My daughter likes to watch YouTube shows. We try to limit her watching, and we definitely watch alongside her to make sure it’s appropriate.
When she started watching, she was fascinated by this lady who opened “surprise eggs.” The lady – with fancy, manicured fingernails – would peel the labels off the egg, talking about it the whole time. She would eventually, after much fanfare, open the egg and reveal some type of small toy or prize inside.
I found the whole thing ridiculous, but my daughter was mesmerized. Apparently, this lady was handsomely paid by toy companies for these videos.
Last time I checked, she was still making them.
Later, my daughter graduated to videos about Barbie dolls with a new lady. This particular lady would, I kid you not, play with Barbie dolls, play acting as little girls would. She used an irritating, high-pitched voice for some of the dolls. After watching, I wonder how children who watch this lady may need therapy.
More ridiculous than the egg lady, I tell you.
Yet after researching, I found out this lady made more money than the egg lady. Holy Toledo!
Next, our poor, youngest child started watching videos about families. You see, her next oldest sibling is eight years older and I’m sure she wonders what life would be like if she had siblings closer to her age and easily accessible. Built-in playmates.
So, she watches videos of families with large amounts of children. These kids play all day in their giant, state-of-the-art homes with their parents – who seem to have no jobs – and compete with one another to see who can build the largest Lego house or who can figure out how to make the most interesting things out of Play Doh.
One particular family built an entire fort in their basement out of cardboard boxes and then proceeded to spend 24 hours in the fort. Sounds like fun, I guess, and I must admit it might be appealing to me as a kid.
Some other plot twists of these family videos have included playing pranks on one another, challenging one another to see who can abstain from eating candy, playing elaborate hide-and-seek games, and many more ideas. Kids watch in fascination.
Basically, the appeal of these people is that they do something kids no longer do on a grand scale: play. Kids seem to lose interest and don’t seem to play for hours like they used too. Things don’t seem to hold their attention anymore. So, watching other kids play seems fun. It’s sad, it’s disheartening and it is unbelievable to me.
On top of the simple (yet ingenious) themes of these YouTube videos, you have the “stars” doing all types of shameless plugs for products. Shoes, clothes, and the ever-present toys are talked about and shown to all the adoring fans. I suppose that’s where the big money comes from.
My disgust is only matched by my envy, I guess. I mean, we could probably come up with some type of premise. We could definitely dart around the house and play hide-and-seek, or Twister, or jump around on the trampoline and sing songs.
It would be fascinating, I tell you.
Plus, I would gladly wear name brand clothing, drink energy drinks, or whatever I needed to do while climbing trees and having a water balloon fight with my family. We could certainly be as interesting as these YouTube stars.
I’m always amazed at trends in clothing, entertainment, or what have you. This particular YouTube thing really blows my mind – especially the fact these folks make good money doing what they do.
Again, I’m wondering if I’m just envious.