5 Good Things TikTok Brought Us
As a Millennial, I’m firmly in the anti-TikTok camp. From my point of view, social media rots your brain, makes you sad(der) and ultimately wastes your time. Though, that’s not to say that I find it useless. If nothing else, it allows me to stay engaged with my network and keep track of my friends. But, we all know social media can be a dark place rife with bullies, but there are some bright spots, even on TikTok.
Here are my top 5:
1. Free Advice from Professionals
In order to boost popularity, or maybe to unmask (pun intended) some of the mystery and confusion around their professions, everyone from doctors to veterinarians, to police have joined the platform to share advice. In less than 15 seconds cops show us how to handle fender benders. In a blink of an eye, we learn what treats are harmful to dogs or what to tell ER nurses when you arrive and why they need that information. Teachers are even making videos akin to tutoring on different subjects. Talk about effective knowledge sharing! The best part is that TikTok and all of the advice it harbors is completely free! However, let’s not forget that China is also attempting to steal your data from the app, but that’s a story for another time.
There are still benefits to going to your primary care physician or therapist for specific diagnoses. But TikTok has opened a world for responsible people to get limited insider knowledge to address routine concerns. The trickle down effect is that more folks across income brackets are able to get valuable advice to elevate their quality of life & embrace healthier living. For example, I’ve finally conquered my skin troubles to achieve dewy, glowing skin, even in winter. A true miracle.
2. Easy Cooking Recipes
Let me get straight to the point, I hate to cook, though I largely blame this on my mom who also hates to cook. We are bakers by nature. When I first saw the cooking corner of TikTok, I didn’t give it much attention. However, I quickly realized that many of the dishes were simple, used common ingredients, or recreated favorite to-go meals with hacks or tricks for affordable and healthier versions at home. I’m no Gordon Ramsey, but my wallet and my tummy are much happier! Go check out this video, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
3. Life Hacks Galore
Beyond cooking hacks and recipes, TikTok gives us shorter, often funny, life hacks. Dad’s show us how to check our car’s oil levels, change a tire, and use household tools. Mom’s even teach us to sew on buttons without poking every one of our fingers. This is particularly great for individuals who grew up without reliable role models.
There’s also the “#iwastodayyearsold” trend that shows common items and their uncommon uses. Did you know that the groove in your large fast-food drink cup (sans straw) is meant to hold the bottom of a small cup in it, like a frosty from Wendy’s, so it stays put when you drive? Or that a trick to using a colander is to put it inside the pot and drain the water that way instead of trying to pour the hot pasta into the colander? This was all news to me too! In much the same way as the advice from professionals, TikTok is letting us share simple life hacks and advice to help us all do a little better.
4. Micro Communities
Like all social media, TikTok is aims to connect and entertain people. As a global app, it allows people from around the world to connect, learn from one another, and just experience life together while being oceans apart. As I have seen it, micro communities often form within these platforms and TikTok is no exception. I’ve seen it become a great space for my plant-moms to learn about new foliage, how to tend to their leafy children, and connect with similarly interested folks. Again, it’s a great place for the green thumbs to share their tips & tricks with those of us who struggle to keep anything alive.
For all the fashionistas, you could spend hours looking at how different influencers’ pair items together, mix trends, and include vintage items in their everyday style. Not to mention there are also practical videos on dressing for different occasions, body types, and complexions.
Don’t worry, there’s even space for the inner nerd in all of us on TikTok. Cosplayers show the builds they are working on, and sometimes reenact scenes from Star Wars or Dragon Ball. You also get book nerds commiserating on a lack of shelf space and folks making modern Hogwarts uniforms. You even have a Dungeons and Dragons sub-community to learn new tactics for being a Dungeon Master, showing off cool character sheets, and videos where you can watch grown adults openly weep over the death of a character they made.
5. Sea Shanty’s
This one may be self-explanatory: Who doesn’t love a good sea shanty? Maybe you never knew what one was until now, but I can guarantee your life is better off. Old tunes are resurfacing to provide a dynamic space for musicians to be creative. Different TikTokers are collaborating and building on one another’s tunes and it’s honestly just the most heartwarming thing for 2021.
When all is said and done, TikTok brings people together to focus on things we love, learn the things we need, and keep on keepin’ on, even during a pandemic – and with a jolly tune for ambiance to boot.