How TikTok helped me cope with social isolation

The criticism TikTok has received overlooks the positive content on the app

Image courtesy of TikTok.

By: Dhruv Taware, Peak Associate

The idea of social isolation was not something I was scared of. If anything, I had always thought being an introvert during these times was going to make isolating an easy job for me. I didn’t have to bother going out and being around people, all I had to do was be in the comfort of my own home which was a piece of cake. 

Or so I thought. 

After the first week or two, things were not as amazing as I imagined they would be. I found out how important it was for me to be around people, even if it was just commuting, attending classes, studying in the library, or eating outside. Being in isolation was not the same as being on your own and introverts do draw energy from others — we just need more time to recharge. Living on campus didn’t make dealing with the social distancing restrictions any easier, either. As people moved out and the gym closed down, the campus was left with a weird sense of emptiness, and I was pretty much left to my room.

During these times, I unexpectedly found solace in TikTok. I never got to enjoy Vine during its peak, so TikTok piqued my interest. Pretty soon, I found myself spending hours on the app browsing through all kinds of videos. I was surprised to find a lot of wholesome, informative, and niche content. From quarantine pranks on your family — which weirdly made me feel less homesick — to just plain goofy and cringe videos which had me laughing my ass off, the entertainment was ideal. As I ventured deeper into the platform, there was much more to it than just funny videos. The food videos introduced me to some amazing local joints and regional cuisines which I cannot wait to try. I learned about a semi-professional football club in England, Walton and Hersham FC, owned and operated by 19 and 20 year olds. I discovered new forms of entertainment to keep me engaged, such as a really nice podcast from Perth called The Jamo and Dylan Show.

Apart from just enjoying the content on the TikTok, I have also learned many new things. I’ve improved my dancing skills and learned how to do the foot shuffle, discovered new music from artists such as Two Door Cinema Club, Roddy Rich, and Molchat Doma, and received book suggestions such as Catch 22. Additionally, a chiropractor on TikTok taught me how to improve my posture and get rid of carpal tunnel.

I was always under the assumption that being alone was supposed to be effortless for introverts. But I was wrong. At the end of the day, it is people who will get you through these tough times, even if it’s the people on a social media platform. TikTok has served as a pretty effective coping mechanism for me during these times. There are some major problems with the platform mainly with regards to censorship and negative content, which is unfortunate as they overshadow the positive content the app has to offer, and could be solved if moderated better.

All in all, I have been exercising more, feeling more occupied and feeling more positive on this app compared to any other. If you are able to weed out the negative content, this is an app I would recommend to keep yourself occupied during social distancing restrictions.

Some of my favourite TikToks: 

TikTok is available for download on Apple and Android app stores.