get ready clean plan drive pack YouTube shop cook draw eat do yoga with me
How YouTube creators are turning ordinary, solitary tasks into communal experiences.
The earliest existing examples of “with me” videos were uploaded in 2010. They were “get ready with me” videos, in which people captured themselves putting on makeup.
Gaining traction in 2012, these videos remain one of the most prominent forms of the “with me” trend.
“Get ready with me” videos are part of a larger everyday-tasks theme that also includes “clean with me” and “pack with me.”
“Plan with me,” “journal with me,” and “study with me” videos are grouped into self-improvement.
And “paint with me” and “draw with me” are included in the creativity theme.
Explore the story of “with me” on your own.
Separated by up to thousands of miles but intimately connected by screens that provide windows into each other’s worlds, creators have invited viewers to take part in their everyday activities through “with me” videos for almost a decade.
The titles of these videos offer invitations: “Get Ready With Me,” “Pack With Me,” “Workout with me” We can do all of this together!
Digital video revolutionized media by letting anyone create and facilitating a two-way relationship between creators and viewers (through comments). One novel outgrowth of that revolution has been “with me” videos. This new kind of content, built on sharing the mundane, often isolating experiences of people’s daily lives, is informational, inspirational, and most surprisingly, communal. Everyday tasks allow connections — between creators and viewers, but also between creators. In other words, doing things alone together can be the basis of a community.
views of "with me" trends featured in this piece since 2007
The earliest “with me” videos evolved from within the burgeoning beauty community around 2010. These “get ready with me” videos were essentially long-form tutorials set to music, during which people performed their daily makeup routines from start to finish, sped up to make them more digestible. By 2011, people had begun talking during their “get ready with me” videos, and “get ready with me” videos began to morph from tutorial to vehicle for creators to converse with audiences.
The video format further evolved in unexpected ways. “Get ready with me” videos for unique occasions began to emerge. Prom, first day of school, church -- if you can think of an activity, a “get ready with me” probably exists for it. “With me” soon grew beyond beauty, too, as creators and audiences began participating in other shared interests and activities through video. Many of these activities were things one might ordinarily do on one’s own, so these “with me” videos created group activities out of what had been lonely, individual activities.
These new “with me” videos fall into a few broad categories, each possessing its own characteristics.
Let’s take a closer look at the three biggest “with me” categories.
These videos reflect the mundane rituals that viewers have to perform themselves. As with videos focusing on productivity, everyday tasks can be motivators to tackle chores that watching videos can otherwise be a distraction from accomplishing!
Pack With Me
Anyone who has ever wondered how other people decide what to stuff in their suitcases can indulge in “pack with me” videos, which offer the voyeuristic thrill of seeing how someone else makes the same decisions that we all have to make when prepping for travel.
With a slant on tasks that help people increase their personal productivity, these videos take very personal acts and make them public, offering viewers a motivation and a means for participating in those acts.
Study With Me
“Study with me” videos just show creators studying, and they amass large audiences whose viewership peaks during the school year and drops off during breaks. These videos provide motivation and inspiration for an activity that can be difficult to start.
These videos explore the act of creation, whether it’s creating a drawing or creating a makeup look, and invite viewers in on the act of creating something from nothing.
Draw With Me
Creating art can be an inherently solitary activity. “Draw with me” videos and livestreams invite others into the process, and viewers receive the benefit of seeing a favorite artist create something from start to finish.
penpal with me
People have formed long-distance connections with strangers since well before the Internet. Through this modern twist on a classic hobby, people invite viewers to participate in the crafty construction of letters to pen pals.
Around The World With Me
Participating in different activities with me through video is a worldwide phenomenon. In South Korea, “study with me” goes by the name “Gongbang” or “study broadcast.” The Korean channel Iruda began streaming study sessions in 2019 and gets thousands of views per session. South Korea also gave us “mukbang,” videos in which viewers are invited to share in the eating of a meal.
Viewers who speak Spanish are more familiar with “conmigo” content like “limpia conmigo,” which English speakers would recognize as “clean with me.” Many of the most-viewed “limpia conmigo” videos come from Chula, who is based in Los Angeles but viewed across the Spanish-speaking world.
Translations are not necessary. For example, videos with “get ready with me” in the title amass millions of views a year in Germany. German creator Dagi Bee regularly uploaded “get ready with me” videos as she amassed over 4 million subscribers.
Whether it’s cooking, cleaning, studying, or writing a letter to a pen pal, “with me” videos represent the transformation of some of the loneliest tasks we perform into opportunities for connection. Creators morph these mundane tasks into creative expressions and connect with viewers looking for motivation, inspiration, or perhaps some other feeling of solidarity. In doing so, they suggest that there are more ways for human beings to connect than we previously realized.
We analyzed a collection of videos that contained the phrase “with me” in the title. After excluding music videos (e.g., Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me”), we determined which words were most commonly paired with the phrase “with me,” such as “draw,” “study,” “travel,” etc.
We then calculated the monthly views for each category of “with me” videos, since 2007 to present day.