An Exploration of the Depths of TikTok

Image result for tiktok
TikTok is a short-video social platform powered by music.

By: Lexi Kortman | Writer

October 25, 2018

Vine is gone.

This unfortunate fact is enough to make any teen wish that it was 2015 again and they were scrolling through Nick Colletti’s profile. No matter how much we wish Vine was still around, it’s time to move on, and perhaps there’s a new app on the rise that will satisfy our want for Vine: TikTok.

If you are one of the few people who hasn’t heard of TikTok….first of all, where have you been? Second of all, here’s an explanation: Tik Tok is a Chinese video platform that took over, merging Tik Tok, which is very popular in China with over 300 million active users, and, an app with 60 million active users, to create a powerhouse of a platform.

Although was mainly for music and songs, TikTok doesn’t have as strong of an emphasis on music and lip-syncing, and, although this is still a majority of what the content is, it also involves users lip-syncing to clips from TV shows or YouTube videos, other TikTokers, or simply users talking in their real voices to the camera.

Now that we’ve got boring explanations out of the way, it’s time to get right down to every sane TikTok users’ burning question: what in the world is happening on this app? If you haven’t been on TikTok before, this question might seem overdramatic and confusing. Everyone knows that was cringey with Musers like Jacob Sartorious and Loren Gray lip-syncing to Post Malone and Shawn Mendes remixes, but this was the extent of’s cringe. It was straightforward and, although pretty awful, still rather inoffensive.

However, TikTok is an entirely different animal. On TikTok’s feature called the “For You” feed, TikTok shows recommendations to users of popular TikToks, or TikToks personalized to users’ likes that the app thinks users want to see. The diversity and utter bizarreness of the videos and users that this page showcases is rather astonishing and somewhat shocking. From furries to the elderly to country boys, each video is more bizarre than the last. For example, one very popular TikTok with over 16,500 features a country boy getting out of his truck and threatening the camera with punches while the lip-syncing to the song “Read Me My Rights” by Brantley Gilbert.

Many people feel that the app is no replacement for Vine, and that its strangeness is off-putting. “It’s a little too much and kind of annoying” says senior Andrew Mendoza. “Vine was so much better.” Most San Clemente High School students seem to agree on this. However, it’s important to note the differences in the platforms. Whereas vine was six-second videos that showcased just how funny users could be, TikTok’s platform of lip-syncing seems to make videos destined for cringiness – which is actually the reason many users got the app.

“It’s like watching a car crash,” senior Olivia Potwora said. “You know it’s awful, and wish it weren’t happening, but you can’t look away. You just keep watching.” The draw of TikTok is the cringiness, and many users are beginning to download the app to indulge.

“There’s really two sides to TikTok. It used to be a hub where cringey people could post content and make each other famous by collective cringiness,” senior Juliette Clark said. “Now, the masters of irony have taken over and no one is safe. You either Tik or you Tok.” You really either are in on the joke, or are the joke.

When it comes to making their own TikToks, senior Juliette Clark is no amateur. With one TikTok up to over 500 views, she has tasted TikTok fame. With bizarre videos, such as on in which she dances to the Monsters Inc. theme and then very dramatically falls down, she really represents the new age of TikTok use – ironic videos making fun of serious TikTok users – that is drawing in new, edgy people to the platform and actually making it somehow more accessible to the types of teens who were big fans of Vine.

Your time on TikTok is really what you make of it. Whether you’re in a fursuit dancing to Gucci Gang, making a duet where you pretend to kiss Chase Keith, or showing off your glo-up in a dramatic before-and-after reveal video set to Dark Horse by Katy Perry, the app is what you make of it.

2 Comments on An Exploration of the Depths of TikTok

  1. I agree with Olivia – I think TikTok has gone too far and it is way too cringey and creepy, but at the same time I can’t stop watching. I hope that the presence of TikTok does not deter the possibility of a Vine 2 from happening, though!

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