Before December 2019, I regularly came across on funny videos other social media platforms with the tiktok watermarks. At the time, I managed to ignore the watermarks. After all, I'm used to people sharing videos with annoying watermarks from the app they used to edit their video.
Sometimes around mid December 2019, I came across this video by cold fusion on the subject of tiktok. Even though the video explained that indeed most tiktok users are Gen Z, I was struck by ignorance on the platforms existence. Perhaps a sign that we millineals are no longer the kids ahead spearhead the next cool, as we were with twitter and facebook. We're really getting old.
Out of curiosity and out of a need to prove to myself that I'm still in the know, I decided to look into Tik tok. You know, see what it's all about. That's 2 years after TikTok was actually launched.
Once I downloaded the app, I can confidently say that it tiktok now constitutes a significant portion of my social media attention. After weeks of consistent use, I have come to observe a couple of things about the platform.
The user experience (UX) on tiktok is great.
Unlike a platform like facebook, which is frankly bloated, using tiktok is just so simple, so intuitive that I have never had to google how to do anything on the platform.
You want to navigate? Sure, scroll down or up to load new clips. Swipe left to see clips by the user who uploaded the clip you're viewing. And boom, all their clips are there listed on that screen, each with a label of how many times it has been viewed, therefore giving you a hint of which clips are likely to be more interesting.
While you're on the same page, there is a follow button and an avatar of that user. Now, let's say you want to view clips by only that user. Click on any clip and swipe up or down, and it just works. When you're tired of clips by that user, swipe right and you're back to the clip that made you curious about what other clips its uploader might have also. Or perhaps if you're curious to follow or maybe 'stalk' (for lack of a better term) them.
Perhaps the best thing about tiktok is that there's a share button right below the reply button. What is particularly special about this button, at least to me, it's that it enables me to save the video on my device. Since, people like to share funny stuff with their friends, this button is just the kind of thing that I have not been able to find on Instagram or on twitter.
Think about it, if you need to share a funny/interesting video from twitter, for example, you've got to:
Share the video link
Share the tweet url, meaning that your friends will have to go two twitter to view it. That's too much work in a world where there are dozens of things begging for our attention at any given time. And what if I follow the twitter link to find that the video wasn't that interesting after all. In most cases, most people will pass.
Manually download the video on a separate device
Other times you really want to share a certain clip. So depending on your level of motivation, you copy the twitter link containing the media you want to share, paste it on a different download site, download the clip, and if need be, transfer the clip to your smartphone. This is especially so in most cases because mobile browsers do not support downloads.
Most people are neither funny nor that interesting
I recently came across this following on twitter:
On facebook people pretend to be friends. On Twitter people pretend to experts. On LinkedIn most people pretend to be professionals and on instagram people pretend to be happy.
Things are not any different on TikTok. It's not that people are actually pretending, but it's that people actually believe that they're funny, and in the very least interesting. Well, from what I have seen, most people are neither.
Basically almost everyone is looking for attention in some form or another. And if you really think about, that's all okay. After all, humans are are social creatures and there's something to be said about doing our best to stand out. I won't even that they're not trying to be interesting; for they're certainly trying or believe that they're.
There are several tiktokers that I personally find insufferable:
- Adults mimicking children voices. For the universe sake!
- Certain individuals who certainly have no charisma giving motivational advice on money, romance, buddhism, family. I can't seem to swipe up fast enough on these.
- People burried under a tonne of make up and every clip is a either butt dance video or some short rant on snow flake emotional / checklist / inter-gender advice rant.
- People who copy other people clips, make only modest changes post them as if they were new. This trend irritates the hell out of me.
Perhaps I'm being overly critical of these types. Perhaps there people who dig these sorts of bafoonery. Of course, there are or no one would create those in the first place. I envy those who have such a low bar.
It seems that I have to swipe through dozens of clips to find something funny or sufficiently interesting.
Yes, TikTok is addictive
Operand conditioning works very well on tiktok. You come across a hilarious clip, sometimes several in a row. Then you spend the next five minutes or so, swiping through garbage. Of course hunting for the next worthwhile laugh.
After sometime, you manage to convince yourself that tiktok is a plain waste of time. The hunt is no fun anymore; kinda the juice is not worth the squeeze. Except that you'll be back in no time. The typical casino experience, except in this case, there's no money wasted. And you know, who cares about wasting time, right?