With Love
From Kat

With Love
From Kat

Uninspired

It’s midnight and I can’t sleep. My heart is pounding and I’m feeling such a mix of emotions. Mostly, I’m feeling so f*cking uninspired. I’m also confused. We all consume more content than ever before – and yet a lot of it today is honestly crap! It’s all bite size, 10 second, copy cat looks of things we’ve already seen, or just absurdly loud, attention grabbing things that make me cringe. Clearly, I’ve been spending too much time on TikTok – let me explain…

I remember in my early 20s, I would flip through the pages of Vogue, Town and County, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle – mesmerized by the clothing and editorials. I would devour every word and recommendation, adding it to my mental wish list. I genuinely miss looking up to people, places and things. I remember getting lost in the Ralph Lauren ads which were so perfectly curated and luxurious. I would screenshot every street style outfit Olivia Palermo or Miranda Kerr wore to try and recreate it later. I would pull up Style.com to see the latest runway show images to add to a folder I had on my desktop (this was pre-Pinterest days.)

The world is moving faster than ever. We have SO much media at our fingertips and yet, today, I find most of it lackluster. As I scroll on Instagram – I now see videos and images of people I don’t know, nor do I have any interest in knowing – but alas, the algorithm now automatically puts them in my feed. And then the people I do follow, rarely post anymore. I think it’s because some just don’t need to as they’ve already amassed a following, some are now focusing their efforts on TikTok, and others, like myself are suffering from Instagram fatigue. It has felt like the app has continuously worked against, not with creators, hiding content, especially anything with #ad, and making it impossible to get in touch with an actual human to talk to about glitches, system errors, feedback or features. Doesn’t it seem odd for a huge media company to not have any sort of customer service email, phone number or account person to help the very people that are creating free content for their bottom line?

There’s no doubt that short form videos are the wave of the future – TikTok and Reels are here to stay. Video format certainly is not my preferred way to consume content or get inspiration, but the reality is, it’s becoming a majority of the populations, and I don’t foresee that changing. Since I’ve created a career in this industry, it has become crystal clear to me over the last several months, that I have to adapt or become extinct – like a dinosaur lol. So, I’m trying – and here’s what I’ve found.

I downloaded TikTok 3 days ago (Jesse from my team previously had control over my account from her phone), and I’ve been spending time in the app to see what the hype is all about. In all honesty I’m feeling more anxious and unfulfilled than ever before – which is really alarming. It’s also been raining and gloomy nonstop for the last 3 days, which certainly hasn’t helped my mental health, and the book I just wrote is 3 weeks behind our printing schedule which is a huge source of stress, but even then, I can’t help but attribute most of these uncharacteristic feelings to being on yet another app, particularly this one.

Ok ok, it’s not just this one app. It’s a combination of all.the.apps. I just did a quick inventory and realized I now create unique content almost every single day – even on weekends – for: my blog, Instagram, Instagram Reels, Instagram DMs, my newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LTK, my Travel App, and TikTok. Holy sh*t that’s 11 different forms of media – almost 7 days a week! I’m spread thin and I’m burnt out and I’m not afraid to admit it. I’m so f*cking grateful for this career and my life, but I’m human, and I just want to keep it real with you my readers – many of who have been with me since Day 1.

It feels really good to get that off my chest. I haven’t really opened up or written on here like I used to because as we’ve all seen, in today’s day and age, every little thing gets twisted or misconstrued. But I am telling you, we need more women to be vulnerable and open up. We need deeper connections with one another now more than ever. You can have perspective, empathy and awareness about all of the pressing, tragic issues going on in the world, while also suffering with your own issues in your own hometown. You can be grateful, but still have a bad f*cking day! We need more women sharing and genuinely opening up, and I encourage you to do so – with your friends, your family, and your community.

