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COVID made TikTok famous

TikTok is invading social media and has everyone on it, from the young to the old. It has become everyone's main entertainment since quarantine due to Covid-19. 

TikTok is a Chinese social media platform used to create and share short videos. People sing, dance, do challenges, and make comedy videos. Creating memes is also what many people like to do and like to watch since it gets a ton of views.

Before COVID, Tiktok was used mainly by young teenagers aged around 12-16. They would make prank videos and trending dances. After COVID, everything changed.

TikTok has evolved over the years; you can now even shop through TikTok, which is known as the TikTok Shop.

This app was mainly targeted at young teenagers. It was launched in September 2016. It reached 800 million users worldwide in 2020. In 2023, it had 1.92 billion users; by the end of 2024, they’re expected to reach 2 billion users.

Bernadette is from North London and is an assistant manager of a club in central London. Due to COVID, she was kept at home and had to find new ways to entertain herself, and  Tiktok was one of them.

Bernadette Moore stated in 2020 that being a 40-year-old woman using the app for entertainment was funny because she felt like a kid again. She also stated that it felt ridiculous as she felt so old, but she enjoyed going on it. She also stated that it was a distraction from what was happening around the world at the time.

Bernadette likes to watch comedy videos and watch people recreating memes, especially some of the celebs that are there also taking part.

People all around the world in 2020 got stuck at home due to COVID-19 and all of a sudden TikTok exploded, and everyone was on it to pass the time and get involved with the trends as there was nothing else to do.

Zoe Stocker is a receptionist at a dental clinic in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Zoe stated that she is on TikTok every day and spends hours watching and making videos. Zoe is a 24-year-old and always thought that TikTok was for the young ones. She also stated that she never thought she would be using the app because it just wasn't part of her generation, but she was wrong.

People have become addicted, and lockdown has given it more users. As seen in 2020, it only continued to get bigger, and the platform is involved every day life more and more.

When you sign up, it asks you your age; you put in your age, and it gives you content relating to your age group and preference. That's why it's intriguing for the older generations because they can also get content targeted for their age range.

People wonder that if COVID never happened, would TikTok be the phenomenal thing that it is, or would it just still be the young teenagers using it?

TikTok has become part of most people’s lives, but now it’s an escape route from isolation and older generations are joining in.

People have been using TikTok in new and different ways since COVID-19, from baking, makeup, daily videos about their lives, workout videos, travel, and many other things. People also share their businesses and reviews of products. You can just about find anything on there now.

TikTok has become a popular strategy for marketing and advertising as well. All sorts of brands create TikTok pages, TV shows, TV channels, and many more. It's a way to engage with their audience even more.

It has its downside when it comes to teenagers and young adults. It can make them lazy, as social media is time-consuming. Angel Rose is a 20-year-old university student, and she stated that it feels like no one has any motivation anymore and that everyone would rather be in bed watching Netflix or using social media.

She also stated that using TikTok was an escape from our regular lives, but now it has become our lives.

But she can also see its disadvantages. Angela stated that It has made people way more paranoid and that there’s false information online and because people are trapped, they don't know what to believe in. 

Of course, like everything, there are pros and cons, and not everything can always be good. It does consume a lot of people's time and can be very addictive. It has come out that it has left people with a short attention span due to just flicking through 30 to 1-minute videos, and you’re watching something new every 30 seconds. Now people can’t sit through 2-hour movies.

This can have consequences, as found by software developer Bhusan “Research suggests that our attention spans may be diminishing due to the prevalence of short-form content. When constantly exposed to quick, easily digestible videos, our brains become conditioned to seek immediate gratification and novelty. As a result, we may find it increasingly challenging to concentrate on tasks that require sustained focus, such as reading books or engaging in deep work. This decline in attention span can have adverse effects on productivity, learning, and overall well-being.” 

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