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Pursuing Fifteen Second Fame

by Bryan Casey


Some say it’s the new Vine. Others believe that it’s more popular and will last longer in this age of social connection. You know what I’m talking about. Tik Tok. That app that you regret downloading because of the cringy high school dance videos yet, you still continue to search for that perfect video to share with your friends.

You can’t deny that, sadly unlike Vine, TikTok is here to stay. Especially in this time of social distancing. So, get your blue light glasses on, and prepare for hours of scrolling through Corona Virus Memes, “Rat Dance” compilations, Donald Trump face-morphs, and so many more videos you didn't know existed.

As a staff writer here at Mud Magazine, I decided to explore this new trend in an attempt to understand why it is so popular. And how do I become Tik Tok famous?

My first step was downloading Tik Tok and beginning to scroll through my “for you" page. This is where I encountered the high schoolers. High school was a cringy time in my life, and I am sure it wasn’t all that blissful for you either. I thought those pimply, awkward four years were far behind me, but I guess not. And it was worse than before.

Did my classmates used to dance like that? Did I used to dance like that? What happened to the Bad Luck Brian and Rare Pepe memes we thought were absolutely creative and hysterical?

As I continued to scroll, I noticed a trend begin. Most of the users were recreating the same dance. Wow, another high schooler doing the Renegade, haven’t seen that before. What’s so creative or important about that? However, as I continued to scroll, I realized why people were sharing these videos.

On my journey through Tik Tok I encountered a variety of different trends. You have dances. Good dancing, bad dancing, awkward dancing, overly confident dancing. If you consider it a dance, it will be on this app. Cute pet videos (of course), kids who look like they work at Zumiez recommending “vibe-y music", couples trying to convince themselves their relationship is perfect because they have a “goals” video, memorable scenes from television (like Mr. Lahey drunkenly falling down the stairs in Trailer Park Boys), and meme videos. Anywhere from Big Chungus to that one frog who's just chillin on the bench.

I decided to recreate some of these videos with my friends.