DURHAM, NC—Imagine this: After what was meant to be a few minutes of Tik-Tok fun time, the sun sets...things get dark...and you’ve entered the sunken place. You’re walking through a nightmare land of Bryce Hall’s tiny hands, white people covering their mouths over the n-word, Angel Mamii, happy couples, and that big booty goat. That irritating song, “wHen YoUr bRaiN gOes NuMb yOu caN cAll tHaT MenTaL fReEze,” echoes in the background.
It is now impossible for you to have a conversation without bringing in an obscure Tik-Tok reference. Usually the person doesn’t get it, so you start scrambling to find the video, realize you didn’t save it, and you’ve successfully murdered the conversation. Or you do find it, shove your phone in their face, and wait creepily for them to laugh. And they won’t really be laughing because they can feel you watching them laugh.
You try to justify your Tik-Tok addiction as “absorbing cultural knowledge,” but deep down you know that the only thing you gained was some self-loathing and a worse grade on your midterm. Now, all you can do is try to purge the memory of someone ruining your favorite song and how much fatter one side of your face is after using the inverted filter. This agony is worth it, however, for the chance to see Mike Tyson feeding his pigeons or a man eating a slice of pizza during a job interview.