Kids and Youtube: Complete Insanity

It is quite convenient that both of my kids are at an age that they can guide themselves from one television show to the other, via Netflix or Amazon Prime. If their dad and I are watching a movie on TV, they are perfectly happy watching their shows on a nearby laptop. Since they are not at the age where they may be searching for porn, we don’t have to be too concerned…most of the time. Now that they are able to guide themselves from one program to another, they have become most intrigued with Youtube. Occasionally, they will find a video that starts out innocently enough, but once the first F-bomb drops, all is not safe with the world and their father and I will scramble to turn it off. What really amazes me is the videos they choose and continue to return to everyday. First, the Gummy Bear music videos. I am sure if you have small children that have ever been on Youtube, you have probably seen at least one of these videos. The discovery of these videos came when I was searching for the Disney show Adventures of the Gummi Bears which ran from 1985-1991, and was a favorite of mine as a child.

The real deal!

The new Gummy Bear is actually kinda creepy and kind-of adorable. After hearing the same songs more times than “Let it Go”, I started hating him/her/it. Just as with any movie, show, video, that my kids play on repeat, I go through stages of emotions. From finding it weird, then cute, then irritating, then catchy, then cute, then back to annoying. Just like everything else, the kids will eventually get sick of it. Really, I can understand the interest in the Gummy Bear songs because they really are catchy and the videos are actually mesmerizing.

Videos that I find even more perplexing are the ones in which adults unwrap toys. He or she will introduce the toy, take it out of its package and begin to play with it. Showing all the bells and whistles in an effort, I would assume, to get your kid to beg for said toy. But why? These people do not seem to be connected to the toy companies, so what is their purpose? When I was a child, I remember watching countless television commercials convincing me to beg my parents for Totally Hair Barbie, Polly-Pocket, and an Easy-Bake Oven. Since we don’t have cable in the house, I thought I would be cheating the system, avoiding any potential brain-molding through advertising. Well, obviously in the streaming generation, Youtube has become even more dangerous and toxic for young minds. What tickles me is that my son always watches the videos of the toys he already owns. The kid is actually watching someone else play with a toy that he could be playing with himself. What the hell is happening?!

I wonder if I used to be obsessed with a similarly puzzling form of entertainment as a child. When I was my son’s age (5) it was 1990, so streaming was not even close to being a thing. I did have an odd fascination with infomercials for products I needed even less than the average adult. What about you? Anyone else have some form of brainwashing they enjoyed as a child, or that your child has today?

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