It’s midnight and I can’t sleep. My heart is pounding and I’m feeling such a mix of emotions. Mostly, I’m feeling so f*cking uninspired. I’m also confused. We all consume more content than ever before – and yet a lot of it today is honestly crap! It’s all bite size, 10 second, copy cat looks of things we’ve already seen, or just absurdly loud, attention grabbing things that make me cringe. Clearly, I’ve been spending too much time on TikTok – let me explain…
I remember in my early 20s, I would flip through the pages of Vogue, Town and County, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle – mesmerized by the clothing and editorials. I would devour every word and recommendation, adding it to my mental wish list. I genuinely miss looking up to people, places and things. I remember getting lost in the Ralph Lauren ads which were so perfectly curated and luxurious. I would screenshot every street style outfit Olivia Palermo or Miranda Kerr wore to try and recreate it later. I would pull up Style.com to see the latest runway show images to add to a folder I had on my desktop (this was pre-Pinterest days.)
The world is moving faster than ever. We have SO much media at our fingertips and yet, today, I find most of it lackluster. As I scroll on Instagram – I now see videos and images of people I don’t know, nor do I have any interest in knowing – but alas, the algorithm now automatically puts them in my feed. And then the people I do follow, rarely post anymore. I think it’s because some just don’t need to as they’ve already amassed a following, some are now focusing their efforts on TikTok, and others, like myself are suffering from Instagram fatigue. It has felt like the app has continuously worked against, not with creators, hiding content, especially anything with #ad, and making it impossible to get in touch with an actual human to talk to about glitches, system errors, feedback or features. Doesn’t it seem odd for a huge media company to not have any sort of customer service email, phone number or account person to help the very people that are creating free content for their bottom line?
There’s no doubt that short form videos are the wave of the future – TikTok and Reels are here to stay. Video format certainly is not my preferred way to consume content or get inspiration, but the reality is, it’s becoming a majority of the populations, and I don’t foresee that changing. Since I’ve created a career in this industry, it has become crystal clear to me over the last several months, that I have to adapt or become extinct – like a dinosaur lol. So, I’m trying – and here’s what I’ve found.
I downloaded TikTok 3 days ago (Jesse from my team previously had control over my account from her phone), and I’ve been spending time in the app to see what the hype is all about. In all honesty I’m feeling more anxious and unfulfilled than ever before – which is really alarming. It’s also been raining and gloomy nonstop for the last 3 days, which certainly hasn’t helped my mental health, and the book I just wrote is 3 weeks behind our printing schedule which is a huge source of stress, but even then, I can’t help but attribute most of these uncharacteristic feelings to being on yet another app, particularly this one.
Ok ok, it’s not just this one app. It’s a combination of all.the.apps. I just did a quick inventory and realized I now create unique content almost every single day – even on weekends – for: my blog, Instagram, Instagram Reels, Instagram DMs, my newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LTK, my Travel App, and TikTok. Holy sh*t that’s 11 different forms of media – almost 7 days a week! I’m spread thin and I’m burnt out and I’m not afraid to admit it. I’m so f*cking grateful for this career and my life, but I’m human, and I just want to keep it real with you my readers – many of who have been with me since Day 1.
It feels really good to get that off my chest. I haven’t really opened up or written on here like I used to because as we’ve all seen, in today’s day and age, every little thing gets twisted or misconstrued. But I am telling you, we need more women to be vulnerable and open up. We need deeper connections with one another now more than ever. You can have perspective, empathy and awareness about all of the pressing, tragic issues going on in the world, while also suffering with your own issues in your own hometown. You can be grateful, but still have a bad f*cking day! We need more women sharing and genuinely opening up, and I encourage you to do so – with your friends, your family, and your community.
Let’s go back to TikTok. I 100% see why people love it and how it’s highly addicting. It’s incredibly engaging, has tons of helpful, useful tips, and gets you answers to something FAST. My girlfriend was telling me yesterday that she no longer uses Google to look up something like a recipe, she simply types it into TikTok. It’s become her search engine and is also the way she gets her news, alerts – everything. I can certainly see the upside to that. My concern after having been on the app these past few days though, is that I noticed my attention span and patience became even shorter, and my heart started racing – I’m not kidding. My brain was on overdrive consuming video after video, but then I was left feeling empty because it wasn’t anything substantial or deeply moving/inspiring. Even the accounts I was gravitating to – the more self help, mindful accounts – just weren’t giving me that deep sense of inspiration and unspoken connection/understanding I get from something like an hour long podcast, or a thoughtfully written article.
The fashion accounts I followed were creating truly, the most basic content I had ever seen. Like, here are 5 blazers I wore last year, here are 5 coats for fall – each one essentially an exact replica of the other. In many ways, I see why this sort of content is appealing to so many. We are all busy, and it’s great because it “gets to the point” and is easily digestible. But for me, it doesn’t fill up my cup or resonate. Like, how much more bite size, fast, and shortened can we get?! The sad thing is, I’m saying all of this, knowing very well that if I don’t adapt and create similar videos, I’ll become extinct like the huge magazines I used to look up to have.
It’s true though, magazines didn’t adapt quick enough and now many are either completely gone, hanging on by a thread, or playing major catch up with their digital efforts. Gen Z is now dictating the trends, not us ancient millennials, and the way we consume media has drastically changed as we know it. It’s time to adapt, embrace, grow and evolve. I’m up for the challenge, but that’s not to say it’s without growing pains. Thank you for hearing out those pains, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this ever evolving landscape. x Kat