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Hype In A New World: The Evolution of TikTok

Tik Tok is the app of our generation. In the last two years, the social media platform has boomed into the favored online platform for youth and has become immersed in our online and offline lives. The addictive short videos have spread to other social media platforms as well, as people post and share their […]

Tik Tok is the app of our generation. In the last two years, the social media platform has boomed into the favored online platform for youth and has become immersed in our online and offline lives. The addictive short videos have spread to other social media platforms as well, as people post and share their favorite ones.

“People share TikToks, people dance to TikTok songs, you find songs on TikToks, you quote TikToks” says Catrine Kaho (‘20).

I always see ads for various TikTok creators on Snapchat and compilation videos on my YouTube recommendations. It seems in this fast-paced, post-Vine world, people miss quick, short attention span entertainment, and it feels like deja vu to see all these compilations and ads. People have gravitated towards the app for its versatility — you can practically create a video for anything. Whether it be dancing, singing, drawing, sports, comedy, there is something for everyone. 

Yet as the app explodes with the growing inspiration for creative minds, many people have joined to chase the fame and recognition that many creators have earned on the app. More creators are complaining about the users with thousands of followers who just sit and smile for the camera while the songs play in the background. David Pearson (’20) comments that “people just do [videos] for clout”.

There is anxiety among people who worry that the app will start to prioritize the money that comes from popular creators rather than expand the potential it has for all creators. Nancy Chavez (‘20) worries that “younger kids think that’s all they need on the internet”.

The race for clout has created a new word on the platform: Hype. Being crowned with the title of Hype means you belong with the elite of the app, and you have essentially “made it”. The so called elite of the Hype have recently begun banding together and calling themselves the Hype House, in reference to similar past “elite” groups such as Team 10 on YouTube and MagCon on Vine.

The issue that most people have pointed out is the extreme lack of diversity within the Hype House, and many worry about how this will affect the younger users on TikTok. Despite the well intentions the members may have, it’s important for them to recognize the consequences of their influence.

“Kids now think that the Hype House is the real deal,” David claims, and as with any space kids are involved in, it should not be treated so carelessly. 

Still, people are not convinced the coveted Hype title is important or a reason that people should make TikTok videos.

“After a while, [the videos become] unoriginal and you are just like everyone else,” Catrine says. TikTok started out as a space for young people to be creative, and if it continues on the road of trendy and flashy, it will succumb to the same fate as dead apps Vine and Musical.ly.

As for the members of the Hype House, their fame among young people will probably last as long as the videos they post.

“New people find out about them and are like, ‘oh, why are they even famous?'” Nancy says.

The possibilities of TikTok are endless and will reflect the concerns of our generation as it continues to expand. Whatever the fate of TikTok becomes, it’s important to remember to embrace the memories of our few years of childhood left instead of internet hype, regardless of if it is on TikTok or somewhere else.

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