I hate to say it, but if you don’t know what TikTok is or if you think I’m talking about Kesha’s 2009 hit single, then you are getting old. TikTok is the latest trending application that sets apart the new generation from the “old” generation.
It’s basically the new Vine, and if you downloaded TikTok as a joke to satisfy that Vine nostalgia but now you’re addicted, you are not alone.
All jokes aside, TikTok is taking social media by storm with its videos of pure comedic gold between 15 and 60 seconds. This app has it all —
from dance trends to DIY projects — not to mention that its trending songs are also addicting. As a matter of fact, I am currently listening to a TikTok playlist on Spotify as I write this. I know, I have a problem.
The way the app works is almost identical to any other social media platform imaginable. You can like, share and comment on videos just like Instagram or Facebook. There are also verified “TikTokers” who have reached the status of TikTok famous, but we’ll talk about that more later.
Essentially, you post a short clip of anything you want along with a caption if you feel it necessary. Whatever music you use will be linked at the bottom where followers can click on and see the original TikTok that used the audio first. This is a fun addition to the app because it allows people to track the origin of a specific TikTok trend based on the music someone used.
Most TikTok videos consist of comedic skits, dance routines, trending memes, DIY projects, cooking videos, cute babies — the list could go on and on.
If everything about this app is fairly unoriginal in terms of format, you might be wondering what the big deal is. You also might be wondering: “Short, funny videos? Vine practically invented that.”
While, yes, the concept of short, funny videos can be credited to Vine, TikTok takes this concept to the next level.
For one thing, I think the technologically advanced culture we live in has something to do with TikTok’s exploding fame. Though the Vine era was not that long ago, its foundation was built by a generation of people who did not necessarily grow up with technology. A lot of famous TikTokers, such as 15-year-old Charli D’Amelio, are among the new generation of technologically savvy kids who grew up with iPads and iPhones to keep them entertained.
Even if you didn’t grow up with mobile devices, it is easy to get addicted due to the app’s versatility in terms of video content. There is literally something for everyone to enjoy, and TikTok makes it even more addicting by curating a “For You” page that shows you TikToks based on similar videos you may have previously liked.
It’s a great way for TikTok to hook you with videos it knows you can watch continuously without getting bored, which is exactly how you can end up watching TikToks for hours, yes hours, if you aren’t careful.
Another reason why TikTok is so addicting is the dance trends. They are usually simple enough that anyone can learn them, and the process of learning them with your friends is very entertaining.
The most popular dance would have to be the “Renegade,” which became popularized after D’Amelio posted a TikTok of herself doing the dance. The dance is so popular that I could probably do it right now without having learned the proper choreography due to how many times I’ve seen it on my “For You” page.
The final verdict is: TikTok is great, and TikTok is fun. Some people are concerned with using TikTok due to its ties to China and the theory that China is collecting users’ personal data and censoring “politically sensitive” content.
Despite TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, shutting down any concerns regarding privacy and censorship, some people still remain hesitant to use the app.
Whatever you may believe regarding China’s influence on Americans’ use of TikTok, it seems like the overall purpose of this app is to provide the youth with some light-hearted, silly entertainment. If you ask me and the rest of Generation Z, it’s safe to say that TikTok does exactly what it’s meant to.