Surprise Eggs and Watching Kids Play on the Internet
As adults, we love to wax nostalgic about the days before cell phones when we set out on our bikes to a friend’s house on the off chance that they would be home. We all profess the joys of spending the entire summer day outdoors until the street lights came on and we had to return home. As children of the eighties and nineties, we found ways to entertain ourselves whether it was making mud pies in the backyard, swinging until our legs hurt from pumping them to achieve maximum air, or simply curling up with a book on a rainy day. Unfortunately, a new phenomenon is taking our youth by storm in a completely unfamiliar way, surprise eggs, but will get back to that later.
Times were simpler back in our day. We had the threat of strangers, but we were blissfully unaware or we knew how to handle ourselves (run, screaming wildly, toward home). It was a safer time, most assuredly, but it was also a less complicated time. We didn’t have the burden of an internet-laden life to keep us from experiencing the joys of youth.
Better Then or Now?
Any break from our normal routine promised to be an amazing time. A weekend at your grandparent’s house meant limitless treats, shopping trips, and a general spoiling that your parents didn’t give. It meant quality time spent with family, new experiences, and maybe, if we were lucky, a little mischief. A week at summer camp promised new friends and unforgettable adventures away from home.
We weren’t slaves to our electronics back then. We didn’t require constant stimulation and more than a few of us can remember being told to figure out a way to entertain ourselves or our parents would find something for us to do. The idea of playing by ourselves was much more entertaining than dusting the dining room chairs, so we usually figured out how to not be bored very quickly.
These days, it seems as though children aren’t as readily able to entertain themselves as they’re constantly being stimulated by some sort of device. A lot of parents are allowing the television to assist in the rearing of their children, and because of this, many kids have become unable to entertain themselves. Add in the appropriate age for children to have phones becoming lower by the day and we’ve got a generation of kids who are completely content to watch other kids play on the internet.
YouTube and Surprise Eggs
Back in our younger years, the idea of sitting in front of a computer and watching another child open toys would’ve been torturous. First of all, WE weren’t getting to play with those toys so why would we want to watch that? Second, who wanted to be on the computer when we could be playing with our toys or running around outside?
On YouTube, there exists a video movement called surprise eggs. There are literally thousands of videos of parents and children teaming up to open plastic eggs or other packaging containing toys. That’s right, the makers of these videos go out and obtain anywhere from fifteen to fifty individually wrapped toy items, and they then record themselves or their children opening these toys and surveying what was inside.
In these videos, at the end, sometimes the children play with the toys and kids of today’s generations are watching in droves. We are allowing our children to watch other kids play on the internet. We’ve either become a weirdly voyeuristic society or we’ve created kids who don’t know how to play on their own. Either way, it’s pretty scary to think about.
We like to complain about the current generation of young adults being entitled and expecting instant gratification, but we don’t see that we’re creating that problem ourselves with surprise eggs. It’s not recommended that you snatch the computer chair out from under your child and force them to play outside, but maybe limit the amount of time they spend watching other kids play online. Get them some crayons or some silly putty and see what happens. What you find may surprise you.