TikTok app impacts teens through trends, music, dancing

Abby Mendez

Internet trends come and go, but a select few manage to grow and adapt with the times. Although popular media sites like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook have taken on very similar appearances and functions, the TikTok app has managed to maintain a level of originality that other media sites have failed to keep. 

Beginning as Musical.ly, an app where people lip sync and dance to popular songs and sounds, TikTok has evolved into an app that successfully allows a wide array of people to create original content. It also allows for companies to market themselves without impeding on the content itself. 

While being its own media site, TikTok has grown to be shared across multiple platforms like Twitter and Instagram (very meta). However, unlike Twitter and Instagram, TikTok encourages the sharing of media from their site, and most people would probably be surprised at how many of the funny videos on Instagram and Twitter have been from TikTok. 

Just like any popular media site, TikTok has amassed a large group of “influencers”. These are usually the most popular content creators, and they typically make some sort of revenue from their content or the advertisements they do on their account. 

Although TikTok has changed the way that people create videos – a lot of people compare it to the popular, now-deceased app Vine (RIP)- it still maintains the same elements that existed when it was Musical.ly. Users still lip sync to sounds or songs, but there is more freedom and more humor to the content that is created now. Users can also make their own sounds and have other people use them, a feature that existed when the app was still Musical.ly, but more people utilize the feature and have more fun making the videos they do.

I appreciate the creativity that exists in TikTok, but there is one thing I can. Not. stand. 

The stupid dances. 

Sure, they’re fun when you’re doing it, but walking through the halls and watching freshman girls and grown women doing TikTok dances is just sad. Anytime a “TikTok” song plays, it’s like a switch is flipped. It’s borderline brainwashing and it is super freaking annoying and I. Will. Not. Stand. For. It. 

The real gem on TikTok are the funny videos and jokes made using popular sounds and songs. It’s a refreshing flashback to Vine, and it’s a simple platform for people to make videos that they find funny. The material is a bit more censored than that of YouTube since it is a more kid-friendly app. However, the span of content across the app is very diverse and anyone that goes on TikTok can find their own corner of the app that they can enjoy. Even if it is those stupid dances (Insert eyeroll).

TikTok is an app that manages to combine comedic nostalgia while also being original and new. I cannot begin to tell you how many nights I have spent accidentally spending hours on TikTok. Each time I tell myself “only one more video,” I ignore it and spend another embarrassingly long amount of time scrolling through Tik Tok.

It’s addictive, and I’m convinced that I fall into a different dimension and time is nonexistent. I go on TikTok at 6pm and about three videos in: it’s 11pm and three days later.

I’d also like to admit that I waited a long time before I finally download the app. The only thing I knew about TikTok were the stupid dancing videos (Insert second eye-roll), and I thought it was just Musical.ly rebranded (I mean it kinda is but it’s honestly so much better than Musical.ly). But after finally downloading it, I found a new source of entertainment that I never truly expected.  

I guess the point of this is don’t judge a book by its cover or something like that. I don’t really know, I just like TikTok.