So the lockdown begins, and suddenly everyone has nothing to do. Of course, unless you are a frontline worker, you have to go to work and save lives, which is very much appreciated by everyone. Your hard work has saved so many lives, and for that, I would like to pay tribute and thank you as much as I can. But for the rest of us, we just have to stay at home, with literally nothing to do. For some reason, Tik Tok suddenly came into everyone’s phone. For just one second, everyone suddenly became a Tik Tokers.
I downloaded Tik Tok last year but never posted anything. I barely check the app, maybe just once in a while, like when I can’t sleep at night. But since the lockdown begins, which was in March (in the UK), I had too much free time that I decided to constantly check the app. I noticed that many people were on Tik Tok, more than before. The videos that were uploaded also very much relatable with my life. Stay at home with nothing to do. People have been making memes about the whole situation, and I find it quite entertaining. It wasn’t just the memes though, people were also sharing their story, which makes me feel like we’re in this together, that I’m not alone.
With that, I started to think maybe I should upload something too. I mean, after all, I’m a social media girl. But I waited for a few weeks. It wasn’t until mid-April that I uploaded my first video. I made a ‘Cannibal’ dance, which was very famous back then. The video was doing okay, I didn’t get many likes or followers, which I expected. I knew it would be hard to suddenly become famous on a new social media platform that I have just started. Besides, I wasn’t putting much effort into that video. I just did it for fun.
I need to highlight here that I did not follow anyone, still has not followed anyone on Tik Tok. I have not told anyone that knows me in real life my Tik Tok username. Now, they know that I have Tik Tok, and I shared some of the videos on my Instagram, but I hide my username. Unless they actually stalk me, my friends and family or my Instagram followers, in general, won’t find my account. I did it on purpose because I want to see it myself if I can do well on Tik Tok only based on my creativity. I want to see if people (strangers) like my videos, and if they actually like the content I created. It was just my curiosity that made me start uploading videos on Tik Tok.
After uploading my first videos, I uploaded several other videos after that. I realized that I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Tik Tok feels like half YouTube and half Instagram, which is what I have been looking for. I love Instagram but sometimes I want to make and edit videos, but I find YouTube takes a lot of hard work and commitment, as filming and editing videos for YouTube takes literally 5 years! (Okay it’s not 5 years, but it takes a long time, you know what I mean).
Because I enjoyed making Tik Tok, I started to think maybe I could put a bit more effort, and film somewhere with good lighting. I like outdoor scenery so whenever I go for a walk (which is allowed once a day), I record for 15 seconds. I’m lucky that I live in the city centre, so there was quite a lot of nice things to record while I’m going out for a walk. So I posted some of those. I get more views than I expected, but it wasn’t a lot, it was just between 500–1000 views. But still, I wasn’t looking for views, I just did it because I enjoyed it, and considering that those 500–1000 people that see my videos are strangers, I was actually impressed by it. I thought, hmm, maybe I can do something more.
Everything changed when I posted my 13th posts. I made a video about why I choose to move to the UK instead of the US. It was not shady or anything, I was truly just sharing my experienced. I love the US, and I studied abroad there when I was 17, however, at the age of 18 I decided to move to the UK. And I thought, maybe I could just share my experience. I was also inspired by someone who shared their experience of why they decided to move to Germany instead of the US. Because I have a similar experience, with the UK in my case, I decided to make the video. This time, I tried to put more effort into using a better camera and lighting. After I record the video, I edit it the next day. I honestly wasn’t expecting anything, I just thought it would be fun to make one like this …
and BOOM! in only 15 minutes after I posted it, it reached 3,000 views. I was like … how?? Suddenly I became nervous, I put my phone away and checked it again after 45 minutes, it went to 10,000 views, and I was like … wait, what?? Then I left my phone and checked it again after 2 hours, it was almost 50,000 views, … OMG! I was shocked, and suddenly the rest of my videos views went up, my followers grow and my likes grow. That video that I uploaded a month ago now has more than 100,000 views. This might not look a lot for famous people, but for an ordinary girl like me, that just testing the water and doing it for fun, it was a lot.
I was thinking to myself, this is crazy. Now I understand how people can suddenly become famous. I mean I have 20k followers on Instagram, but that is different, I work years and years for that. It wasn’t a one-night famous thing. But with that videos, it kinda shook me. I enjoyed making Tik Tok anyway so I decided to make more. I made one sharing my experience living in the UK, titled ‘Stages of Living in the UK’ (which was a joke by the way), but that one reached over 50,000 views. The comments on that video were very entertaining, it was nice to see people different views on things, and nice to see that some people experience what I experienced. Then, I make another joke videos about the weather in the UK, and that reached over 100,000 views. I honestly can’t believe it, I have over 250,000 views in total, in only what, a month? I don’t know about you, but that’s insane to me.
Not all my videos went viral, some only have a couple of thousands of views, some even only have a couple of hundreds of views. But those that went viral, I still can’t believe it. I was literally only been on Tik Tok properly for a month. I guess for all the videos that went viral, I was most excited to see people’s comments and thoughts on the thing I posted, to see their participation in the video, to see that they actually watched it. How the share their experiences, their views, and opinions on some of the topics I mentioned. Of course, some of the comments are not very nice, but that’s just the cost you have to pay if your videos suddenly went viral. You just have to learn that,first, not everyone gets your joke, and second, everyone has a different opinion on things, and we should let them embrace it. After all, that’s the beauty of social media.
I tried to make this as short as possible, so I apologize if this ends up being a long post. But I just want to share my story, and maybe you experience the same thing, or maybe you just curious about Tik Tok. I guess the moral of the story is that you never know what is going to happen. Sometimes you just test the water on something, and it turns out to be great. Of course, Tik Tok is just for fun, and it’s one of those things that I enjoy doing. But the fact that I was just testing the water and did not expect anything turns out to be something unexpected just surprised me. I realized that life is full of surprises, and that’s the beauty of life.
“Sometimes you just test the water on something, and it turns out to be great.”