Why Is Everyone Obsessed With TikTok?

The next time you walk into a public restroom, hotel pool, or anywhere heavily populated with 14-24-year-olds (TikToks core age demographic) you can assume the giggles and commonly explicit music has something to do with TikTok. TikTok, originally known as “Musically” which launched in 2014 and featured 15-second lipsync videos soared after the then-recent closing of Vine leading many young creators to shift platforms and begin posting their content on Musically. There is no saying the app was ever irrelevant or unused but after its calm down it went unnoticed until August 2018 when Musically magically turned to TikTok on everyone’s phones overnight. By September 2019, TikTok became the #1 free iOS app in the US. Now, it is a large part of everyday teen life. Learning new dances after school, recording with your friends in class, consuming the “for you page” at 1 AM. TikTok has integrated itself into the rotation of teenage phone use. My friends have even confessed they commonly check TikTok before Instagram or even Snapchat in the morning or right after school. If you ask most adults their opinion on this app they truly don’t get it, “Why do you want to watch other people doing stupid dances over and over?” “How is this so addicting?” they ask. Simple. TikTok is endless and requires limited attention. Rarely do I make it through a whole TikTok without swiping to the next. “The endless scroll” a mindless and incredibly entertaining activity. The many genres of TikTok compiled on one page just for me. Another reason for the app’s success is the community it builds. Teens can see relatable and creative teenage situations that make their world seem smaller. TikTok has been used to share heartwarming stories and quickly teach us about something current in our world today. The idea that what you post on your profile from your bedroom could be seen by millions of people draws in these kids to experience their 15 minutes of fame or in this case, 15 seconds of fame. Many, like me, have been waiting for the app to die down, although I’m now convinced it is not going anywhere. Keep scrolling, because like the world of teenagers, TikTok moves fast.

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