Let’s go back to TikTok. I 100% see why people love it and how it’s highly addicting. It’s incredibly engaging, has tons of helpful, useful tips, and gets you answers to something FAST. My girlfriend was telling me yesterday that she no longer uses Google to look up something like a recipe, she simply types it into TikTok. It’s become her search engine and is also the way she gets her news, alerts – everything. I can certainly see the upside to that. My concern after having been on the app these past few days though, is that I noticed my attention span and patience became even shorter, and my heart started racing – I’m not kidding. My brain was on overdrive consuming video after video, but then I was left feeling empty because it wasn’t anything substantial or deeply moving/inspiring. Even the accounts I was gravitating to – the more self help, mindful accounts – just weren’t giving me that deep sense of inspiration and unspoken connection/understanding I get from something like an hour long podcast, or a thoughtfully written article.

The fashion accounts I followed were creating truly, the most basic content I had ever seen. Like, here are 5 blazers I wore last year, here are 5 coats for fall – each one essentially an exact replica of the other. In many ways, I see why this sort of content is appealing to so many. We are all busy, and it’s great because it “gets to the point” and is easily digestible. But for me, it doesn’t fill up my cup or resonate. Like, how much more bite size, fast, and shortened can we get?! The sad thing is, I’m saying all of this, knowing very well that if I don’t adapt and create similar videos, I’ll become extinct like so many of the huge magazines I used to look up to have.

It’s true though, the majority of magazines didn’t adapt quick enough and now many are either completely gone, hanging on by a thread, or playing major catch up with their digital efforts. Gen Z is now dictating the trends, not us ancient millennials, and the way we consume media has drastically changed as we know it. It’s time to adapt, embrace, grow and evolve. I’m up for the challenge, but that’s not to say it’s without growing pains. Thank you for hearing out those pains, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this ever evolving landscape. x Kat

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50 Comments

  • Rebecca says:

    I loved this article and truly miss the long form, thoughtful articles I’d sip my coffee with every morning. I, too, am an overstimulated millennial and am very concerned about how drinking from this firehose of content will effect our collective mental health in the long run.

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Thank you so much for sharing and opening up. I used to love sitting at my desk in the morning pouring through my favorite blogs and websites too! I’m glad I’m not the only one concerned about the effects of overstimulation on our mental health! <3

      October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Stephanie says:

    Currently sitting in my new lounge chair, with my cup of coffee, cherishing being able to finallyyyyy read something that actually feels like I’m connecting to another human. It’s unfortunate that so many content creators these days preach about being “realistic” and “relatable”, but in reality feel so far from that. I’ve always felt that you bring so much to the platforms. You are genuinely real and inspiring, and I hope you still feel that from the people that are still here to support you!

    At the end of the day, you have to do what you need to do to keep your business and brand surviving. You will no doubt do it with such grace and your loyal followers will be right behind you with the likes and comments no matter how silly the videos may need to be to be seen!

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Thank you so much Stephanie! Grateful for your words, support and understanding during this shift! I SO miss that deep connection I used to feel online with other writers, artists, designers, and creatives, and I hope that slowly, but surely people continue to feel brave enough to open up, connect, and share. We need more of that in this world!

      October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Carly Mixon says:

    I love your long form content, Kat! I’m a Gen Z-er, and truthfully, I’m also very overwhelmed by social media. Like you said, most of it is crap and we’ve become too reliant on it where we can’t think for ourselves! I don’t post nearly as much as my friends do and love to live a private life and I’m almost 25! I want to start blogging again but I also don’t want to rely on social media to be the main form of my promoting my content. I could go on and on about this topic, lol. I’m right there with you on the burnout front and thank you for being vulnerable! Social media gives a false sense that everyone always has their sh*t together and is so happy and that’s not always true! I hope you have a great rest of your week, and a relaxing weekend :)

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      It’s so nice to hear a perspective from a Gen Z-er so thank you! I can understand and relate to that predicament. It’s hard to stay true to yourself in this ever evolving landscape, but little by little I do hope you feel like you can be vulnerable, share and open up in a way that feels genuine to you. I hope you have the best rest of your week too!

