How TikTok got many teens through quarantine: users reminisce on trends a year later

It’s been a year full of “Renegading,” whipped coffee and TikTok challenges.

Sophie Shram, Arts & Culture Writer

It’s been a year since quarantine began, and TikTok users are starting to reminisce on all the trends that got them through the 2020 into 2021. From new drinks to working out to making new friends online, the TikTok community brought new joy to many teens in quarantine. Here are some of the highlights. 

Starting off strong and