TikTok spikes interest of OHS students and staff


Photo by Victoria Kirova

Darrell Hudson, history teacher, poses for a TikTok.

Victoria Kirova, Features Editor

TikTok has long been a source of entertainment for thousands of people at OHS. It allows individuals to develop creative videos that appeal to them, while also following influencers that direct their content to their passions. The immense benefit of TikTok is that it permits people of all backgrounds to gain popularity on a worldwide scale, or simply express their interests for fun. 

At OHS, both students and staff all over campus are finding ways to use TikTok to their benefit. This app allows them to be themselves, develop their creativity, and even gain new friendships. Through the app, they are also able to customize their feeds in order for them to see videos that they are interested in.

“I base a lot of my workouts on what I see on TikTok, and then just like life hacks and stuff. But I spend a lot of time on it,” said Kayla Hindi, senior. 

The influence that TikTok has on people is palpable because it provides something for everyone. Its rising popularity, however, is due to the fact that people were encouraged to download TikTok after it became a trend. 

“It wasn’t really a thing that I wanted to do until I saw other people doing it and then just the effect that it has on people,” Hindi said. 

The growing popularity of TikTok also led to an increase in the amount of teachers utilizing the platform. This gives students the opportunity to understand the perspective that teachers have in their careers, in order to correct the misjudgments that were made by some members of society. 

“Sometimes I think people have a negative view of teachers. Where we don’t know how to have any fun or we don’t know how to connect with the students. That we’re very old school, that we don’t embrace contemporary things like pop culture,” said Darrell Hudson, history teacher.

One of the predominant bonuses of TikTok is the fact that it can be easily utilized by everyone. Teachers are using this in order to reveal a side of themselves that is not always perceived by students.

“It’s a good way to show the students that teachers are normal people too. That we can have a funny side, that’s not always the serious follow the rules [type of teacher], like in the classroom,” Hudson said.

With the creation of a TikTok video comes a process that varies from person to person. It is important to find a sound that best fits with the content that will be created. 

“Usually I just try and find different sounds from the TikTok app that I think are kind of fun, that are appropriate. Then I think of different things that we do here at school and what things I think might be funny,” Hudson said. 

While TikTok is used by people for all sorts of purposes, some have acquired a sizable following by making videos about topics that they are fond of. However, not all of these creators are concerned with this newfound esteem. 

“I try not to expand to reach different audiences. This is for me. This is because I like making jokes, I like putting stuff out into the world and making my mark, and if people like what they see then they are welcome to follow me for more, if they don’t, I don’t really care,” said Sam Kennan, junior. 

Through the app, people are also able to connect with their followers. This leads to the possible creation of new friends that reside in distant places. 

“I have a friend who lives in South Carolina. I text her regularly now and I met her through TikTok. I have a friend who lives in Alabama who I text occasionally. So I have met people from around the world,” Kennan said.

While the TikTok algorithm allows some smaller creators to gain popularity on the app, the well-known people on the platform are commonly said to be undeserving of their followers, and the opportunities they have received as a result. 

“I’m going to use Charli D’Amelio [as an example]. To me she didn’t really do much, but she has such a big platform right now, whereas other TikTok platforms aren’t as strong, but they are doing so much more,” Hindi said. 

However, with the rise in fame also comes the inevitable hate that is received. On the internet, people feel much more comfortable saying disrespectful and extremely malicious things, and TikTok is no exception. 

“I’m openly queer on my page. I have gotten threats from people to have my parents kick me out of the house, I’ve had people misgender me on purpose, I have had people send me photos and pictures of the queer flag being burnt,” Kennan said. 

The reality of gaining followers is one that nobody should have to deal with. In order to continue making videos on TikTok, it is vital to have a genuine love for the content that is being produced. 

“Passion’s definitely a huge part of TikTok. If you don’t put in any effort into a TikTok account, it will never go anywhere,” Kennan said.