If you were to sing out the lyrics “Red lights, stop signs” to a random passerby, there’s a very high chance that they will finish the song with an emotional and exaggerated “I still see your face in the white cars, front yards”. In the last 12 months, the “new normal” has been a steady, ever-evolving terminology. We started strong with banana bread and Dalgona coffee and slowly but surely stumbled upon the world of TikTok. Jumping from one Tiktok trend to another, today everyone from millennials to Gen Z have taken to finding comfort in these short 15-60 second videos.
Statistics point out that TikTok now has 33 times more users since the start of the pandemic.
Explaining the sudden rise in the usage of this app brings us to understand how the platform allows people to not just create, promote, and build their own brand but reach out in ways that satisfies the lack of physical interaction in their own lives.
Although the app is, undoubtedly, designed to warp you into a world of spreadable content, there is more to this than just a few catchy song lyrics and quirky dance moves. People were suddenly thrown into a lifestyle that was so foreign and unfamiliar that the world of social media became the next best thing. And in this context, TikTok provided them with that familiar space of online existence.
What works for the users of this app is that despite the inter-connected mess that comes with the internet, there is space for everyone. Do you happen to be a proud Slytherin (secretly in love with Draco Malfoy)? Then, #DracoTok is meant just for you. Maybe, you are beginning to venture out in the world of witches and spells. All you need to do is follow #WitchTok and you will have a book of spells ready at your disposal. Perhaps, you are accumulating plant babies and need help taking care of them. Well, #PlantTok always has an extra spot for plant lovers like yourself.
The emergence and growth of these small communities stands as a testament to human nature.
People yearn for a space that lets them feel like they belong. Months of isolation may have altered the ways in which we find those spaces but they exist. They exist because, even in the face of a deadly virus, we create them. In moments of restlessness and anxiety, we hope you realise that you are not alone. Even if it is just through a tiny screen, we hope that you find that space filled with people with experiences similar to yours.
Do you have a favorite TikTok trend?