My four-year-old loves watching TV just like the rest of us, but her go-to isn’t Barney, Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers.
It’s none other than… YouTube.
Although I strive not to use the platform as a “digital babysitter” there are times that parents simply need to get things done. It was then, amidst seeing her smiling face as I unloaded the dishwasher, I realized how powerful this medium is.
And the most astonishing part was the channels she was watching. She literally was watching kids play. She was watching them open toys, enjoy vacations, show off their rooms and play with their siblings.
We were watching their normal life as if it were normal to be doing so.
It truly shocks me that simply making daily vlogs can be a family’s main source of income. It’s also shocking just how much that income can be.
But it also got me thinking, aren’t we, as adults, just as guilty for being obsessed by other people’s lives?
Of course we don’t sit down and stream an adult unboxing a bottle of wine, but we are just as genuinely entertained by what strangers are doing.
Isn’t that what the news is about? Isn’t that why we enjoy reading profiles on other people? Isn’t that why we share touching stories on social media? Isn’t that why we feel like we are friends with celebrities?
Maybe she has a point.
Yes, it is screen time. Yes, it is a digital platform. But maybe she is ditching the standard children’s show because YouTube offers a more genuine, human connection. Something a bit more relatable.
And maybe, that isn’t a bad thing.
Now if you’ll excuse us, we have some streaming to do.