If you’ve seen some of the “TikTok cringe” compilations, or clips of some of the “interesting” folks on TikTok, but all you’re able to see when you visit the app are a bunch of kids doing silly dances, you need to understand that it takes a bit of effort and time before you get into the “weird” part of TikTok. Weird means a lot of different things here, from the strange, unusual, people with no self-awareness, boomers trying to act like teenagers, and much more.
TikTok has actively suppressed and silenced the voices of people they deemed to be at a higher-risk of being on the receiving end of bullying, it’s a double-edged sword because on the one hand, it seems like their intentions could have been good, but not necessarily. For starters, these people are choosing to put their content out there for others to discover and enjoy, so putting them at a disadvantage in the TikTok algorithm seems really messed up. Also, TikTok said they wanted to reduce bullying, but maybe they just want to keep a better image of their app, by hiding anyone that doesn’t meet society’s ideal of beauty or perfection?
In any case, here are some tips to help you get out of the perfect, fake, unrealistic part of TikTok and to find the real, interesting, unusual, and sometimes crazy side of TikTok:
Be strategic with your hearts and follows on TikTok
Everyone’s TikTok feed starts with a very polished looking, “normie” boring group of people. Don’t give them any likes, don’t follow them. Just keep skipping them one after another until some “real” people start sneaking through the cracks. As soon as you see someone who strikes you as a bit odd, you’ll want to like their TikToks and you’ll want to follow their account.
This will start to snowball within a week or two. Your feed will have more and more oddballs in it, and eventually the algorithm will just give up and stop trying to push all of the spoiled rich zoomers in mansions into your feed.
How to jumpstart the TikTok algorithm
If you don’t want to spend weeks scrolling through boring TikTok content, you can hit up YouTube and find some TikTok compilations that meet whatever criteria you’re looking for. Take note of 5 or 6 usernames, follow them, like their TikToks, and this will give the algo a boost towards showing you the type of content you’re really looking for.
Christina P from the Your Mom’s House podcast is famous for her TikTok creations, featuring people who are “TikTok’d”, so following her and looking at her Instagram stories is another way to track down the interesting / dark / weird / unique side of TikTok, if that’s what you’re looking for.