      October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Colleen says:

    I wonder if the experience is the same for bloggers that are represented by agencies. It seems like two different worlds, one for influencers who churn out content and follow prescribed formulas…and bloggers like you or Carly Riordan, or Grace Atwood, who live their lives and write and create content independently. I just wonder if the journey and the feelings with emerging media trends are the same…

    Love your return to longer form blogposts. Hope it’s not the last one!

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      I think every influencer’s content is shared so differently because it’s based on several factors – like which platform they think will resonate most with their audience and which platform will perform best for their content/growth strategy, etc. It makes sense that the influencers/bloggers who started off writing blogs, are still doing that because their audience still resonates with that format, while influencers who only ever started with Instagram, are only creating content on that platform. Surprisingly I am represented by an agency/have a manager, but I have chosen to be very autonomous and they have never had a say in what or how I create! I am so glad you enjoy long blog posts too – it’s nice to know there are still those of us who appreciate them! :)

      October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Heather Anderson says:

    All. Of. This. Take me back to 2011.. the simpler days of blogs you actually read, Pinterest, and Instagram just being posts from people you follow! I refuse to get tik tok but I know you don’t have a choice! Hang in there and keep being a voice and a vision that is truly inspiring! I am craving authenticity more than ever and I don’t think I am alone!! Hoping the tides will change a little, but in the meantime thank you for being YOU!

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Yes 2011-2014 the glory days LOL! I truly miss just logging on and writing 3 quality blog posts a week. That was IT and I poured my heart into those 3 posts! Thank you for your words of encouragement and support. <3

      October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Carolyn says:

    I’m feeling the same way and I’m not even an influencer! As a consumer it has all become so…blah. I did have to take a break for awhile bc my mental health was suffering from all the tiny blips of info that I really didn’t care about in the long run. I read so many books during my break and felt so good! It creeps back in though. I miss the glossies! I miss my big binder of pages I ripped out of magazines and put in plastic protectors. Ok I’m aging myself (GenX). I understand what you’re saying and I appreciate your insight on the matter. Hang in there. Xx

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Yes – blah is the right word. And to be honest, these last few months, I felt my own content becoming blah too from being so spread thin and uninspired! Very smart of you to take a mental health break and get back to reading ;) I am envious! I miss the mood boards and collages I made from magazines too – right there with you!

      October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Kendal says:

    I’m still holding out on downloading TikTok. I never even tried Snapchat. I deleted Facebook. I am an insta girl and I too know I am a dinosaur nowadays. I worry when people I love to follow say they have “unique content” for TikTok that I know I’m missing out on. But alas, I have to be okay with that. I don’t need to consume EVERYTHING. Even from the creators I adore.

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      I know…I held out on TikTok for 2 years and this last week I was like ugh, ok I have to do this for my business. I never did Snapchat either (and luckily that fazed out), I never go on Facebook (Jesse posts there for me), but TikTok is really taking over and I hate to say it, but I do think it will surpass Instagram in the next year. Lucky for you, you can choose which platforms you want to follow creators on – and if Instagram is your preferred platform, then stick to that :) And don’t worry you won’t miss out! I’ll still post quality content on IG and my blog!

      October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Debbie says:

    I have been craving more curated content. I wish I had another app (I know, I know, but hear me out) that would be like a Pinterest were I could have “mood boards” but made up of social media content by my favorite creators collected into fashion, wellness, food, etc. so that I could choose what I wanted to consume without having to dive into the chaos.

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      YES I actually feel the same – because now even Pinterest is showing me videos and content from people I’m not following! Maybe you just came up with a new social platform ;)

      October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Shelby Henigman says:

    Ancient millennials will still be here to consume your incredible and engaging long form content. Couldn’t relate more with everything you said! 🤍

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Haha YAY for us ancient millennials!!! So true, there will always be an audience, even if it feels smaller than before, that will want long form content!

