TikTok created a community for Generation Z

January 4, 2021

TikTok — an app that most teenagers call their digital home. Even though this app has its downfalls, I personally feel as though there are more positives than negatives. As a TikTok user, I have to admit that there have definitely been instances when I question the number of times the hour hand on a clock spins around while I am on the app. Due to the short video lengths and TikTok’s design of feeding the user one video after another, it’s hard to put your phone down. I hypothesize that due to Generation Z’s short attention span from having been exposed to technology from such a young age, TikTok is able to grab the user’s attention for less than a minute, which keeps teenagers engaged and on the app for a long time. The app also serves as one of the easiest ways to rise to fame today, and I think that it’s a result of the time that my generation puts into this app collectively.

Melissa Vital (’23)

Although TikTok may cause borderline addiction, I don’t feel like I am or ever will be completely mentally controlled by the app. In my opinion, TikTok is an entertainment app more than anything else and I view it as Youtube with funnier and fast-paced content, which I appreciate. I have seen students from East gain a respectable following on TikTok, but personally, I’m not willing to put that much time and energy into a social media app. TikTok, for me, is really just the new and improved Youtube, with more accessible social media features. To anyone who is struggling with controlling their time on the app, I would recommend deleting another social media app to download TikTok. For example, I deleted Snapchat when I downloaded TikTok to minimize my time spent on a screen, and I feel like I made the right decision.

The way I see it, TikTok creates a community for Generation Z, and students my age are able to connect with each other on different issues, topics, and trends. Especially during COVID-19, teenagers today are spending a lot of time indoors and online, which can lead to many mental health problems. However, TikTok informs students that they are not alone stuck at home during these unprecedented times, and my generation is able to laugh through these times and find happiness within each other. There are also many helpful accounts on TikTok, which I personally feel like helped me in terms of life tips. For instance, many people make videos about finance and the stock market, knowing that teenagers today aren’t really in tune with this information because it isn’t a required subject in school. There are also many accounts that give tips for college applications, such as explaining how to write a college essay.

In my opinion, I feel like TikTok has banded Generation Z together and helped teenagers of today be able to have a strong impact on pop culture. Songs like Stunnin’ by Curtis Waters, Heather by Conan Gray, and Campus by Vampire Weekend have risen to fame largely due to their presence on the app. After collectively having acquired a generational obsession with the Disney movie Ratatouille, artists with passions in music, dance, and film have taken their talents to TikTok. Videos of original songs written focusing on Ratatouille, Playbill cover art, and original choreography pieces have led to a Broadway benefit called Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical. I personally appreciate TikTok as a modern and fun way to stay connected with people my age and get a laugh once in a while, especially while we are stuck at home because of COVID-19 right now.

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