Parents, there’s an epidemic sweeping the nation – nay, the world. It appears to be striking toddlers and pre-school children at random, with no warning and no reason. I’m not even sure there’s a cure.
That epidemic? It’s called WatchingWeirdThingsOnYouTube-itis.
I started noticing the early signs around a year ago. My daughter was nearly two then. We had started to allow her to watch YouTube clips of CBeebies shows (fully supervised, I hasten to add) and she stumbled across an Annoying Orange clip. She watched it around 400 times in one week. Not too odd, you might say. But remember, this was just the early stages of the condition. Now, a year later, things have progressed. Yes, she watches normal things like Tom and Jerry, Woolly and Tig or Something Special on YouTube but she also watches a bunch of other weird stuff. A lot. So here, folks, are the Top 5 weird things my child watches on YouTube:
1. People opening Kinder Surprise Eggs – egg after egg after egg. People actually film themselves doing this. Some have music over the top, some give a little voiceover commentary on what they’re doing and what toy the find. Whyyyy do people put these on YouTube? Whyyyy does my daughter love watching them?
2. People testing out Toy Story toys. This video by DisneyCollectorBR of her testing out the Toy Story Slide ‘n’ Surprise Playground has been viewed over 20 million times. 20 MILLION! I’m pretty sure we have contributed healthily to that number.
3. A Russian cartoon called Marsha And The Bear – she can’t understand ONE word of it, but this cute cartoon makes my daughter CACKLE with laughter. See also: Curious George in Spanish.
4. People playing computer games – when I was young, I was forced to watch my brother play games on our shared ZX Spectrum. Believe me, there’s not much fun to be had in watching someone else play Jet Set Willy. But my daughter loves watching videos of people playing games. Weird.
5. Spiderkid – just a boy, pretending to be Spiderman with his dad. We watched it approximately 46 times in one sitting. I know all the words to the dad’s song now.
But it’s not just me who has a child suffering from WatchingWeirdThingsOnYouTube-itis. In recent weeks, I’ve seen other mums call out for help on Twitter and Facebook – it seems that they too have children who watch weird stuff on YouTube. Will a cure ever be found?