Throughout this semester in BCM325, Shalisse Thompson and I have curated content on ‘TikTok’, a popular social media platform that allows you to produce short videos following trends and popular sounds. On TikTok, we made 2-3 minute podcast styled videos on our very own account titled “Genres Of The Future”, in each of these videos we discussed how different forms of media such as music and film predicted future trends and events. I personally had previously made videos on TikTok for BCM112, BCM114, BCM215 and BCM206. With this previous knowledge and understanding as well as Shalisse’s love for Tiktok, it was easy to transition onto this platform and begin to make our videos. Despite this easy transition, both of us found it quite difficult to find a topic and idea to base our digital artefact on originally. We bounced around between making a podcast and talking purely about music and the future of music. Both of us had opposite ideas and debated (quite a lot) on what we were going to do. Eventually combining both ideas, we concluded creating content on a platform we both loved whilst discussing in a podcast format and occasionally talking about music. Compromising as a duo helped us grow together throughout this subject as well as develop new skills such as working coherently as a team.
Once deciding our topic, we began preparing for how, as a team, we would create said videos whilst also making them engaging and fun. We researched many different trends and events that were extremely popular on the internet and had the most discussion around them. Not only was there a large number of predicted events, but it was utterly fun as a team to discuss in person our thoughts on these events and predictions. Once bundling our favourite shows, movies, songs, and videos that predicted insane future events and trends, it was then time to film. We chose to do our videos on campus as it was convenient for both of us and so many versatile spaces. As you can see below, we were even allowed access into the music area that was soundproofed. We decided to have our own fun and use headphones and the microphones as fake props. This video being our first, you can see how we have not yet adjusted to speaking on camera and are still finding our way.
Moving on to our future videos, you can see us become more comfortable in front of the camera, conversing our theories and opinions smoothly and confidently. It was amusing for both of us to bounce back and forth in our videos, diving into our wild theories and laughing at ourselves as we sometimes failed to comprehend the predictability of these wild future events and trends. This experience itself really brought us together as a team and grow closer as a working unit. We worked extremely well together, especially due to there only being two of us. It was a perfect balance being a duo, as I’ve stated in another subject where I have collaborated with Shalisse, working in a pair gives almost the perfect balance of the workload and communication is the smoothest and easiest. If we had any troubles or questions, we could easily message or call each other instead of discussing with a group and as opposed to groups we had very open communication, voicing our opinions and being completely honest. We both didn’t mind disagreeing with each other and rejecting ideas we didn’t like or want to participate in. The actual teamwork experience itself was utterly successful and really enjoyable, group projects such as this really expose individuals to learning teamwork skills that are vital to any role.
After reconciling as a team, Shalisse and I’s debacles and challenges didn’t stop there. Selfishly, I wanted to make more viral videos after previous success on the application when I reached around 400k views on one of my videos in a past essay. Based on my research and previous experience, taking part in trends, and using viral sounds as early as possible can aid in getting maximum views and likes, with this information I tried my utmost effort to catch trends early yet also incorporate my own interpretation of trends through our chosen topic. However, the most important learning we gained from this subject was a likelihood. Due to my viral content in other subjects, I became overconfident in this subject, expecting some (if not all) of our videos to go viral and would gain a significant amount of engagement and attention immediately. For obvious reasons, this didn’t happen. Oberlo, a digital journalism page, stated that out of the 800 million users on the application, 41% are aged between 16 and 21. The average user opens TikTok at least 9 to 10 times a day and spends around 52 minutes on the app per time (Orbelo, 2021). With these statistics, our goals became more realistic, and we changed the way we view and present our videos, making them more engaging and “clickbait” like. Using analytic frameworks and tricks I had learnt from past subjects, we properly placed and displayed our videos to maximise engagement, views and attention. An example of this was the timing of our videos, we aimed to post the videos at times I believed would reach the largest number of audiences as well as target my videos at the age group of 16-30 as they were more likely to relate to the video content as the content we were reviewing and discussing dates back to when this age group would have been still at an age they would remember and feel nostalgic about, in a sense. Despite our combined efforts to receive maximum engagement and response, TikTok is by far the most popular social media platform to date, with billions of people using the video styled application daily. Due to the large growth on TikTok, as a prerequisite, I researched how many people had downloaded the application since I last did a digital artefact. In 2021, the application had over 658 million downloads, this is over 658 million people on the application since I did my last digital artefact. Our videos simply vanished into the abyss of millions of videos made per second. In no shape or form, unfortunately, did we receive the kind of engagement we wanted. Each of our videos received around 100-500 views and around 5-15 likes. We received a few comments but some of which had to be censored due to them mainly talking about the way we look or present ourselves. Tiktok unfortunately was the wrong application to use. With the given statistics and known facts, we were bound to not go ‘viral’ or get anywhere near the views we had both once received.
