Who’s afraid of TikTok?

The first batches of coronavirus vaccines have arrived in the Philippines, though a limited supply (as donations) and medical frontliners as its first recipients. This could only mean continuing the health protocols to Covid-19 infection.

And that could also mean spending more time at home in quarantine. Since the pandemic started, people have come up with many ways of coping with the isolation for their mental balance — or

semi-isolation, for those who are reporting for work on certain days, or do their usual grocery or bank errands. Many keep their sanity by being active on social media, regular online chats with friends here and abroad, online workouts and yoga sessions, Zoom partying and drinking and so much more.

In my case, my nightly winding down obsession switched from being a K-Drama junkie to TikTok troller.

Just a few days ago, I asked a friend in his late 20s what he thought of TikTok. “Baduy,” he replied, as I sensed a tinge of some class snob issues tucked somewhere in his handsome head. The word baduy, after all, is translated as “unfashionable, unstylish, lacking in refinement.” Or, “no class.”

Who knew that in that curious moment, TikTok, a short-form, video-sharing app that lets users create and share 15-second videos on any topic, a dividing line between those that “have” and those that “don’t have.” The Gatsby-esque line on the difference between rich people and us regular folks echoes on whether one has a taste for TikTok or not. Then there’s also Ernest Hemingway’s rebuttal to that famous line: “Yes, they have more money.”

But that’s the joy of TikTok. It has turned into an equalizer to let rich and poor people cope with the global pandemic. From trending dance moves, cooking videos, makeup tutorials, jokes to dubbed Japanese anime voices — anyone can be anything on this platform.

TikTok videos by celebrities are no-brainers. They’re natural million-viewer magnets for their beyond-normal good looks, buffed bods, kilig factor for when they appear with their romantic partners, or when they do it like Gardo Verzosa and his high heels and super flexible hips.

Among the users that got me hooked are the everyday Juans who started out by sharing glimpses of their lives with that typical Pinoy humor. @Xspencer who, in between his modular classes, comes up with silly skits all roles played by himself on relationships and what happens in the afterlife.

Cebuano tattoo artist @DeeDee Villegas offers nonchalant and witty views on local tattoo culture. Occasionally, DeeDee would also answer the most random questions like, “Sino po tagapagmana ng CDR-King (a one-stop shop for computer accessories)?” The answer: “Si Cedie, ang Munting Prinsipe.”

@HazelGrace documents the young love of mestiza Hazel Grace and her curly-haired, ML-loving boyfriend Wim. The cute factor here is how they seem to be opposites but are actually sweet together.

And while I’ve practically memorized the gangsta dance moves of 1096 Gang’s “Pajama Party” and “Do Dat (Stop, Drop & Roll)” by Semme, anyone dubbing the anime boys voices complete with costume is always cool.

Pop culture

We all need humor for survival especially during this unprecedented time. But besides the sanity-saving value of watching TikTok videos, it also has its inspired uses, especially for those in the creative business. For writers, editors, researchers, actors and artists, they’re the window to the rest of the real world while we move around our new-normal bubble lifestyle.

It’s a source for finding out how local language has evolved — street-speak like tropa (gang), jowa (beau), sanaoil (hopefully all), even lumpia (marijuana joint); what music are the masses listening to; what love and aspirations are people expressing.

TikTok has helped us be at the pulse of things. It has made us aware of our differences in the way we each cope with the challenging times. But it also shows how we are alike, how we seek to be part of a community and to shake off this long-drawn anxious energy built up in confinement.

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Credit belongs to : www.tribune.net.ph

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