TikTok popular amongst students

Desteny MaraghReporter

In recent months, TikTok has sparked popularity amongst college students. However, the Trump administration said they will begin banning downloads and use of the popular Chinese-owned app on Sept. 20.

The app is a social network for sharing user-generated videos, mostly of people lip-synching to popular songs. Users can create and upload their own videos where they lip-sync, sing, dance, or just talk.

“I typically use TikTok at least once or twice a day, just for laughter or to find ideas for videos to post,” said exercise science major Brianna Hackett, a sophomore. “It keeps me updated on some current events and I’m always learning new information.”

Hackett said the app has both negative and positive aspects, but ultimately, it also brought about change.

“It’s my favorite app because there are endless amounts of creativity behind it, but at the same time there are people who chose to use it in a way to harm or make fun of others,” said Hackett. “The diversity on the app has come a long way.”

Not only are students on TikTok making videos, they are also learning video editing.

“When I first started, my videos were choppy and unprofessional,” Hackett said, “but with tons of practice I’ve been able to produce better content and that has helped with gaining followers.”

She said she feels her creativity has blossomed while on the app.

“I wouldn’t call myself ‘creative’ before, but now I can’t stop being creative. Every time I open the app, I have a new idea,” said Hackett.

Public health major Aaron Gray, a junior, said TikTok has introduced him to a new community. He said the algorithm is different compared to other media platforms .

“I have only about 200 followers, but most of them don’t live in America and it’s crazy because I didn’t think people from other countries would be interested in my content,” said Gray.

In isolated times like these, students living through COVID-19 have found an escape.

“With being in quarantine and not having much to do all summer, I definitely spent a lot of time on Tiktok,” said Psychology major Brooke Dauphinee, a junior. “Some days I would spend a total of like 4-5 hours just scrolling.”

Now with school, she said she spends less time on the app. However, she said it does not change the impact it has on people.

“It is like one of the only apps where everyone has a chance/opportunity to go ‘viral’ or be known,” said Dauphinee. “It can take one viral video and your page can blow up which happened to me, which I think is really cool.”

Dauphinee has 87,900 followers and her videos have 3,500,000 likes.

Just like any other social media platform gaining traction, followers and attention helps to boost one’s overall brand.

With just over 3,000 followers, communications major Joesphine Toni, a freshman, said TikTok is her favorite platform to use.

“I’ve used every other social media but TikTok is the only one that has stuck for me,” said Toni.

Toni said she used to use Musical.ly and did not know TikTok was the same app. She said she had even more followers on the former before she deleted it.

“While I do sometimes worry about my followers, I try to not make the number dictate what I post,” said Toni. “I have found that not everyone is going to like what I put out, but the most important thing is to stay true to yourself and just post what you feel is right.”

According to CNN, the Trump administration expressed concerns that the app could be used as a spying tool to collect personal data on U.S. citizens. TikTok has denied these allegations.

“I feel like in this generation we use more of social media and interaction with other people in order to get our points across,” said Hackett, “especially with the election and everything that’s going on, Trump seems threatened by the voice TikTok gives its users.”

The “ban” has not stopped students’ efforts in remaining active on the platform.

“The ban hasn’t affected how active I am,” Dauphinee said. “I still scroll through the app daily and make videos whenever I want/can. Although when I had heard the news that it might be getting banned, I did try to post more videos at that time just in case it would be my ‘last video.”

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