By Genevive Crowder
TikTok, an infamous application is taking the world by stride. Almost everyone has it downloaded on their phone; not just the younger generations. A highly controversial app, it is changing how my generation looks at creativity. For example, the app is based on 15-60 second videos where you lip sync, dance, or just talk to the camera and anyone and everyone can do it, so therefore anyone can be creative in their own way. Many young and old people have become“TikTokers”, a new phrase to describe the popular creators on TikTok. Many of the videos are seen as “duplicates” of their favorite TikTokers videos, however each one might have a different spin to it. Basically, you choose the sound you want to lay over your video, make the video, ad dwriting or a caption to describe the video to your audience, and boom, you just made a TikTok. One of my favorite things about TikTok is how easy you can go viral for your creative ideas.Unlike other apps like Instagram and Twitter, where your feed is filled with people you follow, TikTok has something called the “For You Page”. This page presents videos that the algorithm might think you would like, not just the people you follow or videos with a lot of likes. While the app has millions of users and a lot of people enjoy scrolling through the “For You Page’, President Trump has threatened multiple times to ban the app from the U.S.. His reasoning for banning the app is “He and other officials have cited national security concerns for doing this” (Brown). Although he has yet to do it, he continuously promises the public he will eventually.
Although the possibility of people scamming my information through TikTok is scary, my personal opinion is that TikTok is a creative platform that is a fun way to show the world your ideas. The biggest danger that TikTok poses in my eyes is how highly addictive it can be. I could sit in my bed, get on the “For You Page” and scroll for hours without even noticing. The app is so addictive because it is endless content that is presented in short videos that fuels the short attention spans my generation is notorious for.
Going through the many layers of TikTok would probably take about 50 pages in total, but one of the biggest things right now is how Generation Z is making a living off of it. Some of the biggest names on TikTok are Charlie DeMelo, Addison Rae, Dixie DeMelo, and the list goes on. These teenagers being as young as 15 are living fabulous lifestyles over night just by simply making a 15 second video. One of the trends for these teenagers is to live in “Content Houses”, a sort of safe haven where teen TikTokers from around the globe come together in a mansion and collaborate to put out creative content on the app. Some of the more well known houses are TheHype House, The Sway House, The Clout House, and many more. However, these teenagers are not just living in your average house together, some of these houses are listed at a market value for over $30,000,000 (Leggate). These teenagers, now living these luxurious lifestyles, were once just normal kids who went to school and worried about college. Now however, they are basically the hottest celebrities of this day in age.
These types of “rags to riches” stories are what influence kids who might only have 5 followers on the app to consistently post original content throughout the day. You never know on TikTok if your idea might just go viral. While most parents believe TikTok to be a waste of time in their children's life, there is no doubt that it is making a huge impact on Gen Z creatively. The app itself is not very user friendly to use, so when first starting out, you have to mess around with the effects to really get the hang of it, and it’s providing kids and teens a platform where creativity and originality are the only thing that matters. While all social media platforms can be toxic in the physical appearance department, TikTok, I believe, does not put too much stress on this aspect of the media age. As I scroll through my “For You Page” while writing this blog post, most of the users' videos popping up are not the infamous TikTokers that have grossed millions of followers. Instead, it is mostly typical college students like myself just making videos for fun in their dorm rooms and college apartments, complaining about school work, doing popular dances, and posting relatable content for my age range. All in all, I believe TikTok could potentially be one of the most creative social media applications this generation has ever seen.