Tik Tok Offers Easy, Instant Fame


Nicole Kennedy, Opinion Editor

In the parking lot before school and in the hallways during lunch, students are dancing in front of their propped-up phones in hopes of hitting it big on Tik Tok, a new social media app.

“Becoming Tik Tok famous” is the new campus fad.

On Tik Tok, students post videos by genre, including comedy, dance, or some other popular culture trend, in order to gain popularity.

The “For You Page” of the app recommends videos to users based on the way they interact with content, such as what they “like.” The more likes and comments a video receives, the more it appears on other users’ feeds.

Some have already gained substantial prowess on the app. Junior Ella Cingolani currently has 47.4k followers on Tik Tok, with her most well-known comedy video earning over 3 million views. This is more views than the population of Chicago, Illinois.

Initially on Tik Tok because it was “trendy” amongst her classmates, Cingolani realized that her her comic antics could be an effective way to gain popularity on the platform.

According to Cingolani, she spends 6 hours a day on the app.

Tik Tok user junior Justin Xiao is not as enthusiastic about the new social media trend. “Tik Tok is a waste of time, but I can see the appeal because its interesting,” he said.

Cingolani says that her popularity on the app has translated into being recognized by fans in the real world.  She reported being approached by a young girl in the local grocery store who has see her online.

According to AP Psychology teacher Steven Dyer, who is familiar with Tik Tok due to usage among his students, students are motivated by the sensation of acceptance, which can be accomplished by accumulating more social media followers.

Dyer also feels that, besides professional athletes, movie stars, or other working celebrities, being famous no longer means what it used to. The ease of gaining fame through social media apps has allowed personalities such as the Kardashian-Jenner family to make millions simply be accumulating online followers.

It’s not necessarily that people have done anything [worth] making them famous. There’s no longer a good reason why people are famous because of social media,” said Dyer.

To Dyer’s point, part of why Tik Tok is trendy now is because it is easy for people to gain hundreds of followers in a few days simply by lip-syncing or dancing for 15 seconds.

Sophomore Ella Heydenfelt doesn’t consider herself an avid Tik Tok user but has noticed people filming in the halls during Academy.

“Everyone is trying to become Tik Tok famous,” Heydenfelt said. “Lots of people only post Tik Toks just to be famous because I think it’s not that hard to get lots of views.”

According to Xiao, students “are addicted to their clout,” so the trend will not be dying out soon. 

To anyone who wants to begin a successful Tik Tok career, Cingolani said, “With all honesty, the dumbest stuff gets on the For You [Page], so just keep working, and living your dreams [of becoming a] Tik Tok star will come true.”