There was once a time when Tiktok was a song by famous artist Kesha, but now it seems that the new generations will only see Tiktok as an app, a forum where there are numerous opportunities to create your own original content; from lip-synching, creating your own videos in regards to your hobbies or sport and providing a variety of genres to watch from, those being music, pranks, stunts, dance and entertainment. The world of social media is more than generous towards us with apps and forums like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, but this is only a short list of the many options we have to connect with one another virtually.
The newer generations are so invested in Tiktok that it’s a hot topic for conversation. These are known to be facts because any time I see my two younger siblings of thirteen and sixteen-years old, they say they need to show me new Tiktoks and share the humour they get from watching ten to fifteen second videos of people performing their acts only to receive a gracious number of views which adds to their popularity and likes. It is tiring and saddening to observe. It seems as if socialising normally has been forgotten. A part of me felt that because, I wasn’t aware of how the app worked or because I didn’t have it, there was a feeling of Am I missing out? Am I socially cut off due to the fact I don’t watch or find humour from it? No. That is simply not the case. We have the ability to stretch our social interactions to a limit that is comfortable for us; that meaning if we don’t have a particular new app that has climbed the ranks quickly then that does not mean we are missing out.
Teenagers, specifically, have fallen victim to new dance combos and new music ‘clippets’ which become insanely popular in the space of a short time frame. Asking the new generation of such things, the majority will reply “I saw it on Tiktok”, “I learned it from Tiktok”, “I’ll show you the Tiktok where I got it from”. These responses are shaping the world into thinking that all new things can be learned on Tiktok, but this is not the case. Popular, yes, but this app does not determine one’s knowledge of everything in the world.
An article on Sage Journals stated that the only thing setting Tiktok apart from other social media apps is the “For You” algorithm, that algorithm determines the type of video content the user is exposed to and viewing the content makes up the majority of the experience. Another article on The Knightly News stated that teenagers were striving to learn the newest dance trend before the craze ended. The article also shared an alarming piece of information that “these short compelling videos have proven to negatively affect people’s attention spans as they are being fed new content every 15 seconds.
The layout of this app hides the clock at the top of smartphones, making every effort at time management harder to achieve for users”. Snapchat and Instagram started the same way with users constantly being on the platforms so does this mean Tiktok will eventually be another rage, are users going to become tired of it? However, there is a contained happiness that one day someone will watch us perform a new dance combo or ask where we learned something from and they’ll respond with an answer that has nothing to do with Tiktok.