In our generation, all aspects of our lives are tightly knit with social media platforms, such as Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Therefore, one does not solely need high-quality content or connections within the media industry to gain views or traction during this digital age.
These days, a single post capturing a specific angle towards our generation’s current culture or trend is enough for one to become popular by gaining views and reposts on social network services. Such a case is with TikTok: a social media platform that allows users to post videos lip-synching to songs, skits and sound clips on the app where viewers can like, comment and share these short video clips.
I encountered my first wave of TikTok four months ago through a Snapchat advertisement. On the screen, a young teen was seen dancing and lip-syncing along to a clip of the pop song “Hello Kitty,” by Avra Levigne. After the clip ended, I felt my eyes jolt away from the screen, as I quickly turned off my phone.
Within the first few days of seeing my first TikTok advertisement, I seemed to see them repeatedly as I swiped through my Snapchat stories and while scrolling through videos on YouTube. I tried erasing the name out of my mind for a week, but one day, I walked into the kitchen to see my younger sister recording a TikTok.
I asked her how much of an impact it has made on her school community, and she replied, “It’s literally everywhere now. This is the trend.”
However, as I searched the statistics of TikTok on forbes.com, my eyes flipped wide open: more than one billion worldwide downloads, 17 billion average views per month and 500 million users in 150 countries. I could not argue with these statistics and the influence that this app has among our Gen-Z users.
This app has also managed to reach many Sunny Hills High School students, who have successfully gone viral by creating TikTok videos. In the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, news has spread that a SH student created a viral track-and-field video, which has gained almost 900,000 views. Additionally, a clip of this year’s TikTok-themed school assembly video brought in around 120,000 views. After seeing how far this app has reached members within my community, it has shifted my perspective on this new video-creating application.
Now, I see TikTok as a platform that users can express their creativity through the extensive categories provided, such as music, comedy, skits and dancing. Rather than rooting against this mobile application, I have decided to embrace my community’s current culture and trends. Therefore, I have created a TikTok account to truly help me understand this app’s capabilities. Be on the lookout for a video coming soon, after I perfect the art of TikTok-ing.