You’ve heard it all; you’ve seen the compilations on YouTube; you’re aware of the memes it’s producing. Tik Tok is the new platform on the block, spawning tonnes of lip-synching content for the masses to consume. Changing from their original format under the title Musical.ly, the app has become a worldwide hit. But is it killing creativity?
The short answer should be yes. Musical.ly was criticised by users and online content creators for simply ripping off the work of others without giving any credit. The longer answer is what makes this question so frustrating to answer. There are those who make some genuinely funny parodies of others who take their content way too seriously.
At its base, it should be given as much hatred as Musical.ly for generating unoriginal content that does not acknowledge the original creators. To best describe these videos, I would say they do nothing and mean nothing, requiring a childlike mental capacity to create. The so-called ‘challenges’ that occupy the search page are cringe-fests that inspire such little artistic flair, it truly makes you miss the days of Vine.
However, to great surprise, there are glimmers of hope within the app. Thanks to the ‘duet’ mechanic, some users exercise some form of creative scope. From “I’m already Tracer”; to “Hit or miss? I guess they never miss huh?”; combined with a barrage of Fortnite dances; we have things that class as borderline original content. Meme artists Granday and Dolan Dark have been sure to make their own interpretations of these duets that are indisputably hilarious. What this forces us to realise is that the funny content depends upon the cringe coming first. This is just how meme culture works.
All things considered, Tik Tok is awful. It is a platform that encourages no imagination by shamelessly ripping off people’s own unique creations, tarnishing the memory for what they used to stand for. Going forward, let’s leave Tik Tok in 2018. If it continues to spew out what barely passes for content, then we may indeed be facing the end creativity as we know it.
by Jacob Fleming