PHOTO: Sophomore Nicole Kang performs a popular TikTok dance, ready to upload it as her weekly video.
Davis High students are gaining a following on TikTok
By Hannah Daum,
Senior Cooper Welsh created his TikTok account on a dare with his friends. Now, three months later, he has achieved the dream of being “TikTok famous”—and he’s not the only one at Davis High.
TikTok is a social media app that has gained a lot of attention over the past year. Teenagers all over the world have taken to the app to create comedy videos, dances and many other creative ideas, hoping that they can gain a following.
Sophomore Nicole Kang makes TikTok videos at least two times a day. Although she didn’t originally plan on creating any content, she was eventually convinced to start by her friends. Now, she constantly is searching for a stable place to set up her camera, find an audio and record herself performing dances.
“I record the videos, but then I don’t like most of them so I put them in my drafts and just don’t post them,” Kang said. Her goal is to gain at least a couple thousand views for one of her videos.
While Kang says that making videos popular is difficult, Welsh disagrees. He thinks as long as videos don’t break any of the app’s guidelines and you try to connect with the audience, it’s easy to get a “ton of views.”
Welsh usually creates videos on the spot when ideas pop into his head. He sets up his phone to record and then spends a few minutes editing and adding finishing touches. As soon as that’s done, he uploads it to his audience of over 21,100 followers.
Senior Adam Greenlee makes his videos by recreating ideas that pop up in his head or just making them as a joke. “I’m into memes and I saw that there were some good memes on TikTok so I made an account as a joke, but then I realized it was pretty fun to make them,” Greenlee said.
He kept on making his videos until he had “minor success” with one of his TikToks being viewed over 60,000 times. Because of this, he believes it’s very easy to get “TikTok famous.”
Sophomore Helena Wei makes her videos because she wants to entertain people. She watches TikTok trends and practices them so she can recreate them.
Like many of her peers, she created her account over summer break and has uploaded to it ever since. Recently, she has started posting more frequently to her account with a new video almost every week.
Before school, during break, and after class is over, it’s not uncommon to see students grouped together in front of a phone recording themselves dancing and having fun together. Not only do their TikToks entertain hundreds online, but they create a new way for students to spend time with each other.
Kang mentioned that she spends a lot of time watching and creating TikToks with her friends, and it gives them something to do and talk about.
Sophomore Jeesoo Jung often references TikToks when she’s around her friends because it’s similar to an inside joke to them.
While on lunch break with her friends, Jung sits on top of their table and calls out a quote from a TikTok she sent to her friends. Immediately, they all burst into laughter, even though to an outsider, the words just sound like gibberish.
“[TikToks] have definitely changed my sense of humor. A lot of times you have to have seen the video I’m talking about to understand my sense of humor. Since I started making them I’ll always start getting new ideas popping up in my head that I never would have found funny last year,” Jung said.
Teenagers follow TikTok trend
By Tobias Kim,
Hidden beneath the screen protectors of 185 million Americans is a music note icon. As you open the app, it begins to observe you, noting your interests and activities: dancing, sports highlights, memes, each more entertaining than the last.
It is TikTok and it’s spreading from coast to coast.
TikTok became the second most popular social media site after Instagram in 2019; most of its users are teens. Davis High students think that the videos are entertaining and addicting, referring to it as the sequel of the Vine app.
Over 600 million teens around the globe use TikTok, which focuses on making people laugh. This separates TikTok from most other platforms such as Snapchat or Facebook, where the focus is communication. TikTok is also built for generation Z, making it popular among young adults and teens.
“I watch TikToks because they are funny and entertaining, usually they make fun of everyday things,” junior Nathan Lee said.
Tik Tok has been around since early 2017; it gained popularity in Davis among the student body during the summer of 2019.
Lee noticed the spike in popularity after downloading TikTok in September. “At least 90 percent of my friends started using TIkTok during the summer,” Lee said.
Since the spike in popularity, some DHS students struggle with balancing TikTok and their other priorities. Sophomore Tony Segal has felt the urge to pick up his phone and open the app, however he only spends an average of 20 minutes per day on the app.
“I try to stay off TikTok, but it’s pretty addicting,” Segal said, “Even when you watch a bad video, you keep scrolling down hoping for a funny one.”
Segal scrolls through TikTok, ignoring the homework assignments in his planner or the workout on his mind. The screen changes from his friends, to memes, and the occasional sports highlights.
TikTok continues to grow and become popular. However, it is not without its problems. Negative messages can be spread through the platform.
“If you look deep enough into the comments you can always find negative messages,” sophomore Carleigh Greenway said.
Sophomore Rebecca Blum has seen negative messages spread through comments as well.
Blum was on TikTok one day when she came across a post published by a disabled person. As she scrolled through the comments she saw terrible messages making fun of the dancer.
“They were making fun of the dancer shaming them. It was disgusting,” Blum said.
Still, its users say TikTok has less problems with bullying than on other sites.
“There is less pressure on TikTok than any other online community, ” Lee said.