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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, June 10, 2023

Chasing TikTok clout

Charli D’amelio just hit 20 million followers on TikTok. At this point, I don’t even have to explain who that is, because any of the 1.2 billion people worldwide who have downloaded TikTok know who she is. Just in case you haven’t hopped onto the latest social media trend, TikTok is an app consisting of videos kept at 60 seconds or less varying in content. For something that seems so ordinary, the app is addicting. The average amount of time spent on this app is slowly making its way up to an hour, holding at around 52 minutes right now. With usage time this high, one has to ask, what’s the appeal?

I was very skeptical to download TikTok at first because I didn’t understand the hype. However, soon after I finally caved; I would open the app and exit it to find that hours had gone by. Watching videos of dances evolved to watching videos making fun of the dancers and other rising TikTok stars. It became more and more like the famous app “Vine” every time I opened my “For You Page.”

Eventually, I found myself wanting to recreate one of these videos and attempt to make it onto the “For You Page” where thousands of people would potentially get to see the video I put out into the world. Based on the “For You Page” and seeing almost all of my friends on the app, I’m not the first person to attempt this and will definitely not be the last. I’ve never really wanted to be famous or anything, but there’s something very appealing about going viral on TikTok. I’m sure almost everyone with the app can relate to that. It’s hard to understand after going your whole life not caring about that sort of thing why all of a sudden there’s a desire to be on the phone screens of millions. For some, it stems from the goal of having enough of a social media following where it can become your full-time job. At our age, having a boring day job seems terrible in comparison to making videos from your bed and getting paid by various brands to sponsor them because of your fame.

When you think about it, this kind of life seems appealing, but I don’t think this is the reason most of us have been chasing fame on TikTok. It stems from a subconscious desire to make a name for ourselves in the world and to be one of the few people universally remembered well beyond our years. Because who wants to be forgotten? Think about it: we’ve all seen our favorite stars on TV or in a newspaper and have wanted to be them, even if it was just for a split second. We want to do something that makes us “interesting” and get attention for it. Whatever the reasoning may be, at the end of the day, most of our generation wants to become TikTok famous. Hopefully, I’ll be seeing one of you on my FYP the next time I open the app. 

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