“But… you hate live videos. Remember?”
Yes. I remember. I even made a couple of them a few years ago for the sake of mocking them. True story. Funny thing was, when I did those, a few people told me, “You should do this all the time!” Granted, those people are crazy. But still… It did get me thinking.
Why do I hate live videos? Oh, lots of reasons. I’m a content snob. Live videos are unedited. I say things without thinking. Live videos are unedited. Oh, did I say that already? I think you get the point. Anything can, and sometimes does, happen. Live, for anyone to see. And I’m just not okay with that. I also don’t like wiggling cameras, bad angles, videos filmed in portrait mode, videos without captions, people who prattle on with no plan for what they’re saying, and videos of some narcissist just out there showing off on the internet. I did say there were lots of reasons.
So the first time someone suggested I go live with my Cha Cha Plank Challenge in February, my first reaction was something along the lines of, “Hahahaha… no.” Then I immediately started thinking. Don’t you hate it when that happens? I do. It gets me into all sorts of strange unanticipated situations.
I thought, why not? Other than the obvious reason, which is that I hate live videos. I thought it might get a few more people to join my challenge, and it might get a few more people to stick out my challenge. I thought it might be fun to get together with some of my local friends who were also doing the challenge and go live together. I love bringing people along with me to share my experiences. It occurred to me that going live was one way to do that. So, I did it. I did the Cha Cha Plank Challenge (if you don’t know what that is, Google it. It’s entertaining), starting with 20 seconds and going up to four minutes, live in my Facebook group in the month of February. It was mostly fun. It was sometimes entertaining. I learned a few things about video, about my friends, and about myself. Here are some of them:
- I still hate live videos. There were so many times I thought, “Why am I doing this? This is stupid. I hate this.” And I still don’t like watching them.
- Going live takes awhile to set up. Especially when you’re using music. Although you do just press record and go, if you want a stable camera shot with a good angle you have to set that up. Find the music. Type the description. Think about what you’re supposed to do. A four minute live video can easily be a 15 minute process, sometimes longer.
- People don’t like to watch long videos. One friend told me, “I thought about watching your video and then I saw how long it was, and I knew I didn’t have time for that.” Less than ten minutes is good, and less than five minutes is better.
- Embarrassing myself on camera did happen, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be, and it didn’t kill me. I didn’t say as many stupid things as I thought I would, but I said plenty of them, and regretted some of them.
- Wardrobe choices are important and some mistakes will haunt you and disturb your viewers. Let’s just say I’ve learned which of my workout outfits are video appropriate and which ones… aren’t.
- Mistakes can be entertaining so just let them happen, and then let them go. Several times I warned people, “You might not want to watch today’s video!” and when they did, they loved it. They laughed. I’m past the point in life where I’m worried about people laughing at my expense, as long as they laugh. Most people need to laugh more. If I can help with that, fine.
- I’m not bad on camera. There are moments when I’m actually good on camera, actually. Sometimes I give good advice. Sometimes I’m kind of funny. Sometimes I’m downright hilarious. Most of the time, I actually enjoy it.
- Watching myself exercise on video has taught me some very useful lessons about how I exercise. I really worked on my plank form during February. Not an easy task while also doing the cha cha slide! If you don’t have access to a mirror while you exercise, I recommend videoing yourself occasionally. It can be very revealing.
- Knowing I had committed to post a live video every day of the challenge kept me more consistent than I had ever been before. I have always finished my monthly challenges, but some days I have skipped days or forgotten to post. Not in February. I was on every day, doing that cha cha, whether I felt like it or not.
- Planks are effective, whether you’re holding a stationary plank or adding some silly dance moves. My abs and shoulders looked different at the end of the challenge than they did at the beginning.
I don’t know if going live is really something I want to make a habit of doing, at least publicly. I am doing another month of live videos in March. This time the challenge is squats, pushups, and jumping jacks. See the calendars below if you want to try it. If you’re on Facebook you can join the group, see the videos, and hopefully complete the challenge, here.