By Emma Hastings | Illustration by Xixi Qin
Are you bored? Do you find yourself searching aimlessly for something to do? Are there suddenly too many hours during the day with nothing to fill them? Well, I think you are a candidate for someone who has yet to download TikTok (or you have actual hobbies).
If you have not already seen, heard, received, or devoted yourself to the world of TikTok, let me explain. This new social media craze is a platform of videos no longer than one minute, similar to Vine. The content of the videos includes a new form of memes, dancing, and other trendy challenges. Sometimes you’ll laugh and sometimes you’ll cringe — the entertainment is endless. The app originally launched in September 2016 and has grown to 800 million users since its release. It’s an open platform for creators and influencers; my professor even recommended making a TikTok as a medium for a project presentation.
At school, TikTok was my biggest distraction and form of procrastination. These titles still hold true in quarantine, but now, without anything better thing to do, TikTok provides hours of entertainment throughout the day. The “For You” page is like a bottomless pit of videos tailored to your likes and the region you are in. If you enjoy the Instagram explore page or Twitter as a source of memes, then TikTok may also be of interest to you.
TikTok also provides a new platform for music, exposing users to music through videos of dances to a certain song, compilations of songs, or just background noise. Artists such as Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion gained popularity as more people danced to their songs on the app. Creators are also able to combine parts of different songs; for example, one sound is a combination of popular songs from the early 2000s (college students’ glory days). Some of the songs seem to only exist on the app. While listening to them on Spotify is possible, only the 15 seconds in the Tik Tok are recognizable.
TikTok dances might seem easy and maybe a little cringe-worthy, but trying to learn them is harder and much more of a workout than it seems. The dances are usually 15 seconds, and every movement changes with the song. It takes many attempts to learn the moves, get the rhythm down, and look cute while doing so: you’ll definitely work up a sweat. It’s somewhat similar to Dance Workshop auditions, but mainly it’s just you alone in your house with nothing better to do.
Attempting to recreate a video doesn’t have to be a solo scene — many creators are getting their family involved. Multi-dancer trends such as the “Blinding Lights Challenge,” which requires three people in a running and arm movement formation, are taking off. The biggest challenge is convincing others to do the TikTok with you, but your family members may have just as much free time as you do. Making a TikTok with your family members can be a new activity to try, and a guarantee for laughter.
While TikTok may have a negative reputation and is incredibly addictive, it’s really just something else to do during time in quarantine.