UK college students on TikTok try for creativity, connection, group |
Months of quarantine resulted in hours of scrolling, and the developers at TikTok were the driving force behind it.
TikTok, a video creation and editing app, was already enjoying huge popularity in the US when COVID-19 hit, and the quarantine that followed only expanded the platform. TikTok has made its way around the world, and the University of Kentucky was no exception. Several UK students have gone viral or popular on the site.
Newbie Zach Hewlett started creating videos in early 2019 and currently has 198,000,000 followers. His first video blew up his account. In the video, Hewlett and his classmates had just found out that his drum teacher’s wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“We wanted to show that we care what is going on,” said Hewlett. “We have balloons, pink flowers, pink bandanas and we painted our drumsticks pink.”
His teacher’s emotional reaction to the students’ support was captured on camera.
“It’s got about 5 million likes or so,” said Hewlett, a mechanical engineering major. Since then he has continued to create. But his account was hacked and his previous videos deleted in November 2019.
“After that, I kind of lost motivation,” said Hewlett. “Pandemic so early that I didn’t really post a lot.”
But once the ban settled in, Hewlett rebuilt its profile and “would be sure to spend at least four to five hours on TikTok every day.”
Other students started using TikTok when the coronavirus pandemic began.
“I downloaded TikTok about a year ago, exactly when the lockdown started,” said Emma Rupard, a freshman graduate with a marketing focus. She said she started making videos in April
“Because I was bored during the day.”
Rupard (@emmarupard) is a member of the UK dance team and has 31,600 followers on the app.
“I feel like everywhere,” said Rupard of its contents. “At the moment I feel like it’s mostly about the dance team. Even if it’s right before I go to a game, when I’m dressed for the game, I’ll just post a short video. I will post everything that occurs in my daily life. “
Rupard said the pandemic was one of the main factors behind her use of TikTok.
“The second the pandemic hit, I got bored and said, ‘I’m just going to download it,” said Rupard. “I’ve been obsessed with it ever since.”
Coronavirus Lockdown spurred creativity as people tried to stay busy, and TikTok was the exit for many students. Since the lockdown, the app has also helped connect people around the world.
British junior Tyler Logsdon (@ tylerl88) has gained 72,300 followers on TikTok, where he shares his religious practices and values.
“I do a mix of just a few different things, but the main theme of my account would be Christian content,” Logsdon said. Its content ranges from basketball videos and motivational quotes to Bible verses and Christian rap.
“I’m going to be following a trend that’s trending on the ‘For You’ page and I’m going to give it a Christian twist and be happy to make it my own,” said Logsdon, a kinesiology student.
Logsdon said his main motivation is to spread good messages and relate. Although he goes at his own pace when it comes to video posting, his account can feel like his job.
“Sometimes I feel like I have to get content out, it can feel a bit like a job,” said Logsdon. His report reached out to people around the world who shared his views.
“We actually started a Bible study every Friday night by building a community of Christian content creators on the app I became good friends with,” Logsdon said.
“I’ve traveled to a lot of different states now and done different meetings and events and things,” Logsdon said. “TikTok and the creation of this community have enabled me to meet some of the best people I have ever met in my life.”