Adrian’s kickback (the power of TikTok)

BITING OFF MORE THAN HE COULD CHEW: Adrian’s online invitation was seen and circulated by millions. Photo courtesy of Heavy.com

Maxine Davey | Editor in Chief

May 28, 2021

Last week, Adrian Lopez was an anonymous teenager just looking for fun on a weekend. Now, he’s a national celebrity.

It all started when he posted an online invitation to his birthday party in Huntington Beach. Soon, TikTok’s algorithms took over, and within days, millions of people across the country were rearing to go to “Adrian’s kickback.”

“I saw the TikTok on Tuesday, but it only had a few hundred likes,” senior Fatima Muniz said. “I got home from work, and my sister said she was going to Huntington on Saturday for Adrian’s kickback. I checked the video again and it had blown up.”

As the news about the party gained traction, famous content creators like Noah Beck and Skai Jackson commented on the kickback, keeping the ball rolling.

“I heard about it because all of Adrian’s kickback videos kept popping up on my For You Page, and I couldn’t escape it!” senior Makena Viera said. “I thought it was crazy how celebrities hopped on board. My friends kept joking about showing up.”

 Thousands of teenagers poured onto Huntington Beach ready for a party on Saturday.
BYOE: Huntington Beach attracted thousands of Gen Zers. Photo courtesy of The New York Times

Soon, though, things got out of hand. Around 1,000 teens and young adults had a pre-party in Huntington on Friday night, which was promptly shut down by police. Adrian and friends realized how serious the situation was, and rented a venue in LA for Saturday night. However, thousands of people flooded to Huntington, unaware of the venue change, and had a massive party on the beach, setting off fireworks, climbing flag poles, and blasting music.

The police showed up at the beach, and the situation escalated. Police cars were smashed, bottles thrown and rubber rounds shot into the crowd. By the end of the night, almost 150 people were arrested, and the city mandated an emergency curfew.

The situation demonstrates the immense power and influence of TikTok on today’s generation of young people. In days–hours–minutes–a person or idea can become a household concept. From the creation of instant celebrities (with, arguably, a lack of distinguishable talent) to the wildfire spread of music and trends, TikTok creates a conglomeration of identity; a collective hive mind. Adrian’s kickback should serve as a warning to the sheep-like mentality that TikTok can perpetuate.

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