During the course of the ongoing global pandemic, everyone’s suffering one way or another. Be it a food delivery worker getting treated badly; the homeless without a roof to stay safe under; or medical practitioners risking their lives in the frontlines of the outbreak.
Spare a tear as well for our local social media influencers straining themselves to wander outside their comfort zones to get onto TikTok.
The pains of being pure at heart are what CNA Lifestyle discovered in a recent feature on Singapore’s social media personalities, many of whom have had their important work disrupted by Covid-19.
Gone are the “puffed-up product launches” and the “glitzy glamour of media events” — these individuals have to rely on more grounded stuff during the circuit breaker, when they, like us non-influential folks, have to adhere to safe distancing measures.PHOTO: Facebook screengrab
In the pursuit to stay relevant and push out content amid the circuit breaker, some of the interviewed influencers have expressed they’ve been finding it a wee bit challenging to get into unfamiliar territory that is the wildly absurd digital domain called TikTok.
The reasoning they gave to CNA Lifestyle seems rational enough, though. These are, after all, personalities who’ve operated for years on Instagram and already know the ins and outs of the platform to garner a huge base of followers for themselves.
TikTok, on the other hand, is a deeply Gen Z outlet that relies more on humour, skits, dance videos, and other challenges. Mere photos (no matter how pleasantly-framed and polished they are) just won’t cut it on TikTok as they do on Instagram.
Influencer Nicole Chang Min knows this well enough. “It's different because we can't go to a nice location to shoot Instagram-worthy shots or get help from professionals to produce top quality content,” she told CNA Lifestyle. Audrey Faith Lim of @tippytoes fame also mentioned how TikTok had been “totally out of [her] comfort zone” prior to the outbreak.
Unfortunately, it was Chang’s particular quote about TikTok that became the juicy headline of the article, and in turn, the cause of ire and sarcastic sympathy on the internet. Though the story itself plumbs deeper into whatever issues these influencers face, the headline made it look like the toughest setback they experienced so far is signing up for a TikTok account.
That’s a pretty iffy angle to use in the context of a viral outbreak with a death toll of over 300,000 so far. But hey, it gets the clicks — and a lot of engagement on social media.Screengrab / Facebook
I mean seriously.... "I had to use TikTok". People are DYING, Karen.https://t.co/ho5UW3UyGL— MonilSJ (@monilsj) May 15, 2020
https://t.co/9hem0jw8Sd He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision—he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath: “‘The horror! The horror!” -Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”— mrbrown (@mrbrown) May 15, 2020
Following the backlash, CNA Lifestyle tweaked the headline of the article, explaining that its earlier version "had included a quote that was incorrectly used".Before and after. PHOTO: Screengrab / CNA Lifestyle
Despite the trials and tribulations that this segment of the society is going through, the pandemic has actually proven to offer influencers a more captive audience as people look for diversions while stuck at home. Heck, even the World Health Organisation and Gov.sg are embracing TikTok to reach out to the youth.
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