TikTok on the clock, but the party don’t stop

Wake up in the morning, feeling like K. Browne

by Katelynn Brown

Arts Editors

Hi, my name is Katelynn Browne, I’m 20 years old and I’m addicted to TikTok. TikTok, if you don’t know (or if you’re not hip with the kids like I am) is an app where users post videos of themselves lip syncing various songs or audio clips. In November of 2017, TikTok absorbed its competitor, Musical.ly. Like any other social media platform, you can scroll through content, drop likes, comments, follow other users etc.

There is an extremely wide variety of content on TikTok. What most people seem to be familiar with is young teenagers lip-syncing to popular songs, while trying to be sexy, which obviously is incredibly cringey and very uncomfortable to see when it comes up on the “For You” page. (The For You page is similar to Instagram’s Explore page). If this was the only content on the app, quite frankly, I would not be on it, because that would have some seriously bad implications. There are also cosplayers who like to act out their characters through TikTok. At one point there was a war between furries (yes, furries) and gamers, which was quite bizarre, kind of terrifying but also hilarious? TikTok is also home to tons of memes, which includes people doing either original skits or skits with trending audio clips in the background. Naturally, I’m here for the memes.

It’s hard to explain what exactly compels me to spend hours on this app. I’ve heard it said that casinos don’t have windows so you can’t tell what time of day it is, so you spend more time there. TikTok, similar to a casino, doesn’t show the clock at the top of your phone, which leads to you spending unprecedented amounts of time. It sucks you in. From once you find one funny TikTok, you’re searching endlessly down the For You page, craving another one, only to be stunted with an endless amount of bad content, which is still somehow entertaining.

I think what makes my TikTok addiction even more embarrassing than simply just scrolling through the app is the fact that I have made over 75 TikToks since I started using the app back in late December. I started making TikToks in order to procrastinate all of my final projects, papers, and studying for my final exams. (I’m gonna keep it real with you, I procrastinated writing this article by scrolling down TikTok. I convinced myself I was “doing research, but was I? Not really)

There’s something just so soothing about scrolling through the For You page, or even just successfully/accurately lip syncing some funny dialogue. In addition, I’ve made TikToks which have gotten 50+ likes and thousands of views, and honestly that validation just fuels my desire to create more TikToks. It’s sometimes difficult to remember, but TikTok, as cringey as it may be, is a form of social media, wherein you can post content, get likes and receive validation from it. At times, TikTok, as an app, can be quite problematic. For example, there is a huge issue with pedophiles and disgusting grown men creeping on young teenaged girls’ profiles. I remember there was this one audio clip from 50 Shades of Grey going around where grown men and teenage girls would lip sync this bit where Christian Grey says something along the lines of “I am pleased to discover that under your dress you are naked.” That whole trend was really terrifying and weird and gross to me. In addition, white kids just saying the N-word was a trend. Luckily, that one’s dying and being replaced by a trend of kids not saying the N-word. Another trend on TikTok that’s kind of problematic is the “This is my voice one day on __.” For example, someone will say “This is my voice one day on Dora.” Then, there voice will sound more and more like Dora’s. The jokes here are usually pretty innocent and fun, but the trend was originally started to make fun of trans people giving voice updates after starting hormone therapy. So that’s not great.

Aside from this, TikTok fosters a community that promotes the sexualization of young teenaged girls. Specifically, the e-girl trend on TikTok tells young girls the way to get likes on the app is to be pretty by wearing winged eyeliner, short skirts/revealing clothes, double ponytails and to make this face where they cross their eyes and stick out their tongue. In writing, I realize this doesn’t sound terrible, and I don’t mean to shame any of the girls doing this, but I cannot tell you how many girls that have braces I’ve seen participate in the e-girl thing. To conclude, TikTok is a kind of a mess of an app. It’s like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. It’s a lot of fun because of the wide variety of content, but there are some serious issues with the app, especially when it comes to what sort of content is being exposed to children and minors. Do I recommend it? Yes and no, for the reasons stated above. I think we should make an official paper TikTok though. Press F if you agree. I guess we’ll never miss, huh?

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