Social media versus reality has long been a point of discussion. With all the users and influencers showcasing “living their best life”, we often find ourselves on the pursuit of reaching this aesthetic but forgetting to “live” it in the process.
What started off as a platform to post our delicious meals and pretty views, became a heavily curated and specifically drafted page to target a desired consumer segment. However, with the rise in popularity of TikTok, we catch a glimpse of content creators expressing themselves freely and disregarding the judgement that accompanies posts with an “imperfect” aesthetic and freeing themselves from the limits of tradition that Instagram often holds.
While Instagram is an older and more established brand, the relatively new social media app TikTok took the market by a storm and re-defined the what it means to be a content creator. It was downloaded 315 million times in the 1st quarter of 2020 and gained popularity at a time when most of the world was in lockdown and was going through a period of uncertainty where the “façade” we have built of ourselves no longer seemed to matter. As such, TikTok was the perfect outlet to exhibit one’s authenticity when the world was going through a mass identity crisis. Creators found an audience base that connected to their work and made them feel part of a virtual community as well as express their different takes on trends while including genuine humor.
As much as we love seeing less polished and realer content, we often yearn for content that aligns with how we would like to see ourselves. So, we should ask ourselves, is TikTok the new diverse, creative, and real social media we have long desired for or does social media authenticity exist at all?