I was wrong about TikTok

When TikTok became mainstream, I immediately remember thinking, “oh no, not another social platform.” Despite that initial thought, I downloaded it anyway and created an account in 2019.

My Gen Z brother, Clark, talked about it and shared videos that he’d found funny from the platform. Around the same time, I was at home for Christmas, and with his help, I decided to create a silly video. The video is still up on the platform, thankfully hidden away because it’s way too embarrassing for anyone to see right now. Maybe I’ll make it public again one day. 😂

Image from Pixabay

After browsing it for a few days and creating a couple of short (honestly useless) videos, I deleted it from my phone and was like, “eh, quick laughs app run by Gen Z’s that I could sometimes relate to…cool.

I re-installed it a few times during the start of the pandemic to help me decompress from the stress of the world falling apart. It worked, but still, it was just an app for quick laughs.

I started to see more of these videos turn up on my feed throughout social media. It got annoying, especially ones where I’d see dancing videos with text overlayed on top that was too fast for someone to read (alright, I sound like a grandma now, but it’s true 🥴)

I remember tweeting about my dislike towards this type of content because I didn’t understand why someone would spend hours learning a TikTok dance to then overlay it with text that doesn’t provide enough context anyway.

Tweet by Pauline that reads, "I like social media, heck, I'm even good at using it I guess. But you would never ever see me doing one of those dancing TikToks with text popping up to explain something... I may live on the Internet, but no, just no."
Original tweet

Fast forward to Christmas 2021, I’m sitting in my childhood room watching TikToks. This time, I spent a few hours on it. I liked the type of content that moved me somehow, whether that was learning something new or, heck, even a genuinely funny joke. I spent two weeks doing this, and now my feed has known what sort of thing I like. The more curated TikTok I have now is brilliant and represents my different interests.

In addition to the funny videos on there, it’s a learning experience, a search engine, a shorter form of YouTube. I’ve picked up so many tips and tricks from it, mostly about navigating the world as an adult — from cleaning personal finances to healthy recipes 😂

Not only has it been great to learn small things from, but I’m also quite inspired by my feed. I see a lot of health and fitness content that help me move my body when I don’t feel like it in the darker days. It reminds me of my original Instagram feed, back in 2016-17 before useless ads overtook it.

I’ve started to put out different types of fun content there, but nothing too serious. This is me we’re talking about at the end of the day. 😆 I find that it’s also an excellent place to feel like you are the main character of your life. TikTok romanticises your life! This is a delicate balance, but as someone who has just gone through depression in the past few months, it’s been an excellent way to lighten the burden on my heart and feel happy about life again.

Some of these TikToks are right; life is pretty good despite everything 🤗

I guess this blog post says that I finally understand why people love TikTok. In a few DevXPod episodes I’ve recorded with guests, this topic of short-form, quick video content is where it’s at in the social media world right now. Now imagine that with educational tech content to help spread the awareness of working in tech or a specific tech stack or tool… Golden!

Although that isn’t my focus at the moment, I’d like to experiment with TikTok over the next few months. I don’t want it to be another game of trying to “beat the algorithm” or prioritising content at all costs…that’s honestly tiring and I don’t need any more of that right now. But I’ll be continuing my exploration nonetheless.

I’d love to know some of your favourite TikToks; share them with me below 👇

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