If you despair of what your kids are learning on the internet, I want to point you (and them) in the direction of the Vlogbrothers. They are the antidote for inane teen and tween fare like The Jersey Shore, Teen Moms and every other crappy piece of entertainment that glorifies acting stupidly and making bad decisions.
For the uninitiated, the Vlogbrothers are Hank and John Greene. Hank is a musician and environmentalist. John is an author. (His novel, The Fault In Our Stars, which my daughter insisted I read, was wonderfully moving. I recommend it…although perhaps with a box of tissues at hand.)
Their vlogs are funny and entertaining, and sometimes very silly. However they are also informative, relevant and apparently, inspiring. They talk about a wide range of subjects from history, math and science, to pop culture, to embracing your inner nerdiness regardless of what those around you may say.
They make it cool to be smart. They encourage uniqueness. They are models of an inquisitive spirit and the importance of paying attention to current events. Of course, they don’t put it that way….they tell their viewers DFTBA (Don’t Forget To Be Awesome) and to fight “world-suck”….and they have a loyal and passionate following, my daughter being one of them. They don’t shy away from sensitive subjects and they communicate with teens and young adults at their level, with great humor and a touch of language (which is bleeped out).
I have just started exploring their vlogs, and I love everything I’ve seen so far. Check them out, or ask your kids if they’ve already checked them out. I’ll leave you with one of their vlogs and the admonition DFTBA!
I can proudly report that I “got” almost all of the jokes. Had to look up Schrodinger’s cat though, and I’m still not sure I understand the concept. I’ll have to ask a physicist friend to help me out on that one.