Are you just Window Shopping?

Are you living your own life or someone else’s?

A while ago I somehow stumbled across a quote that went something along the lines of…

“Watching a vlog is like window shopping, it’s being able to imagine yourself living the life of someone else”.

And that really rung true with me.

As a video producer it’s incredibly easy to spend hours upon end watching all types of videos, convincing yourself that it’s ‘research’ and you’re taking and accumulating inspiration from all these various sources.

I don’t for one second advise against having a wide range of influences on your work and some of the work I’m most proud of has been taking things from a completely different field to my own and bringing elements of them in to my video production.

Over the last few years I’ve significantly decreased my content consumption and tried to be more selective in what I spend my time watching. I try and draw very clear lines between what is work-related content and what is content I consume purely for entertainment.

And entertainment content should never creep in to working hours.

But this got me thinking, I’m sure much like yourself after a long working day you might often find yourself coming home and the first thing you do is sit on the sofa, open up YouTube and watch the latest video from your favourite vloggers or content creators.

And of late I’ve begun to realise that’s no way to live your life.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of vlogs and as aforementioned it allows you to dive in to the lives of really interesting people and ‘window shop’ and experience living life as they do. And the large majority of creators I enjoy watching are ones with incredibly different lives from my own.

But then there are some who live very similar lives to me, with the same goals, the same ambitions and the same sort of schedules. And recently I had to really think hard if I am actually living my life and working towards my goals, or if in fact am I living vicariously through them?

I feel that taking this very introspective look on your content consumption can be of massive benefit. For me so far 2019 has been a challenge to try and be ultimately productive in all that I’m doing, whether’s that during working hours or actually taking a break from everything and distinguishing when is actually ‘time off’. I’m very lucky to be surrounded everyday by people who are incredible role models and grateful that they set the example for me to follow.

And that’s the real distinction here. If we want some inspiration it’s all too easy to log on and watch a vlog where a talented creator can through their craft and expertise make you feel like you are in fact living their own day and allow you to experience the emotions and successes they do.

But coming away from it, what have you actually learned or achieved?

One of my new favourite quotes around content creation (paraphrased below)…

“After every piece of content consumed, you should walk away just a little bit smarter”.

There’s definitely a lot to be learned from watching great vloggers and content creators online but the most valuable thing you can learn by watching is seeing how they live their life. Take it from me, after a decade in video production, I know that putting out a new video every day is incredibly difficult and that’s for a multitude of reasons, not just the practicalities and logistics. Most importantly if someone is working hard enough to be in a position to release a new original video everyday, they probably didn’t spend much of their day watching other people who were doing the same thing.

Going forward, for me vloggers of every genre (related to my work or not) fall firmly in to the entertainment category and I’m thinking long and hard about whether it’s time I could be spending doing something better.

I wanted the main mantra for 2019 to be “make something or read something” and were 22 days in, I’ve made 14 videos, read 1 and a half books but watched far too many YouTube videos. It’s time to re-dress the balance.

So remember to ask yourself…

Are you window shopping or actually living your own productive life?
 And I wish you every success.


About Jack

I help people, brands and business communicate more effectively with their customers through visual, audio and written content.

I do this through Southpaw Sport, the sports content marketing company I’m currently building as well as on a freelance basis working for agencies and production companies.


You can follow Sixty Second me on YouTube where we share news, reviews and tutorials for digital filmmakers, all in sixty seconds…

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And my social media for behind the scenes look at what I’m up to

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Twitter — @jackwrtompkins

Jack Tompkins