Friday, December 4, 2020

Tik Tok becomes students’ new obsession

And I oop, Sksksksksksksksk. And that’s on ‘periodt.’

Tik Tok’s trek across social media is astonishing. The former Musical.ly app surpassed
Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Snapchat in monthly installs in the Apple and Google Play
store and was downloaded more than a billion times in 2018, according to Business Insider—an
American financial and business news website.

No wonder college students are using it as their go-to procrastination tool.

Tik Tok’s lip syncing concept is no novelty to millenials and Gen Zers, but the app takes it to another level. Unlike its predecessor, Tik Tok allows users to lip sync custom sounds whether it be about shaving legs or Victorious’ Cat Valentine look-alike sharing her opinion about the first moon landing.

Users create short 15 to 60 second videos where they perform a trendy skit, dance or
awkwardly confront a former friend about sleeping with their significant other. These can be
topped off with filters, effects and background photos. To make it on TikTok, users are typically creative, funny and willing to go the extra mile for a double tap—even if it means recording the production of jungle juice.

While Tik Tok is definitely an app for the ages, it does more harm than good. The app’s
For You page, a timeline of popular videos that receive an above-average amount of likes and
views, is a gaping blackhole that absorbs anyone who dares enter. Users, especially college
students, will open the app for a five-minute study break and find themselves still scrolling
three hours later.

Communications major Kayla Tabor said she uses Tik Tok every day for roughly two to
three hours. She speculates that Tik Tok is so addicting because of its creativity and endless
content. Students can scroll for hours without seeing a video twice.

She’s not wrong.

It’s seldom to see the same video twice on Tik Tok, let alone a boring one. Students don’t
leave the app because they’re bored, they leave because it’s been a couple hours and the sun is coming up.

The app’s developer, ByteDance, knows all too well of Tik Tok’s unnatural power. There is a procrastination hashtag on the app where users can, wait for it, watch funny videos and stray
further from their academics.

“It’s really easy to lose track of time on it,” communications major Alyssa O’Donnell said. “You keep scrolling, and there’s no end. It just keeps going and going.”

O’Donnell said she loves Tik Tok’s short content because it reminds her of Vine — a short-form video hosting service where users shared six-second-long looping video clips, that was shut down January 2017. O’Donnell said she uses Tik Tok every day for roughly five to six hours and two to three hours if it’s a busy week.

It’s a bit excessive but understandible.

It’s hard to say, but Tik Tok is really harmful. The app makes it difficult to be a
goal-oriented student because it engulfs the viewer into a black hole of entertainment where
one’s sense of time vanishes. By the time its victim is able to escape, that five-page research
paper — due midnight.— received a 10 percent late penalty.

Email Mataeo Smith at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

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