Just when you thought TiK ToK was just a catchy song by Ke$ha from 10 years ago, the popular app TikTok, formerly known as Musical.ly, exploded in popularity this year as the world population was forced to stay at home. TikTok is an app where users can make and share short videos and was originally targeted toward Generation Z, however it has reached generations as far as the Baby Boomers.
“TikTok has been something I’ve enjoyed for a while now, especially during quarantine, as it’s so entertaining, even though my boyfriend hates it,” said Lexi Connor, a junior multimedia journalism major.
TikTok has become the next big thing in creating short videos since the death of Vine and gives users an outlet to destress and just be silly during these unpredictable times. Many trends have emerged from TikTok this year such as memes, TV shows and mental health and self care.
A meme is an idea, style or behavior that becomes a trend and spreads from person to person by means of imitation within a culture. The song “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X actually rose to popularity after the song was used in TikTok videos to create a meme. In these videos users would listen to the song while drinking “Yee Yee Juice” and then change into a western look once the beat dropped.
Memes on TikTok are relatable, funny and easy for others to participate in. A popular meme on TikTok that currently that has over 2.5 billion views is #HeyAngel. The meme became popular after TikTok content creator, @lizemopetey, uploaded a video where she jokingly pretends to be both an angel and God having a miscommunication about making dinosaurs “meatier” or “a meteor.” Other popular memeson TikTok are: #LaptopCat, #VibeWithUs and #WhatsPoppin.
If you don’t have cable television, TikTok can make users feel as if they are watching TV right from their phones. Many creators on TikTok use their platforms to create skits that look like it could be an actual TV show. One of the most popular creators to use their platform to create reality TV parodies is @bomanizer. Boman Martinez-Reid has garnered over one million followers and over 23 million likes from creating humorous skits that are designed to look as if he’s on a reality TV show.
Other users on TikTok even recreate popular scenes from not only TV but also movies. Creator @elythorel is most popular from recreating scenes from “Mean Girls” and even goes so far as to dress up like the characters. Another creator who really gets into character is @julianburzynski, who is most popular for lip syncing scenes from “Jersey Shore” and movies such as “Mean Girls,” “Legally Blonde” and “She’s the Man.”
Self Care and Mental Health Awareness
Even though TikTok is usually used as a place to be comedic and lighthearted, there is a serious side to the platform. Topics about mental health and self care have started to trend on the app as it has become a safe space to openly talk about these issues and relate to other people. Users who suffer from disorders such as OCD, depression and anxiety are able to talk about and even show their symptoms and help other users understand that it’s okay to be dealing with mental health issues and that they’re not alone.
Zachery Dereniowski, or @mdmotivator, is a medical student at the University of Sydney who uses TikTok to analyze signs of mental disorders and show how to treat people with respect who do have them. He constantly reassures his followers that they are loved not only by others but by him as well.
So, if you’re looking to find a free option to forget your woes and be sucked in for hours on end watching comedy skits and learning new dance moves, TikTok might be the app for you.