I realize straight off the bat that this is going to age me considerably and make me seem like an old parent who doesn’t understand the ways of the current world. I need you to realize that I am totally okay with that.
I’m pretty sure my parents used phrases like, “Teens these days!” and I will heartily admit to saying the same thing. I’ll also follow it up with, “I just don’t get it.”
What don’t I get? YouTube.
Is it the new TV in your home? Cause it certainly is in ours!
I admit, when I was a young teen, I use to come home from school and flop down on the couch and completely veg to the ways of Zach Morris and Kelly Slater. I would watch and re-watch every episode. Later in the years I found that Boy Met World and seriously, who didn’t want to have a name as cool as Topanga? Boring old Rhonda didn’t even come close.
But these were scripted shows. With writers and producers and directors and a lighting crew and craft services and editors and budgets! Writers put time and effort into crafting (bad) dialogue that we would laugh at and producers came up with themes that would teach us things. (Anyone remember the episode of Different Strokes where a man had Arnold into his apartment and wanted to take pictures of him, focusing on the fact that it was their secret?! Ugh!) But they tackled issues like drugs and alcohol use, they showed us that it was okay to talk to our parents about stuff, they taught us tag lines like, “There’s no hope with dope!”
I admit, these may have ruined us as much as helped us throughout our teenage years. But I digress.
YouTube. And I’m not talking about the joys of the panda sneezing or funny cat videos or babies laughing. I get those. I’m talking about dudes that flip on their computer camera and record themselves talking about absolutely nothing. Dudes who make stupid faces and have such idiotic dialogue that 14 year olds think is hilarious and try to emulate. I’m talking about subscriptions to YouTube channels where you simply watch them play a video game with their friends while they talk smack to each other all the while raking in cash.
I don’t get it.
2 minutes of watching some of these channels makes me think that poking my eyeballs out would be more fun. 2 minutes of watching makes me believe that this generation, guided by YouTubers as their heros, will be the dumbest ever in history. 2 minutes of watching raises my blood pressure to unhealthy levels because this guy in his mama’s basement with a computer should not be famous for nonsense.
I mean, Fresh Prince taught us not to conform. Blossom taught us that wearing vests was a thing. Dharma and Greg showed us that opposites could attract and Seinfeld taught us to look at the world in a new and totally ridiculous, yet hilarious way (with friendships and work life and family life and relationships happening along the way).
But these guys? They’re cashing in on pre-teen ridiculousness. That stage from 12-14 where the things that boys think are funny are not funny at all and we can only pray that it’s a stage that will pass. The problem? These guys are 20 somethings who haven’t outgrown it!
I admit, it could be that its nearing the end of summer and that my patience for laziness was over 6 days ago. It could be that I’m old and I just don’t understand. It could even be that I’m completely jealous that YouTubers make way more than I do for playing video games all day.
But parents, help me out here. Are you fine with the YouTubing? Are you up to date on what your kids watch on there? Do you think it’s the next generations way of watching TV? Their entertainment of choice? And if so – are you totally cool with that?
Talk me off the ledge. I’m about to ban all YouTubing except for animals talking and babies laughing.
Oh wait, No Screen September is just around the corner. My happy starts in 6 days! Im’a bake a cake and celebrate!