arts

COLUMN: TikTok is ruining music and my life



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A phone displaying the TikTok app sits on a table Feb. 19 in Franklin Hall. TikTok is a video sharing social media platform. Izzy Myszak

TikTok is the digital equivalent of being shoved into a circus cannon and fired into the sun.

It’s a cesspool, a tornado rolling through the countryside and swallowing up everything. There’s something dystopian about a cop posting a video of himself lip-synching “10,000 Hours” by Dan+Shay and Justin Bieber right before his shift. It’s even more dystopian to see people in their mid-20s absolutely belting it, leaving it all out on the floor and captioning the video “Wish I had someone to sing this to.” 

TikTok has grown too powerful. TikTokers have become untethered from this mortal plane. They’re omnipresent. Omnipotent. They have infiltrated our culture, and now they ravage our minds, ripping songs like “The Box” or “Out West” to shreds. I cannot listen to “The Box” without thinking of teenagers flailing their skinny limbs in the middle of their extravagant living rooms. TikTok at its core is just videos of rich children dancing to popular songs, ruining them in the process. 

People may say things like “You’re just jealous” to defend their favorite TikTok stars. And yes, I am jealous. I’m jealous because I’m not a rich child. It’s everyone’s dream to be a rich child. 

But I’m also a fan of music, and I’m tired of songs being distilled down to 10-second dance clips. I’m tired of putting on “Juicy” by Doja Cat and having someone be like “Oh, is this the song from TikTok?”

TikTok did not create these songs. Artists crafted these songs, and then a legion of culture vultures rose from basements across the globe, vowing to beat them to death with a diamond-encrusted baseball bats. 

Songs get ruined in a myriad of ways, sure. “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons got overplayed on radio stations and died in a ditch on the side of the highway. Every song will eventually grow old and out of the mainstream. TikTok accelerates half-lives though, ushering songs out of the limelight and into the Billboard 100 retirement home.

Whether it’s a dance video, a poorly executed skit or some blatant thirst trap, TikTok is desecrating these songs. So many good songs have been tainted just by being featured in some ill-conceived clip. The songs cannot be separated from the videos. Once you’ve seen a former “Bachelor” contestant dance completely off-beat to “TOES” by DaBaby or watch a cop do a truly sickening routine to “My Type,” you can never unsee it. 

Haunting. 

To end, I have decided to compile the “Indiana Daily Student TikTok Songs Memorial Graveyard.” Rest in power to the following songs: “Money Longer” by Lil Uzi Vert, “Ransom” by Lil Tecca, “The Box” by Roddy Ricch, “Out West” by Young Thug, “My Way” by Queen Key and that French song from "Ratatouille". Gone but not forgotten.

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