TikTok has consumed Generation Z with short videos that range from comedy videos to dancing videos to singing videos. They can be about literally anything as long as they don’t exceed the time limit of 60 seconds.
TikTok has allowed people to either post, watch, or do both on the platform. It’s become such a big hype since it keeps our attention span and then moves on to the next video. With newly famous TikTokers and daily new trends, everyone has downloaded TikTok and I catch myself constantly checking the app when I’m home as a break from homework. The only problem is that it tends to make you lose track of time.
Leah Eiland agrees. “I used to do homework,” she says. “And study. That’s gone downhill. It takes up time that you don’t realize is going by. Making up dances, learning dances, seeing what the new trend is.”
Elizabeth Kelly says that for her it’s just become a social media platform that replaces YouTube. It hasn’t totally affected her school life, but it’s just stopped her from watching other content creators.
TikTok has definitely caused my homework to take longer. I’m more distracted and take more breaks. But this isn’t the first time that social media has done that. I think that everyone can agree that whether it’s Snapchat or Netflix, that our phones usually distract us from doing our homework as fast as possible (kudos to you if you’re actually able to put it down for the whole 2 hours).
The variety of videos is what draws a lot of the appeal. It’s not designated for one type of video. It can be anything. It just takes a video, you can include effects or sound, or not. It’s up to you. Pure creativity is at hand. After talking with some students, it seems that the two most common videos, or the ones that seem to go viral, are either really funny or show a talent (dancing, singing, makeup, etc.).
It’s become such a popular social media platform that people, mainly teenagers, have begun pursuing TikTok as a career. Teenagers like Charli D’amelio and Chase Hudson (Lil Huddy) have started going to school online and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Both of those teenagers started becoming famous through TikTok. Charli D’amelio now has 30 million followers and counting.
When asking around the student body at the Lovett school, the majority of the students say that their favorite TikToker is Charli D’amelio, so it seems that she’s taken over the platform for the most part. Charli D'amelio is known for her dancing videos. She has created dances to popular songs, which normally kickstarts the trend on TikTok.
Some teenagers have collaborated together and bought houses in Los Angeles to live in and continue making TikTok. Project 305 and the Hype House are just examples of some of the houses. These houses are home to about 20 TikTokers and allow them to have more opportunities in California.
I think that this new opportunity for fame from TikTok has drawn more teenagers in. Pretty much any video can become viral as long as it’s enjoyable. Leah Eiland says that if a TikTok “isn’t funny. It’s cringy. It’s controversial.”
When talking to some students, Iasked how they would explain it to an adult. Ford Powell says that “it’s just random videos. They’re all short, so it’s just entertaining to scroll through.” Besides a New York Times magazine article that referenced TikTok, it doesn’t seem that many adults are aware that TikTok is even a thing. Besides hearing the platform being talked about in the school hallway, I don’t think many adults know it is the “new trend” in the generation.
Another student, Hailey Savage says that she enjoys “learning the dances. Sometimes [she] finds new music and listens to it.”
However, Elizabeth Kelly reflects that sometimes the songs that “pop up on TikTok ruin the song in the car. Now all [she] can think of is the dance that goes along with it.”
Ok. Although TikTok seems to consume the life of students right now, the chances of it lasting long are slim. Not many video-based social media platforms stay popular. Once the next content creating platform comes out, TikTok will probably die out and the new platform will consume the lives of students.
“I feel like it’s already dying out. It’ll go away soon,” Leah Eiland says “We just have to wait for the next app to be released that does almost the same thing.”