Tik-Tok therapy

Isabella Tranello, Staff Reporter

While many people’s lives have been altered and completely flipped upside down because of COVID-19, teens and young adults especially, have struggled from the lonely and abhorrent isolation they have been put under.

Doing the same things each day left junior communications major Kilee Jones feeling trapped. 

“The hardest thing is being stuck in a routine that I don’t want to be in. I feel like I’m just stuck all the time. When I’m in class, or going to bed, I’m stuck in the same place. The only time I get out is when I go to work,” Jones said over a phone interview. 

She needed to provide herself with a way to escape her daily routine which ultimately led her to the immensely popular app Tik-Tok. 

“We take COVID-19 very seriously and it feels like I can never get away from it. Tik-Tok has helped me just by giving me the escape I was looking for. The videos always made me laugh and I could get my mind off the real world for a little bit,” Jones said. 

Tik-Tok is an app that has over 800 million users worldwide where anyone can post or watch short videos ranging from comedic bits to showing off art work. It’s the type of app a person spends hours at a time on. 

After using Tik-Tok for quite some time, the For You page begins to filter in videos that cater to your liking, making the app that much more of a way for people to escape, like Jones needed to. 

On the For You page, you may even find fellow Seattle Pacific University students. 

Junior cellular and molecular biology major, Lizzie Vanbrunt, found a way to persevere through quarantine by using Tik-Tok and her own creative ability.

“It helped me feel connected to my friends and able to share a side of myself that a lot of my SPU friends don’t know about,” Vanbrunt said via phone. 

Vanbrunt is a Resident Advisor in Ashton Hall on campus. Instead of just watching Tik-Toks, she decided to make the videos herself. 

“I am an RA this year so I was making large paintings to use as floor decorations. I started making Tik-Toks of me painting and making those decorations,” Vanbrunt said.

Vanbrunt’s art and decorations on Tik-Tok are all Disney based so far and bring good levels of serotonin to those who watch her videos. By expressing her artistic abilities and posting her decorations to Tik-Tok, Vanbrunt was able to remind herself that she would be back at SPU soon and not stuck in quarantine forever. She also got to be a part of a community that she never knew she would be a part of. 

“The paintings themselves served as a reminder that at the end of quarantine I would be returning to SPU as an RA. Posting them allowed me to connect with other Tik-Tok artists and join a surprisingly large virtual community,” Vanbrunt said.

Even though Vanbrunt’s account is still relatively small, she continues to post videos of her Disney related paintings and decorations. 

Quarantine seemed to fly by as many people used apps like Tik-Tok to liven up their incredibly repetitive daily lives. Some people even got to let out their hidden passions.

It has become a good place for community and happiness for many of its users. Even after months of being in quarantine, it still remains a very good coping tool for numerous people. It has helped many people pull through one of the most lonely times. 

“I have loved doing art since high school and being in STEM, I don’t often get the opportunity to use my art skills. Over quarantine I finally had free time to spend doing art stuff.” Vanbrunt said. 

If you’d like to check out her page and her Disney inspired art, follow her at: @lizzievanbrunt on Tik-Tok.


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