What’s the Tea with TikTok?

A guy riding a skateboard while drinking cranberry juice and blasting Fleetwood Mac. A girl dancing to “Say So” by Doja Cat. Two twins shouting “Da Vinki?!” instead of Da Vinci. These are some of the viral videos that came from the popular app known as TikTok.

TikTok is a social media platform that allows its users to create short videos and share them with other people. The app has gained a lot of popularity in the past couple months, mostly amongst teenagers and younger people. They use it for various purposes to express themselves creatively. The TikTok phenomenon has even reached Francis Lewis High School, where seniors Christian Dardac, Sana Khan, Samantha Soba, and Yoon Choi use the app to create and post their own original videos. 

“The first time I started posting was about two years ago. I got in there quick and started posting,” Dardac, a senior, said. “It’s not really other social media like Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat. It has the potential for comedy.”

Dardac posts comedy videos that revolve around various topics, including tv shows, relationships, memes and trends. 

“I just try to make people laugh by making some dumb jokes,” Dardac said.  “It’s always fun to see people interacting and just commenting “LMAO” or tagging somebody.”

Samantha Soba, a senior, also posts comedy related TikToks, although some of her content also includes commentary on political topics and current events.

“It really varies, sometimes I use dark humor or something that people could relate to,” said Soba. She stated that TikTok was a better platform for her comedy too.

“You can find people with the same humor as you or have the same opinions as you,” Soba said. “You can directly chat to them and I feel like it’s more of a fun way to get to know people. It’s hard to know someone from like a photo in Instagram or from a Facebook post.”

TikTok is not just for aspiring comedians though. There are also many people who showcase their creative talents with art, music, dance, and even cooking. Khan and Choi’s content are prime examples of these different sides of the platform.

“I do painting, embroidery, or drawing, and I also do TikTok dances, but mostly whenever I get the time to paint I do art TikToks,” Khan said. “Everyone is public on TikTok, and I want others to see my artwork.”

Choi on the other hand does TikToks relating to anime. She posts videos that highlight various anime characters and memes. For example, in one video she showed scenes from the anime Demon Slayer that were stuck in her head at that time. Choi has gained a steady fanbase on the platform and currently has over 57,000 followers.

“I feel like definitely when I first started it was for fun, but I feel like as I gained a following, I started attracting people who have similar interests as me.” Choi said. “It’s really interesting and really fun to see what they think and the comments are really fun to read.”

In addition to people wanting to share their creativity, the students also believe that TikTok’s algorithm makes it so more people get featured, even if they don’t have a large following. This attracted them to the platform as well because they knew that others would see their content.

“I feel like it’s easier to gain a following rather than Instagram,” Choi said. “It depends on the algorithm, but I feel like it’s really easy for TikTok to reach out to people and get them to see your videos compared to other social media.”

All of the students started making TikToks because they found it to be enjoyable and entertaining to both create videos and see other people’s reactions to them, whether they have a large following or not. It’s a space to be original, shine, connect, and just have fun. 

“I think TikTok became popular because of the dances and the popular songs,” Khan said. “I think all these popular creators kind of created their own style of content which is how the app became so popular, which is why almost everyone has it now.”