*Fascinating / terrifying things I’ve learned from YouTube…
** Not strictly true.
Oh, YouTube. We’ve always had an interesting relationship. Like most people I use it all the time at work and for work and to watch vlogs and those really important things like weighty political exposes and erm, videos of people falling over.
In the stage of first-time-toddlerdom we had a brief dalliance with watching it at 5.30am when I discovered there were videos which consisted of an hour’s worth of back-to-back Peppa episodes which allowed for maximum snoozing. But when my then two-year-old discovered Kinder Egg opening videos I was aghast at the futilile consumerism – but mostly tired – and deleted the app from my iPad and haven’t let her watch it since.
But two years later it’s snuck back, possibly because it’s useful for those times where everyone needs ten minutes, mainly me. And also because it’s not this.
Wait, though it’s actually very educational…Here’s all the things I’ve learned from YouTube about, well, everything really:
- If you have no idea what I mean by egg opening videos, you’ve had a lucky escape from life so far
- That my parents were right; adverts really are the most terrible thing on TV. A good thing about YouTube is it seems easy to skip the ads. But wait, most of the videos actually consist of toys being opened and it’s basically product placement for the modern age with exactly the same pull as TV ads. And obviously everything is bright and appealing, including the giant eggs and giant toys and beads that turn into gel and even I want it all (because who wouldn’t want a giant egg covered in playdough? Really?)
- Children will watch absolutely anything on there. Which is why we don’t watch very much YouTube because it mainly consists of absolutely anything
- Children watch absolutely anything, many many times. So many of the videos have hundreds of millions of views. Probably from the same handful of children, again and again
- Much of YouTube makes me feel like Uncle Bryn talking about the mint Baileys in the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special; in awe, fascinated, ever so slightly confused
- Jingly jangly ambient YouTube tunes are the new elevator music
- Grown adults make videos of themselves making clothes for toys out of playdough and that’s not even the weirdest thing you can find on there, there is much, much more
- There are things called Fashems and Mashems and they are the same but completely different and there are so many different types of then and who knew?
- I recently developed an inexplicable fondness for ASOS hauls (where people buy things from ASOS and film themselves opening the bag and trying things on) until my husband caught me watching one and pointed out it was like the grown up version of egg opening videos and I realised he was right
- It’s vaguely hypnotic, mainly because the auto play function means the next video keeps on coming
- Most of life is on there and most things from my childhood. We recently saw some Insepctor Gadget and I’m sure there must be some Mysterious Cities of Gold out there
- Me! I’m on there (follow my A Baby on Board YouTube channel for not-egg opening videos)
- There are genuinely educational things on there. We’ve legitimately watched a lot of phonics videos and songs, weird episodes of Numberjacks and the hipster teacher with his toy giraffe. Parents of children in year 1, tell me – will I ever get the Jolly Phonics songs out of my head?
- You can actually learn useful skills (my brother learned how to plumb in his bathroom from YouTube, apparently)
- And finally? HI GUYS.