Trojan TikTok Stars

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Trojan TikTok Stars

Daisy Ann Hipolito, Features Editor

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     Tik Tok, a short video sharing social media platform, has taken the world by storm — and MHS is no exception. Ever since the app was launched in 2014 under the original name of Musical.ly, it quickly became a common platform for iOS and Android users to make short lip sync, comedy and talent videos. In 2016, the application name changed to what we know now: Tik Tok. With 9 million downloads in the United States and 500 million worldwide, the increase of the app’s users and their own social media following is no surprise, some of which are MHS Trojans themselves. Sophomore Myra Delle Espulgar, Junior Sulia Su’a and Senior Ciarra Paresa all run their own Tik Tok accounts, with follower counts as high as 62,000 and views as high as 6 million.

     “It’s just a bunch of random comedy things. When you’re alone and you’re not hanging out with anybody, you just go on the app and it’s just a form of entertainment. We’ve had Instagram for a long time, now Tik Tok is here to give us more,” said Espulgar.

     Though heavily varying in video genre and type, Tik Tok is most popularly known for its comedy videos. The three students focus mostly on entertaining their audiences through humor and comedy. “I wanted to start Tik Tok because I’d see a lot of funny videos on other social media (platforms) such as Instagram and Twitter and I thought it would be fun to make some funny videos of my own to share with my friends,” said Su’a. Paresa added, “I started making Tik Toks this summer in July as a joke just for me and my family to laugh at.”

     Most commonly, Tik Tok accounts get their recognition off of one viral video. Delle Espulgar got about 1.4 million likes on a video of her staring at her baby brother, Su’a got about 290,000 likes on a video of herself displaying typical stereotypes of locals in Hawai’i in a humorous fashion and Paresa got about 390,000 likes on a video of her playing embarrassing music as she picked up her brother from school. “After making the video and uploading it, I didn’t think much of it and hours later, I came to find that it had thousands of views. It was very unexpected for me and I was glued to my phone the whole night, constantly refreshing my account. Honestly, I was tripping out on how much recognition I got.” said Su’a. 

     Though Tik Tok begins as a feed of short videos, it does more than just provide its users with a platform to post on. Some users use Tik Tok as a place to expand their horizons and learn more about themselves in the process. “I think Tik Tok gave me more confidence. Before, I used to hide how my jokes were and hide how loud and chaotic I was, but on Tik Tok, I feel like I can express myself in the weirdest ways and people wouldn’t judge,” said Delle Espulgar. Su’a added, “I’ve noticed that after receiving a large following on this platform, I have gained more recognition from my community.”

     For many, Tik Tok is an easily accessible way to express themselves. Not only can influencers entertain, they can also encourage and inspire others to give the social media app a shot. “I encourage others to participate in Tik Tok because it’s something that is genuinely fun to do, especially when you’re bored or with your friends,” said Su’a. “I think Tik Tok can uplift its audience by providing fun and humorous content. It also has the potential to bring its users together.”

     Tik Tok makes gaining popularity and getting “internet famous” fairly 

accessible for everyone. For these Trojans, they choose to use their platforms in positive lights. “What I hope to accomplish from making Tik Toks is to provide fun entertainment for my peers and hopefully put a smile on their face and make them laugh,” said Su’a. Paresa added, “I decided that I wanted to make content that people could either relate to or that would make them smile.”

  Everyone’s experience on the application is different. Some influencers must face obstacles that affect both their lives in and outside of Tik Tok, while others find no drastic impacts within their lifestyle. However, this does not stop them from spreading positivity and doing what they enjoy. “People are really judgmental. You know how the Asian stereotype — like you eat dog and stuff like that? There’s a bunch of that and a bunch of racist things. People like hating a lot,” said Delle Espulgar.

   The three girls continue to make content on Tik Tok for people to enjoy not only locally, but globally. What started out as something just for fun is now something that allows them to communicate their own messages to their own platform following. “I found that there were a lot of people who go through things like me that need to know that they’re not alone. From that I tagged my Instagram and asked of anyone who needed someone to talk to, to DM (Direct Message) me and surprisingly a lot of people reached out,” said Paresa. “My hope is to make at least some people smile and help more people be happy because that’s what Tik Tok originally did for me.”

     You can find Delle Espulgar on Tik Tok as @mairuhh_, Su’a as @liakooks and Paresa as @makana_lani_.