Playing a game on one’s phone, be it Candy Crush or Angry Birds, has become a classic method for disengaging from society even when surrounded by other people, those irksome pests. It’s visual shorthand for “Please leave me alone. I am doing something of vital importance, and you simply cannot be a part of that.” This is an unspoken social contract so basic yet so vital that even the smallest of children understand it, as proven by a video shared by the Facebook account Kyoot Kids. In this impossibly adorable, 20-second-long video, a very young child is seen intently concentrating on an unidentified phone game while sitting on her father’s lap. Her dad, like all dads throughout recorded history, is unable to let his daughter play her game in peace. He wants to get involved, interfere, and point out the moves she should be making. But she’s having none of it. With admirable concentration, she waves her father away every single time, all without losing focus on the real task at hand. Come hell or high water, she’s not taking her eyes off that screen.
All the while, “Better Man” by Pearl Jam is heard playing in the background. The lyrics are arguably applicable to this situation: “Memories back when she was young and strong and waiting for the world to come along.” Except this kid isn’t waiting for anything. She has everything she could want right now. The “young and strong” part fits, though.
Interestingly, the Kyoot Kids Facebook channel is identified as the output of a company called Vin Di Bona Productions. Di Bona is a veteran television producer whose past successes include MacGyver, Entertainment Tonight, and (most relevant to this discussion) America’s Funniest Home Videos. Is this project a sign that even Di Bona is letting go of traditional media and embracing the internet? Or is Di Bona merely harvesting videos for his next TV show? Time will tell.