PORTLAND, Ore. — Are you on TikTok? Before the pandemic, you may have scoffed at that question, thinking TikTok is just for the "kids," the Gen Z-ers.
But now, two whole months into many stay home orders due to COVID-19, millions more have joined the social video platform. There are currently over 800 million users on TikTok. It seems like everyone is on there - and not just celebrities, but brands, our moms, our grandmas, our bosses...
And here's why - it's fun. It's entertaining. It's relatable (I mean, someone literally wrote a song about being "bored in the house"). It can fill up as many minutes of your quarantine time as you want to spend scrolling. And the app can serve as a way to connect with people all over the world, during a time that can feel very isolating.
It can also be a way to express creativity in your life, in many different forms.
Families are using it to bond and kill time in quarantine.
Roommates are stirring up drama and turning pandemic life into a reality show.
And others are finding inspiration for home cooking, or fancy DIY coffee drinks.
Oh, and of course there are the TikTok dances. If you have a couple hours to kill at home, try learning a complicated 15-second dance.
Even if you don't want to post videos of yourself dancing or lip syncing to random clips of pop culture, there will likely be something of entertainment value in your #fyp - sorry, your "for you page," as it's called. The page that somehow magically finds people similar to yourself, thanks to a powerful and mysterious algorithm.
But maybe you've already spent hours watching videos other people have created on TikTok. And you're overwhelmed, not knowing where to start, or if you even should.
That's where I was, until today. I've stared at the app on my phone for months, looking for something to inspire me to just start - finally. Waiting to find that perfect dance, the perfect audio clip, the perfect anything for my first TikTok.
But until I started writing an article about TikTok, I never found that perfect moment. I've gone through phases of creativity in quarantine, and none of them led me to making a TikTok video.
But if I'm going to write about TikTok, I figured I should actually post something on TikTok.
And here's something crazy - going through the process of figuring out what to do for my first video, and how to even do it, taught me something.
I learned that this app, however silly it is (and it is very silly), can actually inspire creativity. And that there is some creativity in all of us, even if you're not feeling it in that moment.
Before I made that video, I wasn't in a very creative mood. I wasn't feeling very inspired. But after scrolling through and watching way too many videos on TikTok, instead of feeling overwhelmed, I started to feel an urge to create something.
A few minutes later, I had found the audio for my video, played around with filters and effects, and added text to my video. And voila! 12 whole seconds of content that I was oddly proud of (yes, it does feel weird to say that outloud, if you were wondering).
When you're at home in quarantine, it can be difficult to feel creative. The pile of dishes in the sink, or laundry in the hamper, might be staring at you while you work from home on your dining room table. Every day blurs together and you don't know whether or not you've even been productive.
And that's ok, you're definitely not alone in those feeling. But if you do want to jump start your quarantine creativity, maybe try making a TikTok? You might feel ridiculous the entire time, but maybe that ridiculousness is exactly what you need to switch things up and have some fun at home. And maybe you'll find some comfort, knowing that everyone else on TikTok is doing the exact same thing.
Cassidy Quinn is the host of Tonight With Cassidy on KGW. But right now, like many of you, she is working from home, trying to focus on the happier things going on in the world. Tonight With Cassidy is currently on hiatus, but you can watch previous segments from the show here, and follow Cassidy on Twitter @CassidyQuinn.