing at VidCon Australia in Melbourne (September 19-22).

Shona Hendley is a freelance writer from Victoria. An ex secondary school teacher, Shona has a strong interest in education. She is an animal lover and advocate, with a morbid fascination for true crime and horror movies. Shona is usually busy writing and raising her children: three goats, two cats and two humans. You can follow her on Instagram @shonamarion.

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