Photo collage by Sam King
In recent years, the social media app TikTok has become a worldwide sensation. Teenagers and kids, especially, love watching short videos that pop up on their TikTok “For You Page,” which displays content personalized to users based on their interactions with other videos. It has become a way for teenagers to socialize with each other; even at school, students can often be seen recording TikTok dances to showcase to the rest of the world. Whether it is in a negative or positive light, there is no question that TikTok has affected all these teenagers’ and students’ lives to some degree.
Turns out, Pinewood School has a TikTok star here on campus. Junior Ella Haun not only uses TikTok for browsing, but she is also an avid content creator, having amassed almost 800,000 followers and 71 million likes on the app. She mainly posts comedic TikToks, ranging from skits to what she does in her daily life. She places an emphasis on staying true to herself and her audience.
“A lot of times people make videos where they show off the best portions of their day or their favorite things, but I kind of just post things wherever [and] whenever… I don’t try to change anything about myself when I’m making videos or anything like that,” Haun said.
Through TikTok, Haun has also been able to collaborate with other companies for brand deals and advertisements. “People will pay me to do an ad promo for an app, and I’ll make a creative video for it,” Haun said.
At the dinner table, Haun often shows her family members these TikToks, along with other creative videos that she is proud of. One of her favorite videos is one that she made with her sister, Sally Haun. In the video, they played a quick game that tested how well they knew each other. If the person answering the question responded with a wrong answer, the asker would hit them with a milk jug; out of all the videos on her account, it has gained the most recognition, accumulating over two million likes.
“[TikTok] is what I do – it’s my job. It gives me the ability to make a difference. It really has impacted my life in every way… in more ways than I could ever explain,” Haun said.
Sophomore Audrey Lo frequently uses TikTok for entertainment purposes, her favorite part being the 15-second conspiracy videos that sporadically show up on her For You Page. However, the pleasure and amusement received from watching these videos are often short-lived.
“After hours spent on TikTok, I have to procrastinate and submit assignments questionably late at night and early in the morning. It’s terrible,” Lo said. In the future, Lo plans to develop better time management skills so that she can finish her homework before devoting time to the app.
Similar to Lo, senior Sam Kavich also utilizes TikTok as a source of entertainment. “I use TikTok to watch other peoples’ videos. I really like watching the TikToks of people cooking or doing art,” Kavich said.
TikTok has not had a significant impact on her life, but Kavich enjoys browsing through her TikTok feed when she has spare time to do so. “My friends and I share TikToks with each other if we find one that’s funny or cool, but we don’t really talk about them in real life,” Kavich said.