TikTok takeover

‘Why you so obsessed with me?’


Photo Google

Morgan Boll and Grace Friedberg

You get home from school and you immediately go on your phone. You start by going through all of your social media accounts and make your way onto TikTok. You spend your time scrolling, laughing and liking the videos on the “For You” page. Then, you come across a viral dance video and decide to learn the moves. Next thing you know, it’s 5 o’clock and you need to start homework. You have a dinner break and get back to TikTok. Even though you are tired, you continue to scroll through TikTok until it’s 1 a.m. and remember you forgot to do your math homework.

TikTok, formerly known as Musical.ly, is currently taking over the free time of WHS students, as they’re spending hours browsing viral videos and creating their own content. Some people solely use TikTok to watch the comical and creative videos. However, for others, their goal is to rise to fame through their own videos, ultimately making it onto the esteemed “For You” page.

On the homepage of TikTok, the “For You” page contains most of the current viral videos, and its algorithm pinpoints the right videos for you, making you want to scroll for more. Additionally, you can create your own network of friends by following your choice of creators.

A recent article from CNN reported that TikTok has approximately 1 billion users, substantially more users than Twitter. Teens are now focusing on TikTok rather than other social media platforms because it’s interactive, relatable and overall, entertaining.

“I just like scrolling through [the “For You” page] and seeing crazy people doing stupid things,” said senior Liz Rosenberg. “I just enjoy watching it and laughing. It’s really fun for me.”

While some call themselves frequent viewers, others are in front of the camera like senior Georgia Rosenthal: “I recently began using TikTok as a joke. However, I started to make a lot of videos and dis- covered the editing tools and began to have so much fun creating content.”

Similarly, senior Maddy Stack said, “Instead of doing homework or college applications, I’ll be like ‘okay, I’ll learn a dance instead.’”

On TikTok, there are many songs and dances that users enjoy and eventually master. TikTok dances and references are ubiquitous throughout the halls of WHS. However, trends only stay for so long — then new ones come along that people think are more interesting and relevant.

Current videos trending on TikTok are aspects related to school, standardized tests, and viral dances and songs. On TikTok, people turn their everyday life experiences into comedy. It appeals to many Gen Z users who can all relate to similar interests and attitudes towards these everyday events and circumstances, which helps these creators dominate the “For You” page and rack up thousands or millions of likes and comments on their videos.

Junior Giulia Giannetta has gone viral for making a lot of school related TikToks about AP U.S. History and Physics. Giannetta explained a trick she picked up from a Vice article on how to get on the “For You” page: “You have to post a video with [one of] the most popular sounds and then they will automatically put it on at least 100 people’s ‘For You’ pages and if they like [your video] then one hundred more people will see it.”

People spend a lot of time perfecting and creating a TikTok they want to go viral. “My favorite part of TikTok is the moment one of your videos makes it onto the ‘For You’ page. Your hard work finally pays off,” expressed junior Colby Shovlin.

Rosenberg has gone viral on TikTok multiple times, having racked up thousands of likes and views. After her first time going viral Rosenberg said, “I felt really empowered; I’m not gonna lie. It was really fun and me and my friends were all laughing about it and we were sending screenshots back and forth while watching the numbers go up.”

Some may wonder, can users pro t from their viral videos? Users can earn money when they start live streams, while some creators put their Venmo account in their pro le bios. “I’ve made about $5 [through TikTok] because I’ve gone live once or twice,” explained Rosenberg.

Some TikTok creators have now become verified on the app. Called “popular creators,” they make money from their followers and branded videos; no TikTok user from WHS has risen to this level of fame yet.

There are no signs of TikTok going away anytime soon, as it’s an addicting outlet for creativity and stress relief. “I love making videos with my friends and family,” said senior Riley Ciarletta. “When I think of an idea that no one else has done and it goes viral, it’s the best feeling ever.”