To Tik or To Tok?


Grace Shaffer

Student opens the Tik Tok app on their phone.

Ever since the popular app changed its name to TikTok in November 2017, teenagers, children, and about anybody with social media has fallen under its spell. 

With over 500 million users, TikTok has grasped the attention of nearly anybody with a smart phone by offering billions of videos that appeal to any type of aesthetic, preference, or political stance. Students and teachers from all over the world are using this app because of the humor, dance, and singing videos it has to offer.

“Some people say that it’s a useless app, but personally I think it is one of the purest forms of entertainment,” said Maya Snyder, a Cody High School Senior. “I like the humor. I love seeing different types of humor.” 

A lot of teenagers don’t only use TikTok to try and become an overnight sensation, but to also keep up with what’s going on around the world.

“I don’t make tik toks, but I do waste a lot of time watching tik toks,” said Snyder. “It’s kind of interesting to see what my generation does around the U.S. since we’re in such a disconnected place. Trends take a long time to get to Cody, so just watching tik tok, you’re kind of in the loop.” 

While some users of TikTok only like the app to observe and have a good laugh, others feel an urge to make funny videos just like Junior Cody Phillips. 

“I use TikTok mostly to look at funny videos and sometimes make some,” said Phillips. “I made a tik tok about Minecraft and I think it got like 60K likes.” 

With TikTok’s 500 millions users, teenagers make up 41% of the TikTok population, typically ranging between ages 16-24. 

“All of the freshman are really into it. I noticed that the first day of school, actually in my mass communication class, they asked ‘can we make a tik tok?’ and what I replied with was ‘…no’,” said Erika Quick, CHS Media Arts Teacher.

An interesting feature of TikTok is the “ForYou page” which is where popular and trending videos go to thrive. Videos there can range from 200 to 1 million likes, all depending on the subject, sound, and appearance of the video. 

“I like that it’s anyone,” said Junior Caleb Pryor. “You can see anyone’s video because the feed is just random people getting featured.” 

For teachers, it’s a completely different story. Some teachers don’t even know what TikTok is, but both Quick and Ryan Beardall, a Spanish Teacher, already have a general assumption about the app. 

“I knew it before it was TikTok as,” said Quick. “I think that TikTok is pretty cool. I have fun with it. I can slow down and make my own little videos. I have my own account, and it’s super, super private, and I do it just for fun.”

Beardall thinks that some people enjoy it more than others, but he also thinks that some people could have a false sense of self confidence, which could result in bullying by their peers.

  Even teachers all over the world use TikTok to create cool videos with their students, creating a bond nobody ever thought possible.

“I think we probably will use it in the class eventually. Kids are on it, and so if you want to connect with the student body, it’s going to be a way to do that,” said Quick. “There has to be some good ground rules and things like that. For younger kids I feel like there needs to be some sort of filter, especially when young kids don’t know totally right from wrong yet.” 

Some teachers will use TikTok to teach their classes too, providing the students with an outlet that is both fun and purposeful, and who knows? Maybe their video will go viral. 

“I can see possibilities for teaching, making some kind of video for class and posting it,” said Beardall. “I would probably use it to have kids create funny videos to go with some of the funny stories we do.”

With TikTok being available on any smart device, its needless to say that it’s pretty easy to access the app. Easy accessibility and a technology-embedded world, teenagers, children, and adults have a new trendy app to play around with. With just one tap of the screen, a person can access billions of videos all at once. The possibilities are endless