      October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Kelcy says:

    Thanks Kat for speaking about this. I remember starting to read blogs consistently around 2012. People who enjoy long-form content are still alive and well. I hope you’re able to find balance and do what works best for you.

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Thank you for the reminder! Yes, it’s true, many of us do still enjoy the long form content – thank goodness! I hope that brands can see that, see the value, and start investing in blog posts again!

      October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Isel says:

    Thank you so much for this honest post. I also feel so overwhelmed with so many apps and changes to some of my favorites like Pinterest. I feel like there is always something new. And I also get so tired of so many bloggers or influencers basically sharing the same things. Nothing feels original anymore. But I really enjoy content like yours, longer blog posts and just content that feel real & honest. So thank you! I’ve been a long time follower🥰

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Thank you Isel! I know it’s like, where is the originality anymore?! And in terms of the apps, can’t we have some sort of filter to be able to peacefully enjoy content we actually want to see?! Wishful thinking haha!

      October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Andy says:

    I so miss the days of “Bloglovin” when I would catch up with all of my favorite blogs in one place! I think you should stick with the formula that has gotten you where you are today while staying authentic to yourself. I love that you don’t post dozens of links everyday to cheap Amazon garbage, and that your content is well curated and a obvious direct representation of you & your personal style. Hang in there! I think there will come a point where people will crave more thoughtful and meaningful content once again!

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Ahh I know what happened to Bloglovin?! Thank you for saying that <3

      October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Catherine Grant says:

    Kat, so so much respect for you and this thoughtfully written post. The opening struck such a chord with me – I loved how inspiring those magazines used to be! I support and appreciate you. Thank you for everything.

    Catherine

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Thank you so much Catherine – so grateful for your support :)

      October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Sam says:

    Thank you sharing this Kat! I 100% agree with you. I miss the magazine days, and I would always prefer to read a blog or article, or listen to a podcast rather than see a quick video. It isn’t good for us, like you rightly said, it decreases attention spans.
    I am yet to try tik tok and I don’t think I will.
    Keep up your amazing work Kat x 👏

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Denise says:

    I really enjoyed reading your perspective on this and it reminded me how much I miss the old, long form blog posts. I used to sit at my computer in the morning with my coffee to read them. While short form videos on IG and Tik Tok can be fun to consume, I prefer the more in depth content that seems to have disappeared. I hope that as you evolve as a creator, you can still find ways to incorporate this. Some of my very favorite content of yours were longer posts where you talked about life!

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Daniela Pena says:

    Kat, thank you for writing this article! It is refreshing to see someone speak their truth and the truth of this new world we are living in, where everything is superficial and fast-paced.
    I personally love your content (I even prefer blog and pictures to videos, tbh). We might not be a lot, but there is definitely a niche of us who appreciate content as it used to be and have it feel more personable and real. I, for one, will continue to support. Good luck navigating this new world that, honestly, feels pretty overwhelming in almost every field!

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Malinda Reidy says:

    Spot on! I miss catching up on all of my favorite blogs and keep finding myself scrolling mindlessly and feeling disappointed in the use of my time. Thank you for this honesty. Glad to hear I’m not alone!

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Adeline says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and opening up. I really appreciate you sharing your experience in such an authentic way. As always!

    I started reading blogs when I was 15 (in 2007) and really admired the few women I followed religiously. Most of them still write weekly and have never abandoned their corner of the internet for Instagram or TikTok. But I can only imagine the pressure of not fully engaging on these platforms.

    To be honest, after months of using TikTok, I can’t even name five of my favorite content creators on the app. Yet, I see their content almost every day… It seems like everything has been reduced to instant gratification on both sides – for the content creator as much as for the content consumer.

    Reading your article made me realize that as a reader I could reshape the way I consume content and support my favorite content creators. From now on, I’m going to block out a time in my calendar weekly to read my favorite blogs, including withlovefromkat.com.

