TikTok for adults


A popular app, TikTok, has been around in America since 2017. As of November 2019, it had more than one and a half billion downloads. It filled the void that Vine left,  and I’d argue it has surpassed it. It also absorbed Musical.ly in 2018, making it pretty much the only app for video entertainment under a minute long. 

I’m not here to talk about the boring business part of TikTok, though. I’m here to talk about how I, as a 21-year-old man, have been completely consumed by this app. 

I used Vine a lot in high school. As a teenager with a low attention span, six-second videos were the perfect way to waste my time and prevent me from doing anything important. I got a little older, though, and not only was Vine starting to die, the fad of six-second videos started to bore me. Vine also became absolutely full of what are now referred to as “vine comedians.” The app became overfilled with people more concerned with ad revenue and relatability than fresh ideas, and as they began to produce boring content, I eventually stopped using Vine.

I downloaded TikTok last year, around the time the “I’m already Tracer” meme and “Hit or Miss” meme invaded every social media stream I had. I really enjoyed the irony of the content and the hundreds of different ways people could re-invent a joke. Around this time, a lot of people also got the app, ironically, and I started to see more and more ironic content on my feed. What I and a lot of other people didn’t realize, is that when you like something ironically, eventually you just start to like it. So now, here I am on an app for teenagers, genuinely enjoying myself. 

Like every social media, TikTok has its own trends. The most interesting and shareable ones, however, were the ones that involved music. TikTok’s main focus is videos with music. Videos that would otherwise be boring are suddenly a lot more interesting and can cross language barriers if a clip of a popular song is playing. Most trend videos featured popular songs with a creator’s own spin on the said trend. This was also a great way for a new audience to discover new music. A lot of artists now market specifically to TikTok because if your song gets onto a popular trend, it can easily reach billions of people. The audio for the “Hit or Miss” has 1.3 billion views. 

Besides popular songs, TikTok has also done a great job of finding new musical artists. Lil Nas X, Roddy Ricch, Ashnikko and Tokyo’s Revenge were all given a platform and their music a chance to shine through this app. Regardless of what you think of their music, it’s always refreshing to find new music, and any social media that gives new artists a chance are cool in my book.

Dance challenges and trends don’t really interest me as an adult, though. I like the comedy. It comes in many different forms, as new trends arise and people find new ways to make videos. As of now, most jokes either take a song and use a clip of it as a punchline to their joke, are an original video idea or are live readings of posts on other sites. Obviously there are more types of videos, but right now, these dominate the platform. I thought I would get tired of the same jokes, but TikTok has the funniest teenagers I’ve ever been around. Every hour, there’s a new spin on an old joke that just keeps building the depth of the joke. Another popular video is to wait for a trend to get popular, and then create a similar video in which you do the opposite or something unexpected of the trend. Nothing makes me laugh more than when I’m waiting for the punchline I know is coming, then I’m surprised with another one.

If you’re worried about seeing the awful relatable content, TikTok has created an easy solution. With only two presses to the screen, you can choose to see fewer videos like the one you dislike. I’ve been on the app for about a year, and as far as I can tell, it works. I haven’t been subjected to the kid-friendly ad content that ruined Vine.

I know it’s lame that I use TikTok, but I’m not going to stop. I highly recommend at least checking it out. It’s a lot more fun than waiting for the compilations on Youtube.