Now Trending: TikTok The New Way to be Social.

Cameron Costanzo, Staff Writer

What people go to for entertainment has changed quickly in recent years. Up until 15 years ago, people relied for a long time on TV, movies and music, all these being relatively separate and enjoyed on different devices. Now we have seemingly endless content between YouTube, Netflix and other streaming services, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, Spotify, and most recently perhaps, TikTok.

TikTok is a young app. Unlike some of the other giants, like Facebook or YouTube, which were launched in 2004 and 2005 respectively, TikTok was launched in 2017. Another thing that sets it apart is that TikTok is owned and was started by a Chinese company, which has been unsettling for some given China’s censorship practices and its company’s close legal ties to the government. (TikTok has to share any data it gathers with the Chinese government because of the Chinese Internet Security Law).

Given all this and the app’s popularity, here is what some Brookdale students and faculty had to say about it:

“It’s mildly entertaining, until you realize everyone’s making the exact same video over and over again. It’s all these trends and people just recreate them. It gets tired,” said Idil Sobel, a science major at Brookdale from Red Bank. She got it because her little sister had joined TikTok, and she wanted to make sure it was safe.

“There are three accounts that I follow, one about ocean animals, one about exposing some of the awful things Sea World does, and one is sciences memes. Any app can be great for that stuff, but most of the rest on TikTok is mind-numbing,” Sobel said.

“I’m entertained enough by Netflix and YouTube. TikTok would just be taking up space on my phone,” said John Frain, a 28-year old animation major who doesn’t have TikTok. He heard of it about a year ago when he started seeing ads. “If you’re entertained by it and you are fine with getting ads tailored to you, then it’s fine I guess.”

Luke Wang from Marlboro doesn’t have the app, but he does have some astute observations about it. “I think it’s symbolic of the newer generation. Even when there are older people getting in on it, they are oftentimes just copying trends set by the younger people,” Wang said. “I think it does more good than bad though, unless someone starts something that’s making fun of someone.”

“I want a full story. I don’t want something that’s just a few seconds long and that, before I can even reflect on it, I’m off to something else,” said Shaun-Marie Cooke, who works at the Bankier Library and is the mother of a 16-year old boy who uses TikTok. Cooke said she can’t relate to his enthusiasm for the app and is concerned about her son’s safety on TikTok in terms of information people might be collecting about him and him posting anything that might come up to haunt him in the future.

Angie Ninanya Farfan and Heather Rojas had opposing views. Both are 20 years old and are nursing majors. Neither have TikTok, but both are familiar because of younger family members who have it. “Vine was different,” Farfan said. “I was young for Vine, and I thought that was cool. Now I don’t like it.”

Farfan found TikToks to be annoying and associated them heavily with the younger generation. Rojas was a bit more optimistic about the app. She mentioned that she was shy, so it was nice to see people be confident on the app and for that to be celebrated. When discussing their little cousins using that app too much, Rojas said, “There are a lot worse things they could be doing.”

Time will tell whether TikTok is here to stay or just another fad, but it may not be clear whether it was good or bad until far in the future. For now, Brookdale students are tuned in to what it is and have their thoughts.