The wildly popular app TikTok started off as a platform to create musical, lip-syncing and dance videos. The pandemic helped the app grow as more and more people were searching for something to do while stuck at home. And right now, it’s not just well-loved, it’s the most downloaded app in the world.
For the most part, it’s used by people under the age of 30. TikTok is a highly addictive video sharing platform with a lot of lively music and dance videos that encourages participation and replication. Think macarena times 100 million. For many people it sounds like a frivolous waste of time.
Scrolling through, you can find a science lesson on climate change from Bill Nye the Science Guy. You can find lessons on Indigenous languages. How to dress for your body type. Or up-to-date news and election coverage.
While the app definitely has its downsides – its upsides are worth paying attention to.
On this week’s episode of Don’t Call Me Resilient, we explore how TikTok is helping its users build strong communities, and how the app’s algorithm is treating marginalized folks and their stories.
Producer Haley Lewis speaks with Jessie Loyer, Indigenous librarian from Mount Royal University and TikTok micro-influencer about TikTok’s potential as a tool for education.
And Vinita chats with Crystal Abidin, associate professor in the School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. She is the founder of TikTok Cultures, a global TikTok research hub. Also joining the conversation is Jas Morgan, assistant professor of English at Toronto Metropolitan University and facilitator of the Digital Wahkohtowin & Cultural Governance Lab.
An unedited transcript of the episode is available here.
ICYMI — Articles published in The Conversation
Additional Reading + Listening
TikTok Cultures, a global TikTok research hub founded by Crystal Abidin
Digital Wahkohtowin and Cultural Governance Lab, facilitated by Jas Morgan
Indigenous TikTok Is Transforming Cultural Knowledge, written by Jessie Loyer for Canadian Art
How TikTok changed the world in 2020, BBC Culture
Utilizing TikTok and Systems Thinking to Facilitate Scientific Public Engagement, by Clare Hayes, Katherine Stott, Katie J. Lamb and Glenn A. Hurst
TikTok as a Window Into Youth Experiences of Online Learning, by rIoana Literat
Using TikTok in Education: A Form of Micro-learning or Nano-learning?, by Zuheir N Khlaif and Soheil Salha
Incorporating Social Media into the Classroom, by Sara Solomon
How adolescents use TikTok as a digital backchanneling medium to speak back against institutional discourses, by William Terrell Wright
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Don’t Call Me Resilient is a production of The Conversation Canada. This podcast was produced with a grant for Journalism Innovation from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The series is produced and hosted by Vinita Srivastava. The coproducer on this episode is Haley Lewis. Our associate producer is: Vaishnavi Dandekar. Our sound producer is Lygia Navarro. Reza Dahya is our sound designer. Jennifer Moroz is our consulting producer. Lisa Varano is our audience development editor and Scott White is the CEO of the Conversation Canada.
This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.