The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

TikTok: How has the app affected people’s lifestyles?

In Mr. Joel Williams’ fifth period precalculus/trigonometry Honors class, Presley Ries opens the TikTok app to scroll on the “For You” page to pass the time left in class. Photo by Alexis Dashnyam

In a world where a 15-second video can spark a global trend, TikTok has excelled in its social media platform status. Its personalized algorithms, which generate an infinite number of videos targeted to users’ tastes and designed to keep them scrolling for hours on end, are credited with its quick surge in popularity.

China-based startup ByteDance created TikTok, which debuted in 2016. According to Demand Sage, TikTok has 1.1 billion active users across 160 countries, making it the fifth most popular social media app in the world. In the U.S. alone, TikTok has over 150 million users, and over 1 billion videos are viewed on TikTok every day. 

Olivia Dewey is a frequent Tiktok user. She watches many videos consisting of hair, make-up and clothing recommendations. 

“I have been using TikTok since like 2019, so five years,” Dewey said. “It consumes a lot of my life because I’m always on it. I get bored and it makes me not bored anymore.” 

TikTok has become an influential app for people across the world. Doctors and Dermatologists use it to spread awareness about products and peoples’  health. Small businesses are using their platforms to sell their product through TikTok’s new feature, TikTok shop. TikTok has become a place where viewers can find recommendations and tips for a variety of topics. From hair and makeup to health and fitness benefits. It has also become a place where people can talk about their experiences and try to relate to others. 

Nathan Martires, who has been an active user, has been exposed to new places and experiences as he was scrolling. 

“It’s definitely not persuaded but just made me think about trying new places, like different restaurants and stores that are somewhat near me,” Martires said. So I’m like, that’d be cool to visit someday or different online brands, I think would be cool.”

Adding onto Tiktok’s influence in society, Medium states how everyone can now easily obtain fashionable style thanks to the app. Creators frequently provide more reasonably priced options, allowing people of all backgrounds to participate in fashion trends, promoting inclusivity. 

Trying to figure out his style, Cole O’Campo looks toward TikTok for inspiration. O’Campo comes to realize the influences TikTok has on where to shop. 

“I didn’t really know about thrifting until TikTok popularized it,” O’Campo said. “I would see a bunch of TikToks, like people in their fits, and it inspired me to explore different clothing. Whenever I scroll I see people’s fit checks and things they have thrifted.”

Most social platforms have begun to take inspiration from each other to become more like one another. Apps like Instagram and Snapchat have added their own TikTok-like feature, Instagram adding “Reels” and Snapchat adding their “Spotlight” tab. 

TikTok shop is an in-app online shopping browser where users can purchase directly from the store. Influencers can recommend products through videos, linking the product at the bottom. When users click on the link, it will take them to a website known as the Tiktok Shop which operates relatively the same as other online shopping websites. It includes other online reviews, shipping estimates, return policy, description of the product along with photos and other recommendations as the user scrolls down the page. 

Martires was a previous user of the TikTok Shop, where he purchased chamoy gummies. These were a Christmas gift for his sister. 

“It was pretty easy to buy from and they were quick with shipping,” Martires said. “It’s kind of like Amazon where there’s different sellers that have different things. So [it] depends on the store, but I think some of them are pretty reputable.”

It is very common for people to go to TikTok to find new outfits to wear, hairstyles to try and makeup to do. Students can find hairstyles such as “slick backs,” a sleek ponytail style achieved with gel or a similar product. Katie Hart finds herself looking for new ways to achieve this look. After seeing raves for a hair wax stick seen in a creator’s video, she purchased the DeeJey wax stick through TikTok Shop. After trying the product, Hart realized that TikTok reviews may not be as reliable as one may think.

“[I] highly don’t recommend,” Hart said. “I put it in [my hair] and I couldn’t wash it out for four days. The water wouldn’t wash out the wax.” 

TikTok can also be a place where people go for positive influence. Olivia Dewey sees past the negative and sheds light on the positive through some of her favorite content creators – one of them is Avery Katherine Wood (@averykatherinewood via TikTok). Wood’s page contains “get ready with me” and “ a day in my life” content. 

Dewey said, “She’s really positive about everything, there are no negatives. She’s always showing love, even when she gets hate. That’s what I take away from her.”


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