As any responsible writer must, I want to start this article with the disclaimer of my bias: I am not a fan of the TikTok trend. In fact, you may go as far as calling me a TikTok hater, because just thinking of myself downloading the app nauseates me. OA, I know. But then again, my aversion towards the platform stems from many things.
For one, I hate dancing — let alone dancing in public. It’s just not my thing. I’d rather sing my lungs out at a karaoke session — or better yet, write silently in the comforts of my own personal space. With no cameras, please.
For two, I still feel extremely uncomfortable whenever I take selfies — which is why I rarely upload selfies for the whole world wide web to see. (This is coming from a certified member of Generation Z. Just imagine if I were a boomer.)
If I begin exploring other reasons for my distaste for the TikTok trend, I’m sure I’ll bore you out. To cut the long story short, I just know that joining the TikTok trend — even during home quarantine, a period where we start doing all sorts of crazy things — is a nay for me. No questions asked.
Now that that is out of the way, we can start talking about what this article is really all about: You.
Quarantine has been driving many of us nuts, and the least I can do for you is help ease your boredom. And if that means I need to understand the good in TikTok, regardless of my indisposition to even know more about the app, I am willing to do so.
Pro #1: TikTok is an outlet for creative expression
Let’s first state the obvious: Everyone who wants to make their own videos can make their own videos with TikTok. It’s user-friendly and super accessible, with endless song choices, filters, and effects to choose from. And you know what they say — boredom sparks creativity. With that, this quarantine period is probably the best time for you to join the TikTok trend and make your own videos.
Con #1: TikTok isn’t the best at quality control
There’s a popular proverb written by the one and only Stan Lee for Spider-Man: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Unfortunately, while TikTok gives great power to anyone who wants it, not everyone on TikTok is actually “responsible” enough. Like with most social networking sites, TikTok allows all sorts of videos. And not all TikTok videos are edifying. At all.
In other words, you can’t hold TikTok content to a high standard, because quality isn’t really what the app is all about.
Pro #2: TikTok takes your mind off things
@lme85Practice makes perfect♬ original sound – novamillermusic
During these times, we all need a place to escape. And because we can’t literally escape at the moment, we’re bound to find alternative safe spaces. This is where TikTok comes in. The app is basically a bottomless pit of entertainment — especially when you love watching random funny things on the Internet.
Videos on TikTok range from 15 seconds to a minute long only. This length makes the platform especially perfect for zillennials who are used to taking in bits of information from everywhere.
Con #2: TikTok can expose you to videos you really don’t want to see
It’s so easy to scroll through the TikTok app. Sometimes, this leads users to seeing videos not meant for them. If you have kids, it’s important that you monitor their usage of the app because of a number of crass songs on TikTok. Not to mention, there are several cringy TikTok videos by people wearing and doing things that may offend your eyes.
And since the app is accessible to most, expect to find weird things on it. Picture this: You search “frontliners”, and the app brings you a video of someone dancing with her breasts popping out. But then again, that’s how the Internet rolls.
Pro #3: TikTok is an avenue for easy learning
@foodieee_101Bite size Leche flan 😋 ##yummy ##fyp ##desert ##homemade ##food ##foodie♬ original sound – elisefreund
I first paid attention to TikTok when the Dalgona coffee trend pointed everyone towards the app. Apparently, there are several easy recipes on TikTok that are perfect to learn during home quarantine. Other than recipes, they also carry makeup hacks, workout routines, dance choreographies, and other informative videos.
Even agencies, like the Department of Health, and activists, like Anna Bogomolova, are using TikTok to reach the younger generations. Battling the decaying attention spans of netizens, the former has used the app to explain how to avoid contracting the COVID-19. Meanwhile, the latter shines a light on the effects of global warming on the Earth.
Con #3: TikTok contains videos that you shouldn’t try, ever
While most viral videos on TikTok are ones that encourage learning and exploration, there are also alarming ones that have made some noise.
For example: The Cha-Cha Slide challenge shows teenagers driving recklessly to the beat of Mr. C The Slide Man’s Cha-Cha Slide. The song contains lyrics that involve movement: Slide to the left / slide to the right / Criss cross / Criss cross / Cha cha real smooth. Then, challengers record themselves swerving their vehicles to the instructions of the song.
Some other dumb challenges that made TikTok trend are the skull breaker challenge, the penny challenge, the choking challenge, and the eye bleach challenge. A warning: Merely reading about these challenges will make your heads ache. Google them at your own risk.
Like everything else on the Internet, TikTok has its own pros and cons. If you, like me, can’t stand the TikTok trend, then you’re welcome to ignore it altogether. Just allow others to enjoy things — even when you don’t see the sense in it.
On the other hand, if the app will lift your spirits up, then by all means — go for it. At the end of the day, it’s important to celebrate everything good that life has to offer. And if pleasure for you comes in daily doses of funny TikTok videos, then we’re all for it.
What do you think of the TikTok trend? Is it a yay or nay for you? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image credit: Aaron Yoo | Flickr.