The Living Yearbook of East Brunswick High School

EBHS Bear Hub

The Living Yearbook of East Brunswick High School

EBHS Bear Hub

The Living Yearbook of East Brunswick High School

EBHS Bear Hub

Polls

Do you think homeroom is making an impact on school spirit?

  • I don't know about school spirit, but I know I want COOKIES (21%, 7 Votes)
  • I was asleep in homeroom so I don't know.... (47%, 16 Votes)
  • Yes, because I feel pressured to participate to not let my homeroom down. (6%, 2 Votes)
  • Yes, I love seeing my homeroom and planning spirit stuff together. (24%, 8 Votes)
  • I have infiltrated an alternate homeroom where I indeed am quite spirited. (3%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 30

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The Tiktok Epidemic Takes Over 2020

How did 30 second TikTok videos push an entire generation out of their comfort zones when it was all they were stuck in during the Pandemic?

2020 struck the world with a pandemic that put the nation in a lockdown for months on end. With online school, nowhere to go, and a larger focus on technology than ever before, a large majority of the younger population was pushed onto social media. But this had a long-lasting effect on impressionable minds that had nothing better to do than scroll through their Instagram feeds, and TikTok For You Pages.
Sparking interest in literature, art, and creation, hobbies like crocheting started to arise and attract younger generations. Junior Haylee Chin remembers seeing, “a TikTok of a girl showing off all the unique clothes she crocheted over the summer” and because it was a DIY sort of creation that she could use while she stuck at home during the pandemic, she says, “I decided that I would also make clothing customized for myself.” But this was only the start of TikTok, and other social media, leading this new generation into hobbies that they would have never expected to have.
Simply put, social media’s popular trends are where much of our generation found their special, niche interests. But this could have been for a number of trends and a number of interests, knowing how widely ranged the internet can be. What I want to focus on, however, is the idea of the popular TikTok trend called “Booktok”, that introduced a generation to the idea of reading, but for fun!
Of course, the idea of reading in your spare time has never been a new, crazy, concept, but it was very noticeable that younger people took less of an interest in reading up until the idea of Booktok. These TikTok videos would often promote romance novels that would most appeal to younger girls using popular songs, comparing books to celebrities, and teasing audiences with quotes from the book itself. This not only brought back many previously popular books back into the game, but many new and upcoming books and authors that would idealize reading for a generation that had never so seriously considered it before.
BookTok left me with a love for the Twilight Series, and that is when I realized that reading did not always have to be for an English assignment, or history paper. Other students, like Junior Anika Bahirwani who took many recommendations from what she saw online in 2020, discovered one of her favorite authors, Sally Rooney. Even after four years, Bahirwani admits, “Normal People by Sally Rooney is my absolute favorite book. I saw it on Booktok and it introduced me to a style of writing that I had never seen before. Now I have read every single one of her published works.” After taking up the recommendation, she found that the book and the author stuck with her in a way that she would have never expected.

A few books I have bought due to the influence of Booktok from 2020.

TikIok and many other apps in this way have portrayed reading in a manner that it became so romanticized that younger generations perceived the idea of reading differently. They found that reading provided the same experience that they could find in movies or videos. And more importantly, that they could find a good story through words, not just through easy entertainment. The fact that these simple trends are so widespread and can use technology to engage kids off of it is especially important in an age where the primary focus is always on technology.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Teesha Patel
Teesha Patel, Bear Hub Staff
Teesha Patel is a Junior at East Brunswick High School. She enjoys reading novels and watching movies, both of which are usually romance and comedies. Oftentimes you can find her practicing henna designs on herself and she hopes to one day take up the practice professionally. When she finally gets out of the house, she enjoys spending with her friends and getting ice cream or watching movies, which is where she feels most herself.