Karuna Lakhiani, Staff Columnist February 13, 2020
“Hey, yo, something traumatic happened that changed my life check,” *cue sad music*: I downloaded TikTok. The millions of TikTok users probably just understood what I just said, and most likely, you did too. TikTok has become our new social media platform; from doing the “Renegade” to creating skits, to raising awareness about certain issues, TikTok is a hub for Generation Z (Gen Z) that the generation hasn’t seen before. While some of the older sector of the generation has not yet fallen for TikTok, the majority of us are deep within the rabbit hole. By incorporating aspects of Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Youtube and even Vine, TikTok somehow has risen to be a massively significant social media platform for Gen Z.
TikTok is essentially a user-friendly free app that allows users to scroll through a series of videos, not dissimilar to the style of Instagram. You can like and comment on videos that are on the “For You” page—the platform that shows you new trending videos—or you can go to your “Following” page to see videos from people you follow.
In an endless stream of videos, anyone can become TikTok famous by doing a number of things—from being good at TikTok dances to putting your own twist on a comedic trend. TikTok is a multiverse of videos, but, nonetheless, it’s an app where Gen Z can express themselves and relate to each other.
When Major General Qasem Soleimani was assassinated, several concerns arose, including the possibility of a third world war. Gen Z’ers quickly took to making TikTok videos about what we would do if drafted. Most of those videos weren’t serious; however, they do give me insight into how my generation deals with serious issues.
It’s not that we aren’t capable of being serious or don’t care about world issues, TikTok is just a place where we feel comfortable making these types of jokes. On Instagram or Twitter, we post stories or tweets urging others to raise awareness for a myriad of causes, because Gen Z is supposedly responsible for making sure our future isn’t destroyed by ineffective policies or preventable climate disasters. TikTok is the one place where we can feel like the weight of the world isn’t on our shoulders, because in reality, it is. Don’t get me wrong, serious issues are raised on TikTok, like racial ignorance or toxic relationships, but those issues are portrayed in a way that appeals to Gen Z.
While wanting a safe space from the rest of the world isn’t necessarily the only reason why millions of users have TikTok, it definitely is a relatable one. TikTok is an addicting app, and users, including myself, can spend hours watching videos because they are funny and relatable, or because we like to see the stream of attractive people on the app. I will admit that I have fallen into the rabbit hole of TikToks, mainly due to wanting to be part of the constantly changing trends.
I never felt particularly inclined to download the app until over Thanksgiving Break. Boredom got the best of me, and the joke of downloading TikTok quickly turned into watching hours of videos, making an account to like videos and even, occasionally, learning TikTok dances. I never thought I would feel comfortable posting on a viral app like TikTok, but surprisingly enough, I do. Even if my videos don’t go viral, TikTok is a space where Gen Z doesn’t have to put on a mask. We feel comfortable on the app because we aren’t worried about older generations judging us.
Because most of us can spend hours mindlessly scrolling on TikTok, it’s easy to let the app be a mode of procrastination. However, the same can be said for any other social media app or streaming service. The argument on whether social media is actually good or bad is highly debated, and TikTok is certainly part of that debate. While the concept of the app itself might be new, social media isn’t, so, like every other social media app, there are pros and cons to TikTok.
Regardless, TikTok remains a prominent platform in pop culture. Gen Z has managed to help create a space where we can express ourselves in so many different ways. Whether it’s making amusing skits and dances, or just putting different life experiences on the app, TikTok makes it incredibly easy for Generation Z to relate to each other.
BANDON — The Bite of Bandon will be held from 6-9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at the Bandon Community Center/The Barn.
The Bite of Bandon is the Bandon Community Youth Center’s largest fundraiser, with proceeds going to help sustain and grow the youth programs. This 21-and-over event has both silent and live auctions, a raffle as well as 17-20 restaurants providing “bites” for attendees to try. Participants will be given tokens to vote for “Best Display”, “Best Savory Bite,” and “Best Sweet Bite.”
Participating restaurants and purveyors include: A Little Bite International Cuisine, Alloro Wine Bar & Restaurant, Broken Anchor, Edgewaters Restaurant, Farm & Sea on the Waterfront, Jen’s Joint, Lloyd’s Tavern and Smokehouse, Lord Bennett’s, Raven Saltwater Grille, Ray’s Food Place Deli, The Fam Productions Catering, The Fleet Deli, The Rolling Pin Bake and Brew and The Beverage Barn.
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“Mall developers are trying to use entertainment and restaurants as the new anchor tenants,” Randy White, CEO of consulting firm White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group told Curbed. “Today, it’s about real-life socialization. Potential shoppers can have all the digital entertainment experiences at home.”
One of the biggest examples of malls focusing on entertainment first and retail second is the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, N.J., Curbed reported.
The 3 million-square-foot mega-mall includes an indoor ski slope, an ice skating rink and a Nickelodeon theme park. It will also have outlet-style retailers and higher-end brands when it opens fully later this year, according to Curbed.
In Las Vegas, shopping center Area 15 will have — among other shops and entertainment centers — an immersive, interactive “experience” by Meow Wolf, an arts and entertainment group based in Santa Fe, N.M.
The group, which started as an arts collective, previously transformed a Santa Fe bowling alley into an arts installation called House of Eternal Return with “neon plants, secret rooms, spider-like statues and non-linear storytelling” in 2016, Curbed reported.
On a smaller scale, malls have looked to attractions such as Legoland Discovery Center, Crayola Experience and Andretti Go Karting to bring in traffic — though that hasn’t always translated to more sales, according to Curbed.
Malls are looking more towards entertainment — rather than retail — to bring in more traffic, Curbed reported Tuesday.
The website reported that malls are also considering esports and virtual reality entertainment companies to fill the gaps.
According to Curbed, Allied Esports Entertainment has made deals with both Brookfield and Simon to open facilities for gamers with consoles, broadcast and streaming capabilities, according to a report from BisNow.
However, there is a danger in malls relying too heavily on entertainment centers for traffic — much like how food halls have become almost too prevalent, Curbed reported.
“Six years ago, we had 30 or 40 food halls across the country,” Naveen Jaggi, president of retail advisory services for JLL told Curbed. “We predict that by 2024, there will be roughly 450. There’s certainly a risk at that point of being overbuilt, leading to cannibalization.”
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to ban the use of exotic animals for entertainment purposes, effectively putting an end to traditional circuses and similar ventures within the city.
“The issue of wild, exotic animals being abused came to my doorstep four years ago, when a baby giraffe and elephant were being marched up the Hollywood Hills for a house party,” said Councilman David Ryu. “It is time that the city of Los Angeles makes absolutely clear that this abuse of animals is shameful, and we will not stand for it.”