TikTok has become a popular social media network in which people share their life experiences. TikTok is filled with information about job careers, health issues, tips, “life hacks”, book recommendations, advertisements, clothing hauls, etc. The minimum age limit to join TikTok is 13 years old however, the app does have a program for younger kids to block out inappropriate content. In an effort to minimize something that may be disturbing to a person, there are also filters that block the video and give a warning so you chose to proceed or not. You can basically look up almost anything in the “search accounts and videos” tab and related videos will pop up. There is an app that can be downloaded to smartphones however, I chose to use the web browser form for this digital essay. The “for you” page works by using an algorithm of videos that you are interested in and you can scroll down for videos. The videos are typically shorter in length with 15 seconds, one-minute, or three-minute-long video options. They are working on allowing videos up to 10 minutes in length.
Another tab included on the TikTok app is the “Following” tab. This tab places all of the videos of the accounts that you follow so you are only looking through those specific accounts. I created a new account for the purpose of this assignment so there are account suggestions of who I could follow. If I were to be following accounts, they would show up on here and I would be able to scroll through their videos. For example, this tab is useful if you only follow cooking recipe pages and are only interested in watching those videos made by their creators. All of the cooking pages that you follow would show up here and you would get a handful of recipes. Under this tab, you will see a “LIVE” tab that includes various live videos. Accounts can only go live if they have a certain amount of followers and this tab lets you scroll through and explore what you would like to watch. For example, news networks go live on TikTok for people to have easy access to the news on short notice.
This picture captures what showed up when I searched “chemistry lab”. The date and profile are included on each video as well as certain hashtags so that these videos can be easily found. These videos showcase different chemistry labs as well as relatable content for chemists. If a student is interested in looking at a chemistry lab, these short video clips are easily found. Throughout my experience on TikTok, I have come across videos of at-home labs that students had to post for an assignment. Instead of making a video and sending it to the professor, the student may choose to make it on TikTok since it allows for different clips. This may be easier for some students as the video can be stopped and started at the student’s discretion all in one place. There is also a privacy option when posting videos which can either be public, friends only, or private.
The search tab is useful if a user is specifically looking up something relating to their current health situation, learning situation, job career advice, clothing store reviews, book recommendations, etc. You can also get information about different cultures and religions on TikTok. The image above showcases the videos that popped up when I typed in “celiac disease” in the search bar. This includes a variety of videos that range from recipes for individuals with celiac disease to relatable content so that they feel they are not alone. Often people may feel a sense of community knowing that other people go through the same struggles when relating to their videos.
Overall, TikTok includes videos that can give users a sense of community, an overview of historic events, and information about almost anything. While users may gather information on TikTok it is important to not always believe everything on the internet because some information may be false or biased. It can be used as a tool to learn about different cultures, and current events, how to cook or bake, how to prepare for an interview, and view real-world experiences.
I enjoy using TikTok when I am bored however, sometimes I find myself spending too much time scrolling on it. I can relate to the celiac disease posts since my dad and I both have celiac disease. It is nice to feel a sense of community and laugh at the funny, relatable posts about it. I love looking up different gluten-free recipes since they give a step-by-step tutorial with all of the ingredients and they are easy enough to recreate.