Writer: Megh B.
Visual: Somya D.
Editor: Amelie D.
‘Tiktok’, a social media video app, has hit the world by storm. From new slang and ways of dressing to a rise in user created memes, the impact it has had on the world and our school is certainly an amazing phenomenon. Over a limited period of time, Tiktok has gained a cult following of Gen-Zers, who have completely reinvented youth culture.
Tiktok has spawned several subcultures that many of us have seen at school or have heard of online. The app is seen as a way for like minded teens to express themselves in a variety of different ways. It is a hub of pop culture where the possibilities are endless.
The app is a way to differentiate us from previous generations, thus emphasizing our digital presence and ability to manipulate the internet and its various trends. In a world where fads and crazes come and go, it is certainly interesting to inquire why Tiktok, an app previously made fun of for having a “cringey” reputation, has lasted so long in the world’s hot seat. Its satirical ridicule of everyday life from a teenager’s lense is what keeps it fresh, upbeat, and relevant to all those wishing to keep up. The fact of the matter is, Tiktok is a melting pot of an app, with attractions for every type of person, no matter how niche they are.
One of the several youth trends created from the app is the VSCO Girl. ‘VSCO’ refers to a photography app, now monopolized by teen girls to edit and fine tune their images to perfection. The trend involves a certain style of dress and slang that have originated from Tiktok itself, amassing a following from teens globally, including students from ISM.
We can definitely start to see elements of the ‘VSCO Girl’ movement through the students here at ISM. Many came back from the summer sporting popular Hydro Flask water bottles, scrunchies, puka shell necklaces, and more. It’s rather niche slang has also seemed to spread to students, with phrases such as “anna-ou!” “skskskks,” and “spill the tea,” becoming quite frequent in student’s vocabulary. More has come out of the trend, including the use of metal straws and a growing advocacy for the planet.
Although less prominent within our school community, another group has come out of the popular app: the ‘E-girls’. Known as a brand of alternative teen girls, the group is a descendant of the previously popular ‘Emo’ trend in the early 2000s. For these teens in particular, Tiktok is a way to define themselves in a society where often times, this can be difficult. Teenagers commonly feel misunderstood and have a hard time finding a place in society or a place that they can call home. Thus, many of them feel as if they have a sort of ‘Internet home,’ or even ‘safe haven’ on the app through sharing their interests and likes with others across the world.
Nonetheless, Tiktok is shaping today’s society, in more ways than we can even begin to comprehend. The future of this viral app is uncertain, but it’s influence has surely made a mark on our school community and beyond.