I have never been shy about my learning disability. Although I've acknowledged that I don't let it define me; my learning disability is an integral part of the person I am. The challenges and obstacles I faced because of it have, without a doubt, shaped me as a person. Knowing I am operating at a disadvantage pushes me to work harder, proving to myself and others, that I am capable of anything.
And recently, TikTok is showing me that I'm not the only one.
Many people are turning to the newest, and what seems to be the most popular social app, TikTok, during this quarantine. The social media app, which allows you to create 15 to 60-second videos, is taking the world by storm. I'll admit it, before jumping on the bandwagon, I did not see the hype.
Listening to the same 15-second music clip is enough to drive anyone crazy, it's like a CD stuck on repeat, and those dances, talk about frustrating.
Then I made my first video.
Dancing isn't my strength, so instead, I made a video featuring what people say when I tell them I want to be a journalist. And a few hours later, I decided to create a new one. This time, I was bringing to light invisible disabilities.
Since posting that, my "for you page" has blown up with people creating videos that feature their disabilities or limitations and sharing their obstacles and challenges which they've managed to overcome. It's inspiring.
Contrary to Facebook and Instagram where people tend to post the highlights of their life, TikTok lowers the veil on their reality, featuring what life is really like- the highs and the lows. I've seen users in wheelchairs sharing their stories and discussing all their incredible accomplishments. I've watched videos created by people with cerebral palsy partaking in these videos.
There are people creating videos about their anxiety, depression, and even about surviving their suicide attempts.
They are sharing their obstacles and serving as motivation for others. Are people sharing this content on other platforms, I am sure of it. But with TikTok, I somehow see more of it, and it leaves me feeling motivated to share more of my personal stories.
Yes, TikTok has many flaws.
Some in particular are over-sexualizing young teenagers and getting ridiculous songs stuck in your head, which keep you up half the night. Have there been many injuries caused by these dances, I'm sure of it. However, it seems to be motivating people to share their stories to triumph, encouraging people anything is possible.
Say what you want about the algorithm, and how the "for you page" features random videos, it is allowing people who may not have had a voice before to share their stories. Proving that even with physical limitations and past challenges, anything is possible.