Goodbye American TikTok, We Hardly Knew Ye

When Gen Z becomes parents pt.5 BLACK 131.6K LIVES MERTTER 4450 1.4M

August 6th marked a historic day for America. With President Trump signing an executive order to effectively ban TikTok, the nation joins North Korea, Saudi Arabia, China and other bastions of liberty in banning social media platforms that they feel are a threat to their way of life. Specifically, in Trump's case, preventing TikTok's Chinese parent company from acquiring America's greatest secrets by letting teens lip-sync to old Shaggy songs.




But keeping a bunch of youths from dancing isn't all we'll be losing thanks to the United States of Footloose. TikTok, while only two years old, already has a deeply layered culture with countless caverns stretching out into the deepest, dankest corridors of the internet. 


Ignore that giraffe. Most people over the ripe age of twenty-six will only have ever known two TikToks. Its most mainstream is, again, pretty dancing Straight Tok, its videos all looking like if OnlyFans had a 30-second preview window before you have to give it your credit card details.


But then there's also the comedy-oriented and often viral Alt or Elite Tok, i.e., Vine for people too young to remember Vine from four years ago. 



And this is where the artistry of TikTok starts to unfold. Despite being portrayed by the government as a platform that might very well threaten freedom, TikTok's ease of use and limited copyright restrictions have made it one of the most freeing platforms on the internet, allowing young artists to find new ways to express old media ...


But also for people to express their truest selves away from the prying eyes of mainstream culture. As a result, TikTok host many dedicated, alternative subgroups, such as online witch coven TikTok (WitchTok), or lesbian blacksmith TikTok (SmitTok) ...


Or people doing dressage like an actual horse TikTok (TrotTok)...

And let's not forget about the other niche communities: magicians (Trick Tok), people who love pans (Nonstick Tok), people with low blood sugar (Hypoglycaemic Tok),) and people who identify with Reese Witherspoon's character from nineties comedy Election (FlickTok). 

Okay, none of those exist -- yet. But the teens on TikTok would've gotten there eventually, finding the art in the randomness of internet meme culture and deep cuts. So who knows what a TikTok ban will rob us in the future? Perhaps the next wave of abstract media art? I mean, just one look at DeepTok with its … people who are colors ...


Or people pretending to be brand representatives of beans …


Yeah, all right. Just shut it down.

For more weird tangents, you can follow Cedric on Not-TikTok.

Top Image: TikTok

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