TikTok gains popularity among Monroe-Woodbury High School students

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Maeve Cassidy, Contributing Writer

Four girls are huddled in a circle on B-floor just before lunch with their eyes glued to their phones.  After 30 seconds of viewing they attempt to recreate the latest dance performed by other teens in the video they just saw.  Across the hall, two sophomore boys are hysterically laughing because of a comedic skit put on the same social media app as the dancers.

The hottest app to capture the hearts and minds of Monroe-Woodbury teens is TikTok, a thriving social network designed to showcase dances and talents of teens from all over the world.

“TikTok’s mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy,” reads the home page of the social media app. The home page states that TikTok is trying to “build a global community where users can create and share authentically, discover the world around them, and connect with others across the globe.”

According to their website, “TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video.” 

“TikTok is an app where you can post lots of different types of videos,” said senior Madison Groff. “It’s kind of like the old app vine.”

Unlike Vine’s six-second videos or YouTube’s longer format videos, TikTok content can last from fifteen to sixty seconds.  

Groff’s friends told her about the app, and now her favorite thing to do is watch their videos. Videos about dancing, comedy, magic tricks, and fun challenges are the subjects for most videos.  

Groff uses TikTok to watch internet trends and also make her own videos. 

Some trends include slow-mo videos, the use of hashtags, and celebrity videos. For some students, the amount of content can distract from other things they should be doing.

Junior Taha Malik logged 13 hours and and 35 minutes on TikTok in one week.

“It’s fun, but don’t use it when you have important things to do,” Groff said.

However, with all the fun she has on the app, she said, “It affects my sleep schedule and studying time because [she] watches TikTok, when she should be doing [her] homework.”

Ninth grade student, Faith Welsh, has TikTok downloaded on her iPhone as well. 

In the videos she posts, she is doing dance moves that her and her friends have memorized — which is her favorite thing about the app. 

She memorizes the dances from famous “Tik-Tockers”, like Charlie D’Amelio– who got famous from the hundreds of videos she has uploaded of her dancing.

The dance moves include frantic movements of the arms, simple gestures and facial expressions. 

Welsh said TikTok “definitely interrupts” her studying time.

It takes Welsh roughly 15 minutes to learn a dance.  She also spends a lot of time watching videos. On January 25, Welsh spent six hours on TikTok.  The time she spends on TikTok depends upon whether she “has a soccer tournament on the weekends or not.”

Freshman Ella Silber estimated that she spends an average of one hour on TikTok a day.  Silber sets a screen time limit when using TikTok in order to study. This way, TikTok won’t affect her grades negatively.

Silber thinks TikTok is so popular because “they’re short videos, so you don’t need a large attention span.”