Time is not running out for TikTok


Lexy Hairston

Parker Ramey (left) and Clara LaRue (right) attempt to make their TikTok go viral. Tiktok has become a worldwide phenomen, but what really made it tick?

Tyson Edwards, Co-Editor in Chief

Since the dawn of existence, apps have facilitated all aspects of life. Need food delivered? There’s an app for that. Need a ride, but don’t have a car? There’s an app for that too. Need to buy literally anything? Follow the stock market? Keep tabs on anyone you have ever met? There are apps for all of those. However, one app has risen to the top of the charts so fast, and so unexpectedly that it has taken the world by storm, and has caught me completely off guard. Everyone rise for your new overlord, the ever all-knowing TikTok.

From the surface, TikTok seems incredibly stupid. What originally started out as an app called Musical.ly had users lip sync to songs and then post them. Maybe I was missing something, maybe I’m just too elderly to understand these things at the ripe old age of 18, but that doesn’t sound engaging to me. Why would anyone want to watch other people lip sync to songs in front of a camera? 

Then the company that made Musical.ly got bought out, and everything changed. The app got rebranded to TikTok, and new features were added. People still lip synced to the words of famous songs but people also started lip syncing to funny audio clips and could make a TikTok in response to other TikToks having them play side by side. While still not entirely entertaining, a gateway was opened. One simple thing would make the app a sensation. Memes. 

I won’t even begin to analyze what makes memes the driving force of Gen Z, but I will say, without a doubt that wherever memes go, teenagers will follow. TikTok has brought people together in a way we haven’t seen since Vine, and it’s impressive.

For the uninformed, Vine died in 2017, leaving a six second long-hole in my heart. The exact reasons for shutting down are unknown, but it appears to have been mismanaged and wasn’t a source of revenue for Twitter, the parent company, anymore.

Before summer vacation I never once heard a TikTok meme, but now they’re inescapable. Everyone knows at least one of the memes currently circulating around TikTok, and now there’s suddenly a common ground between people who might have never related on anything before. Everyone likes to laugh, and if TikToks are the key to making someone smile, you now have a way to break the ice with someone new.

What is more surprising however, is the use of TikTok for protest. 

In the last month, students of the Clark County School District have gone to TikTok to spread the word about inadequate teacher raises. The TikToks became so well spread that major news outlets started covering the topic. Whether this has any major impact remains to be seen, but I can say that the app has come a long way from its lip syncing former years.

It may just be a fad, but the very similar Vine wasn’t, so I think we’re going to be seeing TikTok for a long time.