21 Mar 2020

4 Years Late on Tik Tok

I’ve never been in a position where I was looking for several things to fill my time, but that time is now. Watching television and movies can only go so far and I’ll admit, sometimes I lack the creative inspiration to always write a post. I had two options: reviving my Neopets account or creating a Tik Tok. I’ll give Tommy credit for this because he actually planted the seed of Tik Tok to me several years back. At the time, I already felt inundated with the number of applications on my phone and I still do.

On a whim, I downloaded the app. Several weeks ago, I came across a tweet of a [Tik Tok] that I couldn’t get out of my head. It had been awhile since I did any kind of dancing, but I figured that would be the most appropriate route if I had an account. I started with this choreography first by watching a tutorial from a teenager.

Then I followed it up with a compilation of Tik Tok influencers that did this exact choreography with their own spin. It was impossible to not go down a rabbit hole. The first post was acceptable and while I posted it to Instagram, I thought I could do better. I redid it the next morning and deleted the original. Starting with one post, we ramped up to do two yesterday and three today. As a hobby, it’s quite consuming and addicting.

The culture within Tik Tok is fascinating. Charli D’melio is considered a queen on the platform with 39.6 million followers at the moment. The most popular Tik Tok influencers (they all seem to be in the same age group as well) live in a house together called “Hype House” where they record Tik Tok’s all day long. Tik Tok’s are typically 15 seconds long and can span across many interests, but comedy and dancing seem to rank high at least on my feed.

Observations/Questions:

  • Sometimes the influencers re-record the same choreography multiple times and I’m not sure why.
  • Apparently, there’s a whole subculture that lives within Tik Tok called eboys. Charli happens to be dating one of those named [Chase Hudson.]
  • What happens next? I feel like a parent saying this, but what do career paths look like beyond Tik Tok?
  • There are so many different filters and effects within the app. I’m still too scared to touch any of that!
  • When I first went to my “home” feed, the default is videos that I might like based on their ranking instead of those that I follow. It took me two days to figure out how to toggle.
  • The dances are fun and short because 15 seconds, but at times can be challenging as with all choreography. Sometimes different dances use the same moves. It’s unclear to me yet if the influencers are the ones creating the original choreography.
  • Engagement is incredibly high and I’m not sure how distribution is working quite yet, but trying to figure it out.
  • There’s a very clear demographic / audience using the app that ages me completely.
  • I now think in Tik Toks. If I hear a new song, I’ll convince myself how great it would be if it were turned into a Tik Tok choreography though I’m likely not the person to do that.
  • Why can’t you create folders for your likes or rather use a bookmark function like on Instagram?
  • It’s hard to lip sync, dance, and not make concentration face all at the same time.
  • It has been nice to just enjoy learning something new again for fun and I realized I hadn’t actually done that in a long time.
  • It’s a battery killer.
  • Since I joined, I have been able to convince two of my friends to join. The power of the platform!

At the moment, Tik Tok is the perfect amount of distraction for me. It’s unclear whether I’ll continue after shelter-in-place ends, but for the time being, it looks like we’ll dedicate a video a day at least. To end this post, I’m going to leave you with something that will get a laugh out of you.

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