Overall, we made 4 TikTok videos for our digital artefact, 1 video every 2 weeks on average. Each video was around 2-3 minutes long and was shot in one frame with both a title on top that displayed what we were doing (as well as being clickbait) and relevant music in the background. As early stated, we aimed to post the videos at times we believed would reach the largest number of audiences as well as target my videos at the age group of 16-30 as they were more likely to relate to the video content and the corresponding nostalgic feeling. Along with tricks we both understood to use on TikTok, we also chose certain events and trends that had previously been viral on Tiktok and the internet. We believed using content that had been already popular and could spark debate would be of utmost interest. All of these tricks still unfortunately didn’t work, resulting in us receiving 34 followers on our page and 100-300 views per video.
Despite the results being disappointing, the subject was still incredibly enthralling to take part in and we really enjoyed ourselves making the videos and discussing something we are both thoroughly interested in.
Shalisse and I’s digital artefact was based on prediction in media. Prediction, in the majority, is the word you’d use to associate with the future. We, as people, are constantly predicting what is going to happen next. With this is mind, the introduction of media has astonishingly predicted real-life events and trends. These media types include tv shows, music, film and games. Dissecting each of these chosen media, we made 4 videos to break down a chosen example of each media. We used a helpful quote I had learnt from a lecture in BCM325 titled “Artificial Intelligence: Predictions and Revolutions”, the quote read “Some predictions, are actually observations” (Moore, 2022).
Our first TikTok was focused on tv shows, specifically The Simpsons – who miraculously and single handily predicted an abundance of events. We followed an article by Collider for our discussion as it listed several of the Simpsons predictions such as Trump’s presidency and the COVID19 pandemic (Kosmola, 2022).
Moving on to our next Tiktok, we focused on music, our example being Tupac’s song “Keep Your Head Up”. The 1993 iconic song has a specific quote “You’ve got money to win wars but not feed the poor, said they ain’t no hope for the youth… truth there ain’t no hope for our future” which coincidentally predicts a certain future of war, corruption and the economic gap. We discussed how, much like Chris Moore stated, Tupac’s observation itself brought forward the obvious prediction.
Our third TikTok was based on the film, and we chose, of course, the most obvious example of Back To The Future. The film predicted many events and trends yet the most intriguing for us to discuss was the Nike MAG shoes. The sneaker-like shoes had the ability to electronically tie themselves up. The idea at the time of releasing the 1986 film was unbelievable, much like flying cars, no one thought they’d ever materialise. However, in 2016 Nike released the shoes in honour of the movie becoming 30 years old. In this case, the past could never have predicted such a futuristic item to become real in only 30 years.
The final TikTok surrounded the genre of gaming. Shalisse and I observed and discussed the 2011 video game “Deus Ex” predicting the election of Justin Trudeau in 2015. Out of all the genre’s predictions, this one shocked us both the most. The game, much like the Simpsons, had a clear reflection of the election as part of its gameplay. As the election was in 4 years in the future, it would be nearly impossible for the creators of the game to know Justin Trudeau would later be predicted.
Reflecting on these chosen examples, the quote I addressed earlier stands true in a sense. Most media predictions are observations to an extent such as Tupac’s song for example. However, The Simpsons is unexplainable, almost as if the writers came from the future when writing down the ideas. Looking at genres from the past, we can even see certain predictions now – that also seems unbelievable, like the Game Ready Player One. Could we one day live in a virtual world to escape reality, despite how insane it may seem?
Kosmola, K., 2022. 10 Predictions From ‘The Simpsons’ That Came True. [online] Collider. Available at: <https://collider.com/predictions-the-simpsons-came-true/> [Accessed 20 May 2022].
Orbelo, 2021. 10 TikTok Statistics You Need to Know in 2021 [March data]. [online] Au.oberlo.com. Available at: <https://au.oberlo.com/blog/tiktok-statistics> [Accessed 19 May 2022].
Christopher Moore. 2020. BCM325 Future Cultures – Artificial Intelligence: Predictions and Revolutions. BCM325 Lecture Series. [Accessed 20 May 2022] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH3ddrSZ5bg