The thrill of unboxing predates the social media trend for watching videos of it. Opening up a box containing new, uniform-compliant school shoes can be as exciting for a child as unwrapping a birthday present. Despite their future being clear—several seasons’ worth of scuffing before they start to pinch—for a moment those shoes are spick-and-span, perfectly arranged and full of promise. Recently, this thrill has taken an odd twist: There are currently more than 100, 000, 000 videos on YouTube featuring people opening products and packages. The first video described as an “unboxing” (item: a Nokia cell phone) was uploaded in 2006. Since then, these videos have come to serve as reviews, relaxation aids and a glimpse of a life less budget-strapped—sometimes all at once. Content ranges from people opening up the latest phone or multimedia release, to luxury fashion This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Two Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 50 Close Knit Meet the weavers keeping traditional Egyptian tapestrymaking alive. Arts & Culture Issue 50 The Old Gays Inside a Californian TikTok “content house” of a very different stripe. Arts & Culture Issue 50 New Roots The Palestinian art and agriculture collective sowing seeds of community. Arts & Culture Issue 50 Angela Trimbur An all-out tour de force. Arts & Culture Issue 50 Peace & Quiet In the UK, a centuries-old Quaker meeting house encourages quiet reflection. Arts & Culture Issue 50 Free Wheelers On the road with London’s Velociposse Cycling Club.