YouTube is the New Babysitter

My friend’s toddler babbled “don’t forget to subscribe” as he was put to bed. Kid watches so much YouTube he thought it means “goodbye”

When I read this it really impacted me. Even if this particular tweet was embellished, you know for sure that this is happening all over the place. I have a 5-year-old who loves YouTube so much that I took it away from him. Actually, I didn’t take it because he loves it, but because of the behaviour changes that I’ve witnessed in him.

Whether you’re using the regular YouTube app or the kids’ version of it, the app offers up related videos. I watched how he chooses a video and as it starts to play he immediately looks at the related videos and chooses another. He does this almost endlessly, virtually unable to complete a single video. What I see happening is the erosion of his attention span, and the addiction to “more” and “new” content. I was also worried that he would become addicted so I took the iPad away from him, with an explanation ahead of time. He lost his mind, we talked it out, and the iPad stayed away for about a week.

He did get it back and there is more to say about that whole process, which I will address in another post. More related to this tweet here though is that my son does say some of these “YouTube phrases” on his own. For example, there is a very popular channel where a child reviews toys and at the start of each episode the kid says the same thing. My son has asked me to make videos with him and at the start he says THAT kid’s intro!

Share Your Thoughts