The “TikTokers” of Bob Jones


Yunona Shkolnikov, Contributor

Almost everyone is familiar with the popular social media app called TikTok. Once branded as, this online platform could be considered the modern version of Vine where anyone can post and share videos to spread their creativity based on views and likes. With 1.5 billion downloads and 500 million active users, almost anyone could become instantly popular by posting a single video to gain a single like, but it can quickly turn into a million likes. Based on a list of famous TikTokers, it seems that teenagers gain the most popularity. Maybe the most popular is 17-year-old Loren Grey with 32.7 million followers. In the state of Alabama, Haley Sharpe from Randolph High School has over 890,000 followers and also happens to be 17 years old. Which brings the question: who is considered a “TikToker” at Bob Jones? 

According to a recent survey taken by Bob Jones students, 45% said they do have TikTok installed and 55% say they do not. 85% say they only use it for watching content purposes and 15% say they upload content. One student shared, “The only TikToks that I actually like are the ones that are funny… if it’s just people dancing to popular music, I tune out real quick.” Another says that they “think it is a fun way to share content to entertain others.” However, 55% who do not have TikTok can agree that the app is very “cringe-y” and “a waste of time.”

When asked to name a student who they consider as a popular creator, most replied with Rylie Bagby. Bagby is a senior and cheerleader at Bob Jones with about 64,000 followers and a total of 1.5 million likes. Her content consists of her life as a Bob Jones cheerleader to an ACE cheerleader. She also uploads videos of herself dancing with her closest friends. 

Another senior, D Guinn or known as “@blxxdred,” has over 51,000 followers and receives about 622,500 likes for his videos. Guinn shared why he installed TikTok in the first place. ”At first I just created it because I heard so much about it. I didn’t put effort into making videos, but then I suddenly got popular on it and now I post a lot more. I was like ‘Wow, I didn’t really do anything; I was lip syncing.’ But if people like it, I might as well and give it to them.” He also  explained why people post the content that they choose to post. “I create content to try to be funny. I mostly got popular because people thought I was attractive. Not to be conceited, but most of my followers like me to post my face. So I do it.” Guinn also added that “it’s just an app at the end of the day and doesn’t truly mean anything.”

Throughout the history of internet entertainment, there have been so-called “challenges,” which can consist of pranking your friends to making slime, and, of course, dancing. Callie Gregory, a freshman with over 3,000 followers, creates funny videos of her and her friends recreating the iconic dances from “Say So” to “Renegade.” She shares, “I created an account because mostly my friends had accounts and I just do it for fun. It would be cool to say I have a lot of followers and stuff but that’s not my goal… my goal is just to keep making my self and friends happy.”

Aside from the popular dancing trends on TikTok, Ryan Langston, a junior with the username “ryanlangster,” shared that his “first thought of TikTok was that is was just a bunch of kids dancing to songs that I’ve never heard. But once I started using it, I realized that there are a lot of funny people making videos that I enjoy.” Thus, it inspired him to create comedic videos on his account. “I want to make my friends laugh and that’s still why I make my videos.” It gained him 9500 followers with 414,300 likes. “I don’t want to make 9 thousand followers sound like a lot compared to other people on the app, but when I first started to gain a few followers, I thought it was so cool to see that little number go up. But after a while, that stuff doesn’t really matter because, without a huge following, the same amount of people see your videos when you have 10 thousand followers as when you have 200 followers,” Langston stated.

No matter what opinions people may have on the platform, it may simply be just for fun and it may not be for everyone, but it definitely changes the way people can share their creativity with the world.