Social Media users hop on popular trends

TikTok,YouTube, Instagram and other platforms influence the spread of popular topics and issues

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Emera Ward

Singing Siren: Starbucks drink and a phone displays Olivia Rodrigo’s third viral song, “Good 4 U”. These are two subjects that recently blew up on TikTok, bringing in millions of views. “The most recent one I tried was a green tea matcha iced latte with brown sugar syrup and sweet cream cold foam… AND IT’S TO DIE FOR,” senior Hope Ferguson said.

Nowadays, social media is where a high percentage of young adults/teenagers spend their time scrolling and consuming information. Social media has a major impact on the increase in popularity of certain products, people, trends, and important issues.
Out of all the social media platforms, it can be said that TikTok has had the biggest influence on random products and topics gaining popularity. Even before TikTok, YouTube was a leading cause as well. Here are a few trends that have blown up on social media.

Thrifting: Over the past few years, thrifting clothing at second hand shops such as Goodwill and Value Village has gained much more attention. Shopping at thrift stores is open to anybody, regardless of income or desires for clothing. Gen Z has been the generation to participate in this trend the most, with the thrill of actually having to search for one’s style of clothing, and getting it at a much more affordable cost than retail price. Some controversy has sparked over the topic of thrifting, when thrifting became trendy among younger generations the people with lower income who can only afford to buy clothes at thrift stores were struggling to get what they needed in some locations. Some of these items include winter coats, jeans and warm clothes. On top of the issue of some thrift stores being picked over because of the trend, those in the middle to upper class have a history of looking down on thrift stores but now are a player factor in thrift stores being so trendy because they are taking part in the trend.

Starbucks drinks: TikTok has become a booming app when it comes to Starbucks drink trends and recommendations. Users on the app have found entertainment in trying new fun drinks at the popular coffee chain and reviewing them on the app. It might seem random, but people are always on the lookout for new drinks to try, and Tik Tok seems to be the place to find them. Some of these drinks include complex ingredients, substitutions and even letting the barista pick the drink for you. Anna Sitar, a popular user on the app, has created the trend of trying new drinks and reviewing them, and has been a big inspiration for TikTok users to try out new drink order combinations.
A lot of high school students are also hopping on this trend.
“I have ordered a drink from Starbucks after I’ve gone on TikTok; in fact, if I ever need a new drink from there I just look up “Starbucks drinks” on TikTok and try new ones that come up!” senior Hope Ferguson said.
According to Ferguson, Tik Tok is an easy way to find new drinks to try out, and if anyone ever wants to try something new, this is the way to go.

Chlorophyll drinking: A recent trend has circled the Tik Tok app where people are adding chlorophyll to their water in hopes it will better their lifestyle after a user of the app posted a list of how the supplement could benefit others. The main benefits TikTok users are spreading is that consuming chlorophyll can help reduce acne and wrinkles, as well as prevent cancer. Many doctors and professionals have spoken on this topic to provide facts on any possible benefits of chlorophyll.
“I do not currently recommend chlorophyll supplements for treating wrinkles or acne,” said the president of the Maryland Dermatologic Society and Dermatologist Zain Syed. “The studies showed a very mild effect on acne. Nothing to the effect of what is being portrayed in these videos.”
On the topic of chlorophyll preventing cancer, there is not enough evidence from studies being performed that supports this.
“Some early stage animal research only confuses things, as it shows that chlorophyll may both increase and decrease cancer risk in mice,” said pharmacist and managing editor of the Natural Medicines Research Collaboration at TRC Chelsea McIntyre.
Many health experts have taken the road of debunking this newfound trend and are trying to inform any TikTok users that are following the trend that the reason they may not be getting results they imagined is because it lacks conclusive evidence.

Olivia Rodrigo: 18 year old Olivia Rodrigo has recently made music history with her new album “SOUR” that was released May 21, 2021. A couple of Rodrigo’s earlier releases of songs on the album such as “Drivers License” and “Deja Vu” hit the charts. “Drivers License” hit #1 a few days after it was released, lots of the attention towards that song came from Tik Tok and fun dance and dress up trends singing along to the song spread awareness about her new debut.
“I believe that TikTok helped make Olivia Rodrigo more popular as an artist. It gave her a platform to advertise her music. I feel like without TikTok she would still just be known for the show she’s on, “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” that’s streamed on Disney+. Tik Tok made her famous 100%,” senior Madeline Wiggins said.
As of right now, Rodrigo is the first female artist to have her first 3 singles make the top 100 on the charts. Rodrigo is bringing fans back to an old place when Taylor Swift released many breakup songs. Swift is Rodrigo’s biggest idol, and fans hope to see a collaboration from them in the future. With Olivia only being 18 and having this much success, it can be said fans are excited to see more music come from her in the future.

BLM: The Black Lives Matter movement has been active for many years now, but it wasn’t really until the killing of George Floyd and the surge of attention the event received through social media that the BLM movement gained enormous amounts of attention and support.
Through social media, people all over the U.S. have recorded instances where police brutality is happening and live action footage of African Americans being attacked. With this easy access to social media, it takes just one click of a button to share photos and videos to the world; increasing awareness for certain issues, just like BLM. TikTok has also been a major contribution to the spread of the BLM movement. Younger generations have been able to organize protests on the app, spread awareness about certain movements and also educate themselves on complex issues surrounding the topic.

All of the topics above show how social media is the main influence for new and upcoming trends, and since it’s where a lot of the younger generations spend their time, a high number of people are aware of the trends and active in them too. Social media has its positives and negatives when it comes to the spread of new trends, which sometimes include misinformation which is seen in the Chlorophyll trend section.
“I for sure think that TikTok can have negative effects on users regarding health habits! If popular TikTok users were to spread around something they think is “great” but actually isn’t so good for your health, many of their followers are likely to try or follow the trend. Tik Tik can be convincing even if it’s not for the best things. It can be very misleading & tempting,” said Ferguson.
Social media users are encouraged by health officials to fact check any info they get off of TikTok. While the topics of thrifting, Olivia Rodrgio, chlorophyll, Starbucks, and BLM are the topics and issues being discussed on social media now, a new wave of trends is more than likely to occur over the summer. It’s just a matter of time until social media users jump to the next trend.