Why you so obsessed with me

Tiktok Overview

Tiktok was originally made available worldwide in 2018 to make short-form videos in genres like comedy, dance, musical, and education. The duration of these videos ranges from three seconds to one minute. Its key users’ demographic was the Gen-Z. Still, because of its major hype and popularity, most companies and businesses now also use it to market their brands and target the audience. It is one of the largest social media platforms, with one billion users. Its influence on the digital industry and the real world, is bizarre, with a whole Gen-Z culture situated around it.

How the Tiktok Hype Began

Tiktok is a social media platform that provides short-form content (the shortest form, if you will). Even if you are not a user of Tiktok, you may (read: definitely) have seen a lot of videos on your Facebook and/or Instagram timelines. Its influence on the digital and consumption culture is huge—with other social media platforms trying to replicate its features. One such example is Instagram Reels, another short-form video creator with lots of pre-uploaded soundtracks and filters.

The original Tiktok hype started with trendy dances and those that could pull it off. In no time, there were lots of tutorial videos on YouTube explaining step-by-step Tiktok dances. At this point, Tiktok could very well be a separate genre of dance itself. These dances were not over fifteen to twenty seconds long and did not contain complicated steps. However, these were very well and synchronously choreographed.

Tiktok Obsession in the Lockdown

It looks like this Mariah Carey lyric, “Why you so obsessed with me?” is actually being sung by Tiktok itself. Well, you know, easily everyone nowadays is obsessed with Tiktoks. The social media platform hosts over one billion users and received a sudden surge in popularity in 2019. Especially in 2020, when while in quarantine, most of us were just asking each other: should I make a Tiktok account? The braver ones, however, were just announcing: I made a Tiktok account!!!

How is Tiktok Different?

People are conflicted when it comes to Tiktok, because most of them associate it with Cringe Pop (another genre of music that is identified by it being “cringy”). Tiktok is more accessible to a wide variety of people from all kinds of different social and economic backgrounds, and thus, there is little room for judgment and gate-keeping. This is the one thing that is different about Instagram and Tiktok. Instagram presents itself as a sophisticated social media platform to curate (almost-)perfect lives, whereas, on Tiktok, people are vulnerable, edgy, and out there.

Why You so Obsessed with Me?

One of these trends received a boost on Tiktok in 2019 when people would perform a ten second dance video to the infamous Mariah Carey song about Eminem, “Obsessed”. The steps were largely very simple, and so everybody hopped in on the bandwagon to learn and post them. At that time, one girl posted her rendition of the iconic dance while crying, and the internet (especially Twitter) unanimously cried out: RELATE! SAME!!

RELATE! SAME!!

With some people going as far as to say the video was a “cultural reset”:

cultural reset

Our Gen-Z, the highest demographic of Tiktok users, posted memes and tweets about that girl relating to her dancing and crying simultaneously. Instantly, the video became the flag-bearer of the “Why you so obsessed with me?” Tiktok dance.

But more importantly, people had a LOT of questions:

LOT of questions

You would say that was all in the past, but why now? Well, the video never really died and sustained curiosity and relatability for a whole year (looking at you, coronavirus!). But people got ever more curious about why the girl was crying in the dance video she posted. In November of this year, BuzzFeed posted an article with Reese Hardy’s (@reesehardy_ , the girl in the said crying video) answers to all the crying questions.

She said that she was upset over a breakup and wanted to dye her hair brown. She dyed her hair but did not like it. So she tried to revert it to its original color, which did not really work. Hence, during a mental breakdown, she created the “stupid” Tiktok dance video that eventually earned her a lot of hearts (follows!) and shares.

Conclusion

Does not matter which side you are on, love Tiktok or hate Tiktok, you can not ignore Tiktok! Well, unless you have no other social media access, Internet access, you live in a cave… the list goes on! It is true and absolutely remarkable how Tiktok has taken over the digital industry by the storm. It has changed our view and consumption patterns of entertainment. We hardly have time or the attention span for a feature-length film anymore, but we still do need some form of entertainment. And that is where Tiktok helps us. Its videos are fifteen seconds long, very funny, and very watchable. Its dances are especially admirable and something we can try to do ourselves.

When this year seemed like it would never end, and we would never survive it, Tiktok gave us hope in the form of silly trends, goofy dances, and an unmistakable sense of kinship in that: whatever happens, we are all in this together. It is really something meaningful to see yourself in the girl crying to “Why you so obsessed with me?” in the Tiktok dance video—it is Hella funny, and it is Hella relatable. You learn to sympathize, and you learn to take yourself less seriously sometimes.

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