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Performative "chillness"

Initial thoughts on videos with fake & shitty versions of "journal along," "write along," etc. | 100 DoW #19


Hey, beautiful people, Merry Christmas. (I have my beautiful Christmas hat, which I stole from the kids.)

I was thinking about what I just call performative chillness (that popped up in my mind). Maybe you've seen videos, like "write with me" videos or "journal with me" videos, or "draw with me."

It's just like a very chill vibe with chill background music, and then someone, well, journals. And you are invited to journal along in your own journal or on your own writing or drawing or, whatever the creative thing it is that you're doing.

I actually like the idea. The idea of doing a piece of creativity or journaling together. But most videos I find on YouTube are almost like a fake chillness.

It doesn't feel authentic at all.

It's talking in this, like, really slow voice, and you just feel okay.

And maybe that's a thing that I just can't take; it just feels way too fake.

Maybe I'll sound a little bit harsh here, but imo, it's pandering too much to the, "I'm so sad, I need a safe space" kind of people. (The people addicted to self-help in some sense?)

So, on the one hand, I like the idea of journaling. It's been life-changing to me, journaling. And if you can get people to journal along, you can, well, change lives. And having a video people put on with chill music (to journal with) is good, I think.

I have someone in mind, but I don't want to say his name because it's, well, some people like it. But it just sounds too fake, in a sense. The chillness factor of that person. They're always having a big cup of tea and then loudly, in front of the camera, start sipping it. And then go, "ah, I feel so relaxed now."

It's a show, really, specifically made for the video because if you're going to journal together, then you don't need to drink a big cup of tea in front of the camera. You just be like, “Okay, let's journal together."

So maybe some people need it, and really like it, but for me, it has too much of a fakeness factor that just pops up. Then I'm suddenly not drawn to it anymore.

But what IS a good way, then? I think it's maybe just doing it live and then being yourself.

Now many of these types of videos are pre-recorded, almost scripted in the sense of what they're doing. And, of course, if people join along in the journaling (that I'm taking as an example now), the video gets like a lot of view time, which is good for the ads and the algorithm for YouTube.

So I see people doing journaling videos a lot for that monetization reason as well, which, like, defeats the purpose. It poisons the honest idea behind it, of actually wanting to help people with their journaling because you're then creating a video more for the algorithm and the monetization, than for actually helping people.

So maybe that's the thing that triggers me here.

Anyway, as I said, it's like initial thoughts. I'm curious if you have ideas or examples of videos that you think are this thing well (like write along, journal along, draw along). Please do share, because I'd like to experiment with some of it. (Like maybe drawing while chatting with someone is fun to do. And then anyone else can, like, listen along and draw along as well. But I don't like those fake things.)

That's it for me today. Have a good Christmas.


xxx Jibran

PS. I’m strongly considering changing the name of my personal version of the 100-day Creator Challenge, which I called “100 Days of Wonder” into “100 Days of Whatever.” I have some cool ideas and things I’d like to create which don’t necessarily fit wonder (both meanings). Anyway, you (and me) will see later this week what I’ll decide.

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