Syracuse students take over TikTok

SU students take over TikTok

These SU students started using TikTok as a quarantine hobby, but are now stars on the social media platform.
Published: November 11, 2020
Shockey Sanders
SU sophomore Shockey Sanders has over 140,000 TikTok followers.

Shockey Sanders, a sophomore neuroscience and psychology major, jumped on the TikTok trend during quarantine. For some, TikTok is an escape by way of endlessly scrolling through the “For You Page.” For others like Sanders, TikTok is the place to let creative expression shine. 

“I originally started posting for fun around February 2020,” Sanders, who can be found on TikTok @strawb3rryswitchblad3, said. “With TikTok it’s specifically cool because it’s still pretty new. I feel like people still associate TikTok with being cringy, but at the same time it’s becoming such a big thing that it’s cool to have recognition on any platform.” 

When asked what her favorite type of content to create is, Sanders shared her love for making people laugh. On TikTok, Sanders has the opportunity to make over 142,900 followers laugh.

“I really enjoy making comedies. That’s initially what I blew up doing. I also love filming story times and my fit checks,” she said.

Madi Kiper, a junior in the Bandier program, has a love for laughs in common with Sanders. Kiper (@madikiper on TikTok) originally downloaded the app as a joke and now has 14.8k followers. While she stayed at the Sheraton, Kiper made several videos making fun of the quarantine experience at the Syracuse hotel. Kiper claimed to make more TikToks during quarantine. She even keeps a journal by her bed to write down ideas and look them over in the morning. 

Although videos last from fifteen seconds to a minute, good TikToks take creativity and sometimes a lot of planning. Freshman political science major Ejay Ramos, like many other creators, outlines his videos, planning out what song to use and the timing of transitions. Ramos has a small following (@musicboom21), but enjoys using the platform as a new user. 

“It just made me happy, and I felt like it was a fun space for me to do stuff, and it was a great distraction for me.”

Ramos said he enjoys making Syracuse based TikToks.

“My favorite Syracuse [TikTok] would probably be me moving in. I think it was the first day of quarantine. It was me showing what my dorm looked like and my dorm transformation,” Ramos said. 

The majority of Ramos’s TikToks focus on managing a move to college. Also, as a previous Hollister ambassador, Ramos wants to show people what his job entailed and help others achieve similar goals. 

Kiper also strives to use her platform positively. She linked an “issues in the world” carrd in her Instagram bio. 

“If I can spread information or help people get informed on really important issues in the world, I want to. I think it’s really important,” Kiper said.

Ramos hasn’t let the change in scenery stop him from filming. 

“Being here in Syracuse has made it so much easier for me to make content,” he said. “We’re in a whole new environment, and now is the time to start making TikToks. There is so much to capture because you are always with friends, you have the campus and can go apple picking or downtown.”

Sanders misses her set up at home because it makes her typical style of videos easier to film. 

“I really enjoy ever since I’ve been up here, vlogging, and doing a photoshoot day type of thing. That’s something I wouldn’t have been able to do as much at home,” she said. 

When asked what advice she would give to people who want to get involved in TikTok, Kiper recommended that everyone make TikToks. 

“I love them, and they are so fun to look back on too,” Kiper said. 

TikToks can be lighthearted, but they also serve as a time capsule for this moment in history, according to Sanders.

“You have to keep that authenticity even though your follower account grows because people followed you for your authentic self. People followed you because you were you,” Sanders said.