It's the last week of 2021 and TikTok is still weird.
This week TikTok saw discourse about making Instagram casual, time traveling, and a comeback of the 1971 song "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)."
Here are the final TikTok trends of 2021.
TikTok asks, is casual Instagram worth the hassle?
Since the start of the pandemic, the way young people post on Instagram has shifted away from perfectly posed photos. This change is in part due to people being stuck inside having less to post about, but it's also a result of the TikTok trend encouraging users to "make Instagram casual again." Now, photo dumps and blurry photos that scream "I'm not trying too hard" reign supreme. On the surface this trend appears to be making Instagram more real, but this week several TikTokkers voiced their discomfort with the trend.
TikTok user @chrisidek posted a video impersonating an "influencer on the brink of the snap." In the video he says, "now not only do I have to post a photo of myself, but also aesthetic first person photos that look like I took them on accident curating the perfect photo dump." The video has nearly 1 million views and garnered over 200,000 likes. The comments are flooded with people agreeing. One comment reads, "posting on instagram is so stressful." Another is "instead of just posing for a photo now i gotta make it look like i didn't know it was being taken."
One comment on @chrisidek's video, "casual instagram is an even greater performance," inspired another TikTokker @cozyakili to make a video where he thoughtfully explains how posting casually on Instagram is a performance. His video was posted on Wednesday and already has nearly 1 million views and over 200,000 likes. In the TikTok he likens posting casually on Instagram to reality television as both are hyperreal performances. Check out his analysis below.
Both @chrisidek and @cozyakii put the irony and disconnect of casual Instagram into words which allowed their followers to understand the pressure surrounding this new style of posting on Instagram.
POV: ur the first pilgrim i see when i travel back in time
What would be the first thing you would show a Pilgrim if you travelled back in time? TikTok users have been sharing their answers in this wacky trend. Each video has the text "POV: ur the first pilgrim i see when i travel back in time" and has someone walk on screen with their laptop and press play on whatever piece of media they think is essential for a Pilgrim to watch.
The trend allows TikTok users to share what pieces of media are most important to them. In one video @jillianlovesharry shows the imaginary Pilgrim Harry Styles' "Lights Up" music video. In another @benipad plays an iconic Broad City scene. The trend is fun because users are paying homage their favorite media while understanding how absurd it would be to live in such a time. It's an acknowledgement of how nonsensical modern culture would appear to someone from another time period.
This trend is similar to the meme format that circulated on Twitter this year where you name an aspect of modern culture that would kill a Victorian child on sight. But unlike that meme, this trend isn't violent, instead it's celebration of the chaos of our cultural moment.
The Social Network is now fodder for thirst traps
Speaking of absurd, the Andrew Garfield renaissance has reached the point where TikTok users are posting thirst traps set to his iconic "Sorry I left my Prada at the cleaners" monologue in The Social Network. The 2010 Oscar Award winning film about the founding of Facebook isn't exactly an obvious choice for thirst trap source material, but alas this is the world we are living in. One example is @grantmarshall's thirst trap that La Brae actor Jack Martin hilariously reacted to.
She ain't got no money
The 1971 Edington Lighthouse song, "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)" is getting a second life thanks to a new TikTok trend. TikTokkers are posting photos and videos of themselves to the lyrics, "She ain't got no money / Her clothes are kinda funny / Her hair is kinda wild and free / Ohhh but love grows where my Rosemary goes." The snippet of the song is groovy and the videos are celebration of personal style and self-love.
The trend was started by @exhibitionbuffalo on Monday. Her original video featured short clips of her exuding happiness in fun outfits. It got over 847,000 views and over 207,000 likes and became the blueprint for this joyful trend. There are now over 5,000 videos following the trend.
It isn't every day that there's a sweet and sincere TikTok trend and it's not a bad trend to end the year on.