Going home for winter break I expected the usual things any college kid expects when they head home. Home cooked dishes, reuniting with friends and family, and a little fun here and there. But my winter break this time around has boiled down to YouTube and Tik Toks. Yep, you heard me right, Tik Tok. Now I am an old folk by Tik Tok standards. The app is plagued with young folk. Now that's not to say that every other social media app doesn't have younger kids on it, but with Tik Tok the app is structured where you're more likely to see 16-18 year olds going their renegade dances mixed in. And at first I was put off with that idea and it raised questions in my mind. Is Tik Tok just for young people? Am I too old for this? How does Tik Tok know I'm in Northeast Ohio?! But the more I scrolled through Tik Tok I realized that there's something special about it.
With Tik Tok, the app is structured where you can record videos but with a twist. The user can add all these effects or use different audio submitted from other Tik-Tokers. There's usually like a dozen different songs you usually find with people's Tik Toks. It's either someone dancing or renegade or using the Monster Inc Ear blast. I believe you're explore page, known as the For You Page, is really tailored to your preferences. For example, I get a lot of Star Wars content on my feed and I enjoy how some people's creativity flourish On top of that I enjoy finding people who seem to enjoy other pop culture like me.
Early on with the app I liked some videos of people speaking Spanish. I forget the reason why, maybe I thought the person was cool. But now I see a few Spanish people pop up on my feed and it's kind of like Spanish practice for me. Because I watch the video to try to understand what they're saying as a way to continue practicing my Spanish since I did all my language requirements. It can be difficult at times because different ethnicities have different dialects. But I just find that fascinating how Tik Tok is so connective with everyone.
From different cultures, to teachers interacting with their class, to flipping dance parties everything just seems that everyone is united on the app. I think something that helps with that is also story times. You are limited to one minute long videos and sometimes something in your original video will get a lot of engagement. People comment about wanting to see the full story so the original poster creates little segments explaining what happened. I think there is something more personal about having someone look at the camera in this manner and just explain. The other night someone created a storytime about how they lost their best friend and I think then it hit me. Tik Tok is sort of a window into someone's life in a more personal sense. Something Instagram and Twitter don't really capture. I find a lot of people go through similar situations, have similar feelings, and overall tend to try and create a positive atmosphere.
So while I may still be hesitant on the whole Tik Tok thing, one thing is for sure. Every time I open that app I know I am going to be pleasantly surprised. Whether it's the first video right off the bat, or the one I find after twenty minutes of scrolling. One thing however will always be on my mind. How do all these people have such beautiful houses?!