Like any good parent of a four-year-old, I look for any opportunity to put some kind of screen in front of my kid in place of actual human interaction. But when watching Caillou bitch about some perceived injustice for the 1,000th time just isn't enough, it's time to explore some of the stranger, kid-friendly corners of the internet.
One of those corners involves a series of "unboxing" videos on YouTube. Most of us adult geeks are probably familiar with unboxing videos in terms of new gadgets like the iPhone or some such crap. But there's a whole subculture of videos that are nothing more than grown-ass adults unwrapping and playing with children's toys and gushing about them. And my kid is absolutely addicted to them.
One of his favorite varieties involves the unwrapping and description of Kinder Surprise Eggs. These are eggs made of chocolate or some other material, containing some cheap little toy. They were banned for decades in the U.S., but remain very popular. Here's one of the videos I've had to sit through.
Want to guess how many views this scintillating shit has? If you guessed 49 million and counting, you're right!
Think about that for a second. A blurry video of some woman with an annoying accent opening cheap kid's toys has about half the viewership as the typical Super Bowl TV ad.
Checking in at a relatively modest 23+ million views is a video of some dude opening a Disney Cars toy truck. 23 million for this, people. And I know all those views didn't come from my son, so tons of other people cannot get enough of this shit.
OK, so you're probably thinking that those are harmless enough, right? Well, try listening to this goober while you're still trying to wake up on a Sunday morning.
Look, I love my kid and if he gets enjoyment out of watching this then that's just fine by me. But holy shit, this guy has a voice for braille. And he has almost half a million subscribers to his YouTube channel. There are probably kids out there that spend more time watching his fucking obnoxious videos than they do playing with their own toys.
And the worst part about all of this is that these people with their stupid videos probably make thousands of dollars doing them. According to this article, a video that pulls in the amount of views these unboxing videos do stands to earn the creators at least a few thousand dollars a month. All for doing nothing more than buying a frigging GoPro, shitty toys, and having some kind of annoying accent or speech impediment.
So think about that if you have kids (God forbid) that fall in love with these videos. You could be doing nothing more with your day than playing with cheap crap and watching money roll in. Christ, what am I doing with my life?