Trendy videos generate trust, closeness with viewers

Art by Rachel Lee
Art by Rachel Lee

At the crack of dawn, a vanity mirror illuminates an iridescent glow on sophomore Diana Landa. She unzips her makeup bag and begins setting her selected products along her desk. As she prepares to record a video, she gently positions her phone against the wall. She starts off her video with a passionate, “Get ready with me!” During her recording, Landa feels comfortable speaking her mind as she goes about her makeup routine, spicing up her commentary with her opinions on makeup brands and TV shows and her plans for the day.

Recently, many teenagers like Landa have added to the prevalence of Get Ready With Mes and Storytimes. Rather than putting energy into creating an over-the-top video, all it takes to produce a viral video now is a phone with a camera and the desire to share thoughts.

Influencers like 22-year-old Alix Earle and 25-year-old Kirsten Titus have gained rapid fame on social media for sharing stories about their life as they do their makeup or cut fruit. The casual interactions between creator and viewer has led to the hashtag GRWM (Get Read with Me) having 74.8 billion views and the hashtag StoryTime having 318.7 billion. 

Sophomore Aditya Romfh said viewers’ reactions to these videos pique his interest because it creates a sense of community.

“I like to see how people react in the comment sections of those videos and see if I can relate to their experiences,” Romfh said.

However, with the demand for sponsorships, many content creators are using their platforms for money. Sophomore Vit Do said she prefers the casual setting of GRWMs and Storytimes because of the absence of financial motives.

“GRWMs foster a sense of relatability especially in a world with sponsored posts (are) trying to get you to buy everything,” Do said. “It feels like you’re on FaceTime with your friend and people seek authenticity.”

Landa said she thinks GRWMs bring the atmosphere of a real-life conversation when the toxicity of social media becomes excessive.

“It feels like I’m talking to someone in-person when I’m getting ready,” Landa said. “Sometimes, social media can be toxic, and taking a break is best.”

Senior Johannah Seah said she thinks GRWMs and Storytimes are relaxing and personal.

“It feels relaxing having such a casual and chill video,” Seah said. “It feels personal in a sense where you can hear about how the person is doing.”

Other than the storytelling aspect, another common appeal of GRWMs is learning about makeup and skincare. Junior Kat Farrell said she uses GRWMs to gain inspiration and keep up with trends.

Similarly, Do said GRWMs are helpful tools when trying to search for a product used by specific creators. 

“If you want to know the products a certain person uses, it’s a great way to find out,” Do said. “It makes being exposed to them convenient since it limits the effort of having to do your own research.”

Do also said people often search for products by specific creators because of the large impact that content creators have on their audience.

“People are also easily influenced by people they view consistently online.” Do said. “There is often a level of trust between fans and creators.”

Although the GRWM and Storytime community is filled with big-name influencers, smaller creators also play a large role. Since these casual videos lack complexity, swarms of Gen Z have started posting their own videos. 

Landa said that smaller creators appear on her feed more than bigger creators.

“I’ve watched GRWM videos on all platforms for a while and most of the GRWM and storytime videos on my For You Page are filmed by random people,” Landa said.

An influx of teenagers like Landa have hopped on the trend and filmed GRWMs. Landa said she prefers to upload her GRWMs on a second account to keep her anonymity. 

Additionally, her motivation to post comes from the uplifting comments she receives.

Though some users decide to upload their recordings on social media, others like junior Caroline Jittipun said she chooses to send her Storytimes to her friends only.

“I post storytimes for my friends because I don’t see them all the time,” Jittipun said. “It’s a fun way to update them on how I’m doing.”

Some people post GRWMs for their own enjoyment. Seah said the ability to rewatch and reflect on her videos is what persuades her to record.

“It’s nice to film a process such as doing makeup and then look back on it to both learn and appreciate my work,” Seah said.

Since it can be hard to get vulnerable face-to-face with someone, Romfh said he thinks some creators record and post these videos as a means to safely express their emotions. 

“Teens might share storytimes to get something off their chest,” Romfh said.

Although this trend is prevailing, many trends eventually come to an end. Romfh said he thinks these casual chatting types of videos will continue and evolve.

“Like all trends, (GRWMs) will either ‘die-off’ or evolve into another,” Romfh said.“When people participate in the trend, they feel like they’re participating in a larger purpose which is a part of the crave. So, I think that most teens will always embed stories within videos.”

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