Influence of TikTok rises during quarantine


photo used with permission of Kon Karampelas

TikTok has become an important part of many teens lives and has had a big impact over the quarantine.

Natasha Guharoy, Staff Writer

When the coronavirus hit, schools across the globe came to an abrupt close, and plans to hang out with friends and family during summer vacation were canceled. Many students overcame the resulting boredom through the social media app TikTok. 

This popular social media app houses many influencers and celebrities, which is why TikTok has a wide variety of video content. Many TikTokers that rose to fame would post TikToks on dances, vlogs, makeup tutorials, fashion and any popular trends. Some popular influencers are Charli D’amelio,  Addison Rae, Zach King and Jason Derulo.

“TikTok’s ‘For You Page’ always generates a fun for you page that has all my favorite influencers and funny content that keeps me on for hours,” freshman Oishee Sinha said. “It’s also been really addicting because it consists of short clips that keep me entertained, that I can easily swipe by.” 

TikTok has short video clips that have a minimum time limit of six seconds and a maximum of 60-second clips. Videos that don’t pique interest can be simply skipped over with one swipe and TikTok’s “For You Page” algorithm constantly provides its users with new content that adjusts to their preferences.

“Many of the shows that I watched on Netflix or YouTube were affected by the recommendations from TikTok,” sophomore Bala Mazimdar said. “However, I preferred to use my time on TikTok, as Netflix shows are much longer in length.”

TikTok’s ability to personalize allows the user to get many suggestions of shows or movies to watch. Sinha ended up watching many of the suggested shows and said that many of them were to her liking. 

There is also a political side to the app. It voices ongoing movements, past events and political arguments. Creators use their platforms to support political events by either making videos to inform viewers or take time off the app to let the focus be the event. 

“There’s a lot of strong voices and movements that give attention to much-needed topics,” Sinha said. “Many of the TikTok’s on my ‘For You Page’ were showing black lives matter protests, and strongly conveyed how they are mistreated and what needs to change.”

Recently, TikTok has largely directed towards the Black Lives Matter movement. Sinha especially enjoyed the videos explaining opinions on topics such as why “all lives matter” can not be valid. Because of TikTok’s ability to let her see what she wanted to see, she was able to feel happy about finding many others who feel the same.

TikTok has grown into a platform that is constantly changing and adapting to the interests of teens. As teens need new fun activities to try, a new dance on TikTok is trending. It also attracts attention through its chain of short clips. Each skip is noted and used to personalize the explore page without the need for an extra click. 

“TikTok’s enjoyable for me because all my favorite celebrities are on the app,” Mazimdar said. “There’s just so much to do on TikTok.”