Tuning into a LIVE event no matter where you are can be really exciting and make you feel like you’re basically there. Whether it’s John Mayer jamming out in his bedroom on Instagram Live, or NBA’s Kevin Durant live streaming himself playing pickup basketball on YouTube, it can be so cool to see stuff happening in real time. Sometimes these peeps even respond to your comments or give you a shout out!
If gaming is more your thing, you might be tuning into live streams on Twitch to watch expert gamers playing FIFA or League of Legends, gaining some valuable intel on how to up your own game. Another trend is Live.ly—the live streaming version of Musical.ly, which allows users to dub over their voices with songs from popular artists like Rihanna or Drake—in other words: live lip-syncing.
It’s more common for young people to watch other people’s live streams than to actually stream live themselves. In saying this, recent research out of the UK shows 1 in 10 young people have ‘gone live’. For whatever reason you decide to hit the LIVE button on Instagram, Facebook or YouTube— whether it’s gaming or just vlogging your daily life—it’s important to live stream responsibly and be in control at all times.
If you’re going to go live, do it right! Here are some hot tips:
- Decide who you will share it with—do you know them?
- Remember not everyone is who they say they are online, so restrict any live streaming to people you know in person.
- Ask before you stream! Consent is really important.
- You can’t go back and redo a live stream, so before you start, make sure the other people involved are ok with it and understand who might be able to see it. Basically just be a good mate and always give other people a heads up before you film them.
- Protect your personal stuff—especially location.
- If you’re out and about live streaming, make sure you don’t give away your exact location. If you’re at a park or shop, just say “I’m at the park”—no need to share more details about the place or check into locations. Keep your location on the DL and make sure you adjust your location settings accordingly.
- Use the tools to hide comments and block/report.
- If people are commenting inappropriately, you know what to do! Block and report them. You can even hide the comments.
- Remember: live is live.
- You probably already know this, but a healthy reminder doesn’t go astray. It’s difficult to undo stuff you live stream and it’s instantly screenshotable (yes, that’s a new word I made up).
- When in doubt, put the phone down and be in the moment, irl (in real life) and un-recorded.
- If you feel unsafe or unsure about live streaming, trust your gut and put the phone down. Even with the best filters, your phone won’t always do justice to the amazing experiences that happen in real time, so try something different—actually live in the moment. You can always tell people the story of what happened later, in person. Pretty crazy idea, right?
Check out more practical advice by young people, for young people, at our new site Young & eSafe. As the most tech savvy generation ever, it’s important to be armed with the right skills to help you and your friends have the best possible experience online. Empower yourself with the skills to make a real positive impact in your online world. To take it to the next level, find us on Instagram/Snapchat and join the conversation!