    Thank you <3

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Clara Artschwager says:

    Kat- it was a breath of fresh air to hear you feel this way. I was recently feeling so nostalgic for those early blogging days…where folks would comment, comment (!) on each other’s sites- showing such respect and attention of the content. Everything feels so futile nowadays. Futile and disingenuous. Thank you for reminding me of what I’ve been feeling all along.

    October 6, 2022 | Reply
  • Diana Elizabeth says:

    Kat, you know I’m with you on this and I’ve been feeling this way for a long time too. I have social media burn out and I think this past year I have chosen to not adapt and step away from influencing and trying to make things happen. Like you I am tired. I won’t lip sync over a tre ding audio or do a dance, it’s not me. It has been a really hard thing for me to let go because it’s been my identity but in the middle of this I have continue to appear on my blog because it’s my first love and always will be – not making much anymore but I still enjoy it and it has gone back to being a hobby. I know it’s hard when this is your bread and butter and the dollars are now being poured to social media but I know you are also beyond talented and you will find ways to navigate through this and evolve as you are meant to. I will continue to enjoy watching your journey and cheer for you. 💋

    October 7, 2022 | Reply
  • Andrea Staska Photograph says:

    I tend to agree with you, however I really do think that there is space for quality longform content. In my opinion there is a duality as to most everything else. Your nod to Ralph Lauren made me think that maybe it’s a bit like fast fashion vs. high quality fashion… both has it’s place,… it’s just different audiences…
    I very much enjoy that not everyone has given up on quality longform content, in form of blogs for example… not everything should be shrunk down to a 10 second video… even if it’s handy sometimes. :) Have a wonderful weekend.
    Hugs from Austria

    October 7, 2022 | Reply
  • Venus Kennedy says:

    Thanks for this. I think it’s important for creators to be their authentic selves and love this post. Of all the social media platforms Instagram is my favorite and I find it frustrating how instead of doubling down on what it is, it’s trying to transform into TikTok lite. I don’t have TikTok and probably never will, and the more Instagram forces the TikTok style (short form over
    -excited reels) Instagram will probably lose me as a consumer. I’ve found other content creators struggle with the same thing you are. Maybe it’s confirmation bias, and there are many who prefer Instagram turning to TilTok, but All we can hope is eventually Instagram starts listening to this feedback.

    October 7, 2022 | Reply
  • Ceri says:

    Hi Kat,
    I love the current way you produce your content and look forward to receiving your weekly newsletter, that so many ‘brands and influencers’ no longer provide.
    I also follow your Instagram and have no intention of adding anymore social media platforms to my roster of go to’s when I need inspiration and entertainment.
    I end up down too many rabbit holes as it is.
    I do like your individualised approach, it feels much more ‘you’ than other identikit instagramme/social media.
    Good Luck, I’m sure you will know what to do for the best for your business. Trust your instincts.

    October 7, 2022 | Reply
  • Lyubov Nixon says:

    I feel this. And thank you for being so honest. I kind of want to sit in a coffee shop cozy chair, sip a latte and chat with you while it rains outside. Let’s bring back more honest conversations to the internet, and let’s teach gen Z meaningful conversations!

    October 7, 2022 | Reply
  • Josie says:

    My heart is with you on this one.

    October 7, 2022 | Reply
  • Chloe says:

    I totally resonate with you Kat. I’m not on Tik Tok and I don’t plan to be. I enjoy creating content with my audience on IG, Pinterest, FB and my blog. I’m finding now that I also enjoy working with brands who WANT blog content and images instead of quick and dirty videos. People want a story. There are people like this still out there. My audience isn’t Gen Z so I don’t cater to them and they are mainly on Tik Tok. In my humble opinion, you can still do what you love by catering to your audience with the content they love. I love reading your blog and seeing your posts. I would say, keep doing what lights you up and you’ll find that everything will work out for you in perfect timing.

