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TikTok takes on COVID-19

The fastest growing social media platform in the world has also become an epicenter of public education about the coronavirus, attracting more than 30-billion views, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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South African TikTok creators have embraced the campaign wholeheartedly. For example, comedian Nathan – or @nathanmolefe on TikTok – had more than 5,000 Likes for his video on social distancing. He also took part in #SafeHands and #21DaysLockdownSA challenges.

“During the national lockdown, people will have a lot of free time and we are seeing how the TikTok community has united around the things that show we’re more alike than ever before,” he says. “We all want to have a good laugh, but we also know it is important to stay knowledgeable.”

@nathanmolefe

Tag your friends and try this! Dc: @safiruy ##nathanvidz ##foryoupage ##trending ##trend ##viral ##friends ##coronavirus ##quarantine ##lockdown ##covid19 ##foru

♬ original sound – nathanmolefe

@nathanmolefe

I’m officially disowning him as a sibling🚮he’s a traitor💔 ##nathanvidz ##siblingsbelike ##sibling ##comedy ##relatable ##funny ##foryoupage ##foryou ##fyp

♬ original sound – nathanmolefe

The default TikTok video, typically a tedious attempt to dance for 60 seconds while sharing the latest inane thoughts, has also been given new life. Dancers in particular are able to turn that approach into educational videos.

According to dancer and choreographer @Kelly_KiKx, TikTok contributes to educating users about healthy habits through hygiene tips.

“What’s great about being part of the TikTok community is that there’s an outlet for many to share their views and experiences around the coronavirus pandemic,” she says. “But it’s also a place to make some good lighthearted content to bring the masses out of the stress they may be feeling around the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Kelly’s videos on remaining active and healthy during the lockdown can be viewed here:

@kelly_kikx

💃🏽:@mizzko 😎: @imarkkeyz.x2 @iamcardib 🧼:@mekailamathys @luke_dekock ##cardibchallenge ##coronavirus ##coronaviruschallenge

♬ Cardi Corona Virus Challenge – mizzko

@kelly_kikx

Here’s some things you can do when you ##boredathome ! ##stayathome ##happyathome ##quarantine ##coronavirus ##21daylockdown ##snakechallenge

♬ Bored In My House by TIAGZ – iamtiagz

@kelly_kikx

Going to miss my nature ventures during ##21daylockdown | ##dance ##happyathome @davonte.casa @ajani.huff @its_nupur

♬ Roses – Imanbek Remix – SAINt JHN

Greg Justice, head of content programming at TikTok US, echoes Nathan’s sentiments: “As the world comes together to fight the spread of COVID-19, we’re confronted with the cruel irony that one of the most important ways to combat the virus – social distancing – requires us to physically isolate ourselves from our fellow human beings. Being asked to stay home can be unnerving, especially when there’s so much uncertainty. We feel it, too. But one thing that has really moved our team is seeing the TikTok community unite around the things that show we’re more alike now than ever before.”

Justice emphasises the point that we’re all adjusting to new normals: “Coping with boredom, processing our uneasiness, and adjusting our daily habits. We couldn’t be more inspired by the strong show of compassion and solidarity across the TikTok community.”

  • Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee

Read more on the next page about #HappyAtHome with TikTok

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