RMHS takes on TikTok


The app “TikTok” has taken social media by storm over the last several months. Commonly used by teens to young adults, the app TikTok has gained its popularity in the last year due to its ability to share short lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos. Launched in 2017, the app merged with the popular app formerly known as Music.ly in late 2018.

In November of 2019, I decided to study the app and write an article about some of the things I learned in around a month. While I was able to navigate through the basics of TikTok, such as making an account, watching other creator’s videos, and making my own, I wanted to go beyond just these things.

I turned to junior Patrycja Winnicki, who had around 12,000 followers at the time and would be considered “TikTok famous.” She explained to me how she uses the app as a creative platform, and how she believes she gained her large following. With her most popular videos falling under the dance category, she loves using TikTok to express a different side of herself.

Now at 18,600 followers, Winnicki has noticed TikTok changing in just five months.

“I’ve mostly stuck to simply just participating in trends like I used to,” Winnicki said when asked how she’s been adapting to the changes. “My dancing videos are in a way popular.”

Dancing is currently trending on TikTok. A trend on this app is created when a user takes a certain song or sound and makes a video with their original idea. From there, users will take the idea and make it their own while using the same song and eventually, many creators repeat this process until one idea is seen all over TikTok. With dance videos, for example, a user will take a song and choreograph their own dance to it. Users will then repeat this process using the same song and choreography. Trends can be anything from acting to comedy, and even dance videos.

“My favorite trends are any of the dancing ones,” said junior Corrine Toczyl.

Toczyl’s most viral videos were two cheerleading videos, one being a comedy video and the other being a dancing video. Her dancing video received a lot of attention because of the stereotypical cheerleading hairstyles and spray tans seen in the video.

“People were hating on our hair and spray tans,” said Toczyl. “But, that doesn’t bother me at all, I think it’s funny.”

Toczyl joined TikTok in March of 2019 after previously using Music.ly before it’s replacement. Currently having around 17,600 followers, she admits to being surprised to have that many people following her.

“I didn’t ever think I’d hit these many followers because my intent wasn’t to be famous,” Toczyl said. “It was to cure my boredom and just make videos as a joke.”

Like Winnicki and Toczyl, another TikTok famous junior Jon Naunheimer began making videos as a joke. Joining in the fall of last year, Naunheimer has reached around 10,500 followers in this short amount of time. 

Something interesting about Naunheimer is that he’s devoted his account to simply staring at the screen with a song playing in the background. Every single one of his videos on his account follows this format, and yet his videos still tend to go viral.

“I just started doing it, and it got famous,” Naunheimer said when asked his reasoning for making videos that are so simple. “I thought, I might as well keep doing it.”

As a TikTok famous creator, it is important to appeal to your followers and others using the app so you can continue to grow your following.

“I think I appeal to my followers because I’m a teen, and a lot of the very famous creators are my age,” said Winnicki.

As Winnicki said, a majority of the famous influencers on this app are teenagers. Big names, like Charlie D’Amelio (15 years old), Addison Rae (19 years old), Chase Hudson (17 years old), and more have joined together to brand themselves through the “Hype House.” 

The Hype House was created and established by Chase Hudson and Thomas Petrou in late 2019 in an effort to popularize its members and gain recognition. This content house became a TikTok sensation in early 2020, with its members gaining tons of followers and money with every view on a video.

“I think the Hype House is a great idea because a lot of them have actual talent,” Toczyl said when asked her opinion on the house. “They get to post 15-second videos with all their friends and make so much money, I’d be down to live like that.”

To conclude this story on TikTok, I asked Winnicki and Toczyl to give some of their own advice on how to become TikTok famous for all you Mustangs out there who are waiting for your chance for some TikTok fame.

“Becoming TikTok famous is a matter of staying on top of what’s trending and what’s currently the most popular,” said Winnicki. “So I would say to be unique and come up with your own ideas while still keeping up with the latest trends.”

“I think the key to becoming TikTok famous is creating original content that watchers would either relate to, laugh at, or want to learn,” Toczyl said. “So think of an original sound or video with certain words that can make someone laugh or relate to.”