The Sad Truth About Surprise Egg Opening Videos

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Kids are obsessed with surprise egg opening videos on YouTube with great search-engine optimized names like “NEW Huge 101 Surprise Egg Opening Kinder Surprise Elmo Disney Pixar Cars Mickey Minnie Mouse”. This video has a shocking 430 million views on YouTube.

Because I am often out of the loop, I learned about these videos at the pool this summer. I was talking to a mom when her young child walked over and asked if they could go home so he could watch “egg bideos.” She explained the craze to me.

The videos contain freshly manicured fingernails opening plastic eggs and revealing the prizes within them. Apparently the toddler and preschool target market cannot get enough of them. They are a version of the “unboxing” variety in which a child (or adult) opens a new toy to reveal its content. It’s basically a commercial for your child. The videos do not show appreciation. The toys within the eggs are not played with or enjoyed, but tossed aside to find out what’s in the next one.

A parent of a two-year-old who is a consumer of egg videos says, “It’s so mind-numbing. She doesn’t laugh at it or talk about it, except when she’s asking to watch it. She just sits there, transfixed. Plus, there’s something about seeing your kid sitting still and watching a video of somebody playing with toys, instead of actually playing with toys themselves, that makes you feel like the victim of some awful irony of modern life.”

It’s another instance where advertisers are making a great deal of money off of your child. For the advertisements that play before (and sometimes also during) the videos, the video makers earn roughly $1,000 per 1M views. That means that the maker of the amazing video I linked to above has made over $430,000 dollars on that one single video. This particular surprise egg entrepreneur has over 160 videos on their youtube page that have garnered over 1M views. Of course, your children also want you to go out and buy the products they just watched so more money is being made there. Psychologists summarize the impact of advertisements on children by concluding that children under the age of eight are defenseless against advertising. Add that to the research that consistently shows owning more stuff doesn’t make you happy. Taken together, this means children cannot understand or fight against the advertising they see which tells them buying stuff will make them happier, smarter, prettier and more popular.

We prefer your children engage in some great screen-free activities but the sad state of affairs here has worn us down. So, we decided to make our own egg video. We hope you like it.  Surprise, there are yolks in the eggs. But, Screen-Free Dad’s fingernails are not to be missed.

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