I recently joined Tik Tok. I was lured by the Tik Tok posts my friend Corri (@corrbette) has been sharing on Facebook. She’s found a way to showcase her point of view, writing, humor and presence, all in a one minute time frame. Her followers have grown to 19.2K. Impressive, right?
I have 3 followers. Most of my videos get NO VIEWS. Impressive, ri–? Never mind.
I am on Tik Tok with equal parts shame and enthusiasm. Afterall, I’m of a certain age. I’d prefer my 13 year old spend no time on Tik Tok at the same time that I am posting videos. I’m sure the app is an elaborate algorithm that steals your soul but still, I’m enjoying posting content.
For better or for worse here are 5 reasons I’m on Tik Tok
- I am a creator: As a kid, I wasn’t a big reader (unless it was plays). I wrote stories and forced friends to reenact episodes of the television show Fame. I made up skits, practiced singing, and memorized passages from The Outsiders. Since I turned those hobbies into my profession as a writer, actor and director I forgot that they were also the things I did for fun in my down time. So, I’m leaning into that creative energy to pass the time and Tik Tok is an immediate outlet for what I create.
- It’s a challenge: On my YouTube channel I use to create sketches that were 5-7 minuets long. My podcast episodes (Tania’s Take race, culture and the culture of race) run 30-45 minutes long. Those involve extensive editing and sometimes reshoots. Tik Tok has a 15-60 second limit. As a writer it’s a fun challenge to get my point across with brevity. It works a muscle I don’t often use.
- I’m bored: I envy my husband who is a prolific reader. My attention span is shot, partially because “fuzzy brain” is one of the longhaul symptoms that lingers since I had Covid 19 in March. I have to admit that Tik Tok is a good match for my level of concentration right now. While I limit my time on it, the format suits my current situation. I was actually able to watch a whole movie the other day so maybe it’s even helping. (Okay, maybe that’s a stretch.)
- It’s bonding: My kids like to scroll through Tik Tok with me. My 13 year old is impressed that one of my videos got 237 views. I can keep up on trends that they follow and finally understand all the random dance moves they do at the dinner table.
- It’s trivial: I say this with the utmost love, the world is a dumpster fire. Watching people dance or give baking tutorials, watching mini kitchen vignettes, collecting decorating tips and seeing just how creative people can be is a nice break from the news and the harsh realities of 2020.
Would it be nice to have more than 3 followers? Sure. Am I doing it to get followers? No. I’m doing it for my own amusement. If you’re lucky enough to do what you love for a living don’t forget that you use to do it for fun.
My mantra is, “Do what you love and the rest will follow. Or not.” At least I won’t be bored.
Here’s one of my videos. Deep stuff, right? You can find me on Tik Tok @trichard51
Are you on Tik Tok? What do you like about it?