    October 7, 2022 | Reply
  • Refreshing - With Love From Kat says:

    […] case you missed it, I discuss my growing pains and thoughts on the changes we’re seeing in media here in this post. I felt truly seen, heard and understood for the first time in a long […]

    October 10, 2022 | Reply
  • afsi says:

    I’m a newer follower and while the post resonates, I hope you don’t feel like you’re one of the amass. I seek your selections of clothing, styles, and the overall vibe from your blog. This gal from KY thanks you for your time and effort on this platform.

    October 10, 2022 | Reply
  • Michelle Phillips says:

    Love that you wrote this! I miss how things were on social media as well. I’ve been following you now for 7 years I think it is and whatever you choose to do I will still follow you. I’m probably one of few that doesn’t follow TikTok. I would feel even more overwhelmed on keeping up with everything if I added that in and I barely have enough time to look at my personal and business pages of Facebook and Instagram For reference I’m 39 yrs old. I still read actual books and still mail checks for some of my bills. Lol I like having some things old school-it reminds me of the simpler times. I say don’t worry about what everyone else is doing-your loyal followers will stand by you if you want to keep doing things the way YOU want to do them!

    October 11, 2022 | Reply
  • Mailene says:

    I too am a millennial and burned out by social media. When you said this “ we need more women to be vulnerable and open up. We need deeper connections with one another now more than ever” that really resonated with me. As a new mom to a 4 month old, I have started to see and feel this more than ever especially from other moms out there who are always posting and talking about how beautiful motherhood is and how everything is peachy and showing themselves “bouncing back” from birth and their put together lives. Don’t get me wrong some parts are beautiful but I just wished the other not so pretty parts are spoken about. All of it feels so fake to me and honestly has caused me to unfollow a lot of people because I was finding myself comparing and questioning my own journey.

    I love your content and I love your style but if I am being honest some of the things shown are really expensive and thus makes it less attainable for someone like me. I would love to see more dupe finds or how to achieve the same look on a budget. That’s my two cents lol

    October 12, 2022 | Reply
  • Alyssa Gianino says:

    Thank you for posting this! I spent many years getting to work a little bit early to read all of the blogs that I followed. I miss it so much. I won’t lie and say I don’t scroll way too much, but I have moved to listening to Podcasts more and would love to read more content like this. Please keep doing what you’re doing!

    October 13, 2022 | Reply
  • Friday Finds: Vol. 5, No. 7 — bows & sequins says:

    […] really loved this read from Kat… Echoes my *exact* thoughts on the industry and changing content […]

    October 21, 2022 | Reply
  • Weekend Reading, 10.22.22. - The Stripe says:

    […] I agreed with a lot of Kat’s thoughts on what has happened to Instagram. […]

    October 22, 2022 | Reply
  • Renee says:

    THANK YOU!! Best online commentary I’ve read in quite awhile. There are just too many online outlets now, and I find them depleting and exhausting. Your honesty is refreshing.

    October 22, 2022 | Reply
  • Carla Medina says:

    This blog was so great! As a millennial I could so relate. I’ve also read some articles about the shift in generations between wanting more curated posts like what was being on Instagram most of 2010’s to more organic, raw, less editorial looking content. I thought that was interesting and might contribute to this change.

    October 22, 2022 | Reply
  • Leanne says:

    Found your blog via Grace Atwood, who I adore. I remember scouring the internet for fashion blogs in the early aughts and relishing my routine of catching up on them on Saturday mornings. I used to google “blogs like ____” to find content like my favourite bloggers! This post really resonated with me. Some of the bloggers I follow feel like old friends, I’ve followed them for so long. It’s impossible to feel like you’re hearing from a friend in a deluge of 10-second video clips. Us dinosaurs will still come back to blogs like yours time and time again. Keep up the wonderful, inspiring work!

    October 22, 2022 | Reply
  • Meredith says:

    I am greatly missing old format consumption of magazines, blogs and thoughtful posts. I have avoided downloading TikTok for this reason. Appreciate your viewpoint and honesty on this!

    October 24, 2022 | Reply