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Junior Matt Vogel hasn’t left his bed in three weeks, not because of the Coronavirus, but because there are too many good TikToks to watch. Okay, maybe he’s just doing a really good job social distancing, but he is one of many students who are victims of the time-consuming app, TikTok.
“I can never seem to get off the app,” Vogel said. “I could just spend hours in bed scrolling through TikToks. It almost consumes my life.”
So… what is TikTok?
TikTok is an interactive social media app that allows users to create a “TikTok,” which is a 15-60 second video. What that video contains is up to the imagination of the creator. The TikToks range from memes and lip-syncs to challenges and dances.
TikTok, once known as Musical.ly, was created by Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang in Shanghai, China. Their intention for the app was for the users to create short, educational and informational videos. Later, the company was bought out by ByteDance, and they renamed the app TikTok.
The app allows kids to be able to spend less time on homework and with friends, all while providing entertainment that keeps the viewers sucked in. Around the school, students spend an average of 1 hour to 3 hours a day on TikTok.
“I spend a large part of my day on TikTok,” Vogel said. “The app just drags you in.”
Some students, like junior Katie McCudden, use TikTok to take a break from their hectic lives.
“It’s an escape,” McCudden said. “It helps me step out of my life for a minute and just enjoy some entertainment for a while.”
Sophomore Maddie LeClair, likes to make and share videos with her friends, just for the fun of it.
“TikTok basically takes up my life,” LeClair said. “Whether I’m watching them with friends or at school, I always enjoy them. It’s just so much fun.”
Now that all the teens are in quarantine and stuck inside with family, there has been a spike in the use of TikTok.
“I’d definitely say that I use TikTok a lot more now that I have to stay inside my home,” LeClair said. “Whenever I’m bored of doing homework I use TikTok. Whenever I’ve just had too much ‘forced family fun,’ I go on TikTok.”
Through 15-60 second videos, TikTok has brought kids together in a way that no other app has before. Students are able to connect through the relatable content, which is why the app is so enjoyable.
“My favorite part of TikTok is how relatable and funny it is,” said junior Jack Sprague. “Every time I go on the app, no matter the day, there are always videos that I can enjoy.”
It is unbelievable the number of jokes made on TikTok about the sad reality we are living in. It is nice that in a time of great sorrow, Gen Z kids can escape from reality and come together to make light of the situation.
“I’ve been on TikTok every day of this [time of remote learning], and it amazes me how I am still able to laugh despite the circumstances the world is in,” Vogel said.