For young people on the outskirts of São Paulo, TikTok became the ally of fighting boredom in quarantine. Through publishing and interacting with funny short videos, the app promotes a distance from tense news that appears in the feed of other social networks.
By Tamires Rodrigues
No more long videos in lives and interviews, several news items rolling in the feed and those meme pages that only portray content about the pandemic of coronavirus. While quarantine and social isolation are adopted by the young population in the peripheries, reactions of aversion to the bombardment of information about the pandemic are gaining strength. One of the consequences is that youth, especially from the LGBTQ + community, migrate to the TikTok, a Chinese-born social network for publishing short videos as a digital medium for interaction and entertainment.
"Now with the quarantine I spend hours and hours in TikTok. I stop working and, instead of opening the Facebook or Instagram, I open Tik Tok ", says Guilherme Oliveira, 23, a resident of Jardim Rosana, on the outskirts of the south of São Paulo. He believes that social network has contributed to alleviating isolation stresses caused by the great flow of information about the pandemic. "At TikTok there is all this stress relief that we are experiencing with so much information".
TikTok is known for its features of creating short videos, allowing its users to share their own dance choreographies or performing famous songs. According to a report released by Sensor Tower, the application was downloaded 740 million times in 2019, making it the second most downloaded in the world.
"Anyone can come in and do the dances, the choreography, do the voice acting, you don't have to have a big structure, be famous or like it. You just need to record and everyone is accepted", says
Oliveira says he finds little diversity of users in the appbecause it sees few people from the periphery on the platform. According to him, this social factor contributes to the contents following an aesthetic pattern. "TikTok looks like a social network for the rich, you know? When you enter there you see a lot, like huge houses, houses with swimming pools, Brazilians who live in the United States and are recording videos. There are a lot of scenes that we see from famous youtubers ", says.
The young man transformed this perception into a "dissatisfaction" and as a good "TikTokers of Quebrada" decided to spread this information to people in his network of contacts and bring his friends and even relatives to create content and have fun with him.
"During the quarantine, at least 90% of my friends downloaded it, they post it once a week, some post it every day, even my aunt downloaded TikTok", she says.
Drag queen entertains the family
English teacher Matheus Melo, 19, who lives in Diadema, in the ABC Paulista region, spends most of his time at home, and through the app he found a way to express his art, introducing his drag queen character Alice. "I invent things for time to pass, including Tik Tok was a cool thing, and at the same time, to gain some kind of visibility", says Melo, who usually makes quick videos aimed at makeup tutorials.
He is in a phase of discovering his drag identity, but he already knows that he likes to make content for people to laugh and have fun, and through the platform he feels that he can perform all his ideas in a particular way. "I really like the editing effects, because you can cut, take, you can add a funny effect, a colorful effect", he says.
But his family members who are at home and are currently the people he socializes most are not connected on the platform. Melo doesn't miss the opportunity to show himself to his family. During meetings in the rooms of the house and during routine conversations, he usually shows the videos he made to his mother and grandmother. For him, this process is a way to distract them in these chaotic times of the pandemic.
"Regarding the videos, there is no video of me just wearing a wig giving a close-up, but my grandma says it's cool, she laughs. She barks her nose. My mom makes the comments saying it's cool and laughs These days I published a video and she said: wow what a mocking woman! "