Have We Reached the End of TikTok’s Infinite Scroll

Golden logo at TikTok

How much time do I spend on TikTok? I can tell you which chiropractor is demonstrating their technique without even seeing their face. I know which fashion content creator is partial to Rei Kawakubo, and who has a preposterous Carol Christian Poell collection. I know which New York City microinfluencers go on vacation together, and which creators are building a modest following joking about the music of a small scene of rappers who make Playboi Carti sound like Kendrick Lamar.

 

Through endless hours of scrolling — an hour a day, at least, for several years now — I’ve been accumulating hyperniche expertise predicated on my interests, conscious and subconscious. The result has been a gathering of online characters that, at this point, shape my cultural consumption far more than any celebrity or news source.

 

This is what TikTok intends to do, tapping into pure id, drilling down on what you know and what you might want to know in hopes that you never leave the app’s forever scroll. Of all the social media platforms, it holds the greatest promise of kismet. It’s the one that has seemed most in tune with individual taste and most capable of shaping emerging monoculture.

 

The Rise of TikTok

The TikTok creator known as “Tunnel Girl” has been documenting her attempt to build an emergency shelter under her home. She is not the only person with an off-the-books tunnel project.

 

A nine-month cruise is TikTok’s favorite new “reality show,” as social media users, gripped by the potential for drama on Royal Caribbean’s world cruise, have turned the ship’s unwitting passengers into “cast members” overnight.

 

Hair-loss influencers on TikTok say they are destigmatizing a common insecurity. Critics say they are cashing in on a vulnerable audience.

 

Very few politicians, including the top candidates for president, are on TikTok. Even so, some pundits are calling 2024 the “TikTok election” because of the ballooning power and influence of the video app on political discourse.

 

The popular video app Omegle was beloved for producing spontaneous exchanges that became TikTok’s bread and butter. Many content creators are now mourning its demise.

TV, movies, pop music and more.

The Mother Who Gave Springsteen His Rock ’n’ Roll Spirit

Bruce Springsteen and his mother, Adele, in 2010. She encouraged him to become a musician.

What to Watch This Weekend: Come Home to ‘Expats’

Brian Tee and Nicole Kidman star as grieving parents in “Expats.”

TikTok Just Lost a Huge Catalog of Music. What Happened?

Billie Eilish’s music is vanishing from TikTok after her label’s contract with the social media platform ended this week.

More In Music

Toni Stern, Who Wrote Songs With Carole King, Dies at 79

Lou Adler, the producer of the Carole King album “Tapestry,” with Toni Stern (center) and Ms. King at Mr. Adler’s office in Los Angeles in 1971. Ms. Stern wrote the lyrics to two of the best-known songs on the album.

Melinda Wilson, 77, Who Helped Brian Wilson Through Mental Illness, Dies

Brian and Melinda Wilson outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York for a taping of “Late Show With David Letterman.” in 1995, the year they married.

Was 1968 the Grammys’ Best Year Ever?

In 1968 the Beatles won their first and only album of the year Grammy for “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Editors’ Picks

A Couple Went Viral. Then the Internet Started Digging.

The Pucketts, a married couple who live in Georgia, rose to prominence on TikTok, where Ms. Puckett regularly posts videos of the couple modeling their outfits.

A Tote Bag for $120?

Emily Mariko attended the Mirror Palais Show during New York Fashion Week in September.

What Your Laundry Says About Your Life

 

Trending in The Times

Is It Real Love? When It Comes to Celebrities, We Can Tell by Looking.

The look of love? For many moonlighting as relationship experts, Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s on-field embrace after the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory on Sunday provided plenty of fodder for analysis.

Susie Essman, the Scene-Stealer Who Makes Larry David Lose It

“She’s the funniest hostile character I’ve ever seen on television,” Richard Lewis, a castmate, said of Essman.

Atmospheric River Drenches California, With More Storms on the Way

Firefighters work on clearing a flooded area in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *