Welcome to TikTok
What is TikTok?
Released in 2018 (formerly Musical.ly from 2014-2018), TikTok has been an app on various devices that is on the rise in society. I have observed many students, friends, fellow teachers, and community members use it. Essentially, it is a social media app, similar to Instagram, that views videos exclusively. Features of the videos include fun filters and captions that can be timed specifically when to show up in the video. Similar to in the early day features of Vine, the videos can be taken in small segments as well as a whole. This app is used in general for memes (comical entertainment) that follow major fads that generate around dances and songs.
Why have you not used TikTok yet?
Knowing generally what the app consists of, I have heard that TikTok is addictive in the sense of my peers stating that they have spent hours on the app. During busy periods of my life (school, internship), I tend to steer away from entertainment that could keep me busy (and not "productive" doing homework) for too long. I have as well done the same thing with the streaming app, Disney+. I am a huge Disney fan, therefore, I would spend so much of my time watching old Disney movies and television series. I believe that this is not a good strategy at all, being I do not find time to "treat" myself or have enjoyable downtime. It is all about balance, and I am continuing to work on this, which brings me to finally downloading TikTok.
Downloading and Setting Up
After much nagging and hounding from my brother and boyfriend, I decided to download the app over February break. I did not open the app right away. I left it alone for probably a day or two, until I thought of using my inexperience of the app to show my knowledge in sign language.
The app signup itself works as just a regular social media app, giving the general introductory and then allowing connections to other social media apps.
By tapping the bottom middle + icon on the main screen, this takes you to the video creation portion of the app. This looks similar to Instagram and Snapchat editing, featuring editing options such as inserting texts, pictures, moving filters, music/audio insertion, and voice changers when recording own audio. What really makes TikTok unique is being able to have certain texts show up during selected excerpts of time. The possibilities are endless with this editor. Here is a picture of what the video editor in the app looks like.
I decided to follow a popular (yet "old") trend that I had vaguely heard of before through my brother and boyfriend. The song used in this trend is called "Choices (Yup)" by E-4. First, I created a script that I set beside my phone when recording, so that I remembered what the questions were that I was to sign. Then, I used this site to search the signs to my questions, since some of the required signs were not in my vocabulary yet.
A challenge to this was being timely. I practiced various times before recording. Doing this project really helped me speed up my signing, requiring me to think ahead to what sign was to come next (only to find that I was able to record each segment separately afterwards).
Here is my first TikTok. Enjoy!