Who wants to watch videos of normal people doing normal things? Just about everyone
“With me” videos instill confidence, from cooking to studying
As a research scientist, I couldn’t help but wonder about the human insight behind these videos. What deeper human truth is revealed by the fact that “with me” videos exist across countries and categories? The cynic in you may think, “Are people no longer self-sufficient? They have to watch a video to be able to study or clean or cook?” But it’s quite the opposite actually. People make themselves more self-sufficient — and empowered to act — with these videos. Whether getting motivation to clean, to finish that study session, or even to get that pristinely cut lawn. (Yes, “mow with me” videos are also a thing.)
Global research shows that online video helps people feel more confident about reaching their goals. And seeing normal people — rather than seasoned pros — master a task, can inspire viewers to give it a go. The soaring watch time for “with me” videos shows how often people all over the world turn to these videos for encouragement.
Viewers also love “study with me” videos. Yes, these are videos of YouTube creators quietly studying. But they can be incredibly motivating. Scroll through the comments on these videos, and you’re likely to find many along these lines: “I’ve used this four or five times already in the past two weeks,” and “Didn’t think these types of videos would actually work for me, but it’s helping me stay incredibly focused.” Maybe these videos make the act of studying a little less isolating. Plus they serve as a built-in timer for study sessions.