Last Fall Tara introduced me to TikTok, and showed me how to watch the videos on my phone, and gave me a couple of funny content creators to follow, to get me started.
I have had so much fun with this damned app it’s ridiculous.
TikTok is an app that works best on your smart phone. It’s a bazillion very short videos, usually 20 seconds to a minute long. When you open the app, a video will start playing, and will loop (plays the same video over and over) until you swipe up for the next video. If you like it, touch the heart icon, and TikTok will remember it and use that information to suggest new videos to you. If you don’t like it, just swipe up. The next video begins playing in a loop. This can go on forever if you’re enjoying it. I have set TikTok to tell me when I’ve been swiping for an hour. A new video pops up that says, “Hey! You’ve been at this a long time. Put your phone down and go do something else!”
Whatever you’ve heard on the media, TikTok is a million times more interesting than you think it is. Yes, there are teenage girls doing silly dances, and yes there are crazy conspiracy theory nutjobs who are spreading more conspiracies. BUT! If that’s not what you want to see…you will not see it. Think of it like the library: there are a thousand books in the library that you are simply not interested in reading. But oh, the library is still a perfect place for you! And if you like to laugh, it’s the place for you. Human beings are so funny. Unless, of course, you are more interested in animals. There are also a million animal videos. There’s cats, dogs, bears, lizards, and frogs doing astonishing things. There are videos of a beaver inside a home, trying to use household items like a plunger, some shoes, and a kleenex box to build a dam. So adorable.
Mostly what I watch are: videos from indigenous people who are each teaching about their own tribe’s traditions. I’ve seen underground ice storage in Alaska, and brilliant hoop dancing, and how to store regalia in between pow wows, how to smoke and preserve salmon, how to cast a net, and received such an education about Indian boarding schools. I watch artists that include a high speed drummer, an Irish step dancer, a brother-sister team that take robot dancing to a new dimension, a cartoonist that reenvisions old favourites into dark noir like Winnie the Pooh and Popeye, a folk guitar player, and my beloved Marcus Eaton, who posted a hilarious video of him and a friend playing bossanova to the beat of his noisy electric mixer. It is SO funny. I follow a guy in Vancouver, BC who hikes out in every kind of weather to amazing places and then brews a cup of tea and enjoys the view. I follow a guy who gives really inspirational positive messages to people who suffer with PTSD. I follow Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson, who explain science stuff.
I watch a lot of silly, silly stuff and laugh my head off. Like this video from a woman in Montreal who rates icicles on their deadliness.
Lately I’ve been brave enough to start posting my own videos. They are mostly chicken-related. Today I posted to TikTok one of me sledding. I wrote this whole blog post because I mentioned to Manja that I might post about the sledding, but I posted it on TikTok instead of here, so I had to post a link here, but to do that I wanted to explain. And now I’ve explained.
If I’ve created any new TikTok enthusiasts out there by this post, I apologize for the loss of time you will now experience in your life as you get sucked down the rabbit hole of hilarious and educational short videos.
NOTE: I just played all these videos to make sure it all worked after I posted, and the “suggested” videos that pop up are horrible! It says “related videos” and puts up human deformities and hot women in raunchy poses. No! Those are not related. Don’t click. Eeew.