Well, readers, if you had "a youth-led return to communism" on your 2020 bingo card, today is your lucky day! We've officially delved so deep into the bowels of pandemic-fueled late-stage capitalism that some Zoomers have found refuge in communes, or, as my TikTok-savvy friends call them "Hype Houses."
The spiritual successor of YouTube group homes, like The Paul Brother's Team 10 House, these residences, including the Band-Aid-esque namesake, of the Hype House, as well as the Sway House, and the Vault House, aren't merely social media dwellings, but communes, according to Vice Media.
So how exactly, are these TikTok stars actually unintentional comrades in disguise? To steal a trope from the introduction paragraph of every middle schooler's last-minute essay, according to Dictionary.com, the definition of a commune is "a small group of persons living together, sharing possessions, work, income, etc., and often pursuing unconventional lifestyles." Although growing more and more common, working as a professional TikToker is definitely an unconventional lifestyle, especially with the common goal of creating content and chasing clout. Karl Marx would be proud.
Although to some, this may seem like more Zoomer antics, it actually makes perfect sense considering the events of this past year. To echo hundreds of cheesy campaigns released since March, we're living in incredibly uncertain, isolating times. We're in the largest financial crisis since The Great Depression, which has been particularly hard on young people. We've been forced to isolate away from our support systems of friends and families, making our living situations and social distance pods a critical pandemic lifeline.
Although we've had our heated moments here and there, I've found myself consistently thankful for my roommates over the past few months, for keeping me company, helping me through quarantine madness, and acting as my socially distant family, as my parents and cousins all hunkered down in Illinois.
Yet for young people with careers in social media, Covid-19 comprises only a part of that battle. The internet, for better or worse, is the wild west. One day you're everyone's favorite Midwestern dad after wearing a red sweater to a presidential debate, the next, you're everyone's creepy uncle, after the public discovers your penchant for pregnancy porn, alleged admission of felony insurance fraud, and admiration for Jennifer Lawrence's butthole. Ain't that just the way!
For young people looking to maintain a professional life on social media, surrounding yourself with a community of young people who not only help ease the loneliness of Covid-19, but provide moral support -- and more importantly, the all-valuable currency of clout -- is critical as you navigate life as an influencer.
To HAMMER the point home (if you're not already SICKLE of this article): Covid-19 sucks, working on the internet is unpredictable, and at this point, it's more important than ever to stay close to your support systems -- even if it's just for the 'gram.