Unhinged: Tik Tok As An Art Form


Syeda Siddiqi

tiktok

You know how in movies, people die, but then come back to life soulless, without morals, and unhinged? That is Tik Tok in a nutshell: Vine, but without a soul and unhinged. 

Vine was full of millennial humor that has now become somewhat obsolete. Tik Tok and Gen Z culture are on the rise today and the result is very ... interesting. The popular platform allows you to use music, quotes from movies, weird editing, and unique filters to make a wide variety of memes and videos. Tik Tok seems much more versatile than Vine, despite their similarities because Tik Tokers are more willing to push the envelope of the socially acceptable.

Tik Tok users are truly willing to do and say anything. This does not necessarily mean their content is negative, sometimes it is just really weird. Humor and memes, nowadays, are often a mode of coping with our rapidly changing political and physical environment. And to an extent, are also made to come to terms with our distinct collective experiences. That being said, there are things on Tik Tok that make you wonder what has become of the world. 

Many kinds of memes appear on Tik Tok that are just generally funny and relatable like cute animal videos, digs at the Twilight movie franchise, and the "Ok Boomer" tag. This content does not set the platform apart. However, what does distinguish the app is its ability to capture the Gen Z (and also somewhat the Millennial) experience within a single platform. 

Many other social media communities are full of Boomers and Millenials and therefore provide only a diluted version of different generations and their experiences. What’s interesting is that Tik Tok is almost entirely comprised of members of Gen Z. Circulating throughout the app are distressing trends of speaking about depression, lack of disability rights, abuse, fear of climate change, and even darker subjects like school shootings. All of these topics are veiled by and coped with through humor.

Tik Tok is also a place where young people explore their identities, whether that be cultural, social, or otherwise, through funny videos like growing up with [insert type of parent here] or I quit being [insert identity here]. 

Overall, I think every generation has an art form and Tik Tok is the art form of Gen Z kids. It’s a platform where Gen Z grapples with their past and come to terms with their future. All packaged within a funny video, of course.