TikTok: the road to fame and glory

Ben Roman

photo by Ben Roman

My mom introduces herself to my TikTok following for the first time on October 22. Her video receives 1000 views within the first 20 minutes. She is extremely lucky that I had 90 followers to get her all these views.

I won at life.

600 views, 28 likes… that has to be some sort of record. @I_LOVE_CHARLI commented the heart eyes emoji on my post; I look like a demigod. My direct messages are most likely blowing up right this moment. I quickly inform my mom that I’m going to be the next Charli D’Amelio. My mom quickly informs me that she has no idea who Charli D’Amelio is. That’s okay, not everyone is cool enough for TikTok.

So far in 2020, TikTok has been downloaded well over 315 million times. It has only been getting more popular, especially during the quarantine period. With this increasing popularity, TikTok has created its own distinct community. It even has its own celebrities, like Charli D’Amelio. Also, the average TikTok user, ages four to fifteen, now spends an average of 80 minutes per day on the app. TikTok is essentially a separate world for many people. For example, these TikTok celebrities have the ability to make millions of dollars and have millions of followers by becoming a popular content creator. This is the goal for TikTok users. Get famous.

I recently made a TikTok that I believe is my best one yet. The video embraces everything that makes TikToks go viral: low effort humor and a very attractive person for viewers to look at (me). In my time on the app, I have learned the ropes. The TikTok celebrities have a couple things in common. They are generally seen as: very attractive, extremely funny, or having a special talent. These special talents include things such as being a good actor and being good at transitions (editing videos on TikTok so that multiple videos run together smoothly).

video by Ben Roman

I released my newest TikTok for the world to see on October 21. The context is that my ex-girlfriend continues to call me despite me telling her that we’re done. I believe this is going to get me famous because it is a cinematic masterpiece that will draw a smile out of viewers.

TikTok is the newer edition of the app Musical.ly. Because of this, the roots of TikTok lie with lip-syncing and dancing videos. This is where I feel that my strong suit is as far as making videos goes. However, Musical.ly’s main user audience included kids, pre-teens, and very young teens. Once TikTok came around, more older teens and even adults began to join the app. The majority of these users, including myself, joined because we were all looking for a competitive platform to showcase our lip-syncing skills.. Consequently, when the user group got older, much of the content changed from the lighthearted singing videos to topics such as politics, relatable content, and drama. This drama often comes from the lives of the TikTok celebrities, such as when Griffin cheated on Dixie and the world altered its course in response.

There is a chance you have no idea who Griffin Johnson or Dixie D’Amelio are, especially if you are over the age of 18. TikTok is its own universe, which is what is what drew people to it during quarantine. TikTok provided an alternate outlet to live through, however, it is run by teenagers. The TikTok celebrities that are the main focus of the app even hang out with one another regularly and do collaborative dance videos that break the app.

The TikTok algorithm is an interesting topic. It decides how much time, if any, a video that is posted gets on the “for you page.” Sadly, I must have done something to offend this algorithm early on and it refuses to get my TikToks a lot of views no matter how great they are. This will continue to be the narrative until I am famous.

Despite the faulty algorithm, I would rate TikTok with a 9/10. However, before you jump on TikTok, make sure to lay out a growth plan for your account and its following. You don’t want to blow up too quickly because then you may fall off. I’ve been making sure not to blow up overnight recently and I think it is going to pay off in the long run. Many people will say that they don’t take it this seriously and that TikTok is a lighthearted platform meant for lighthearted effort. But, if TikTok groups such as the infamous Sway House are living in LA mansions, then that is where I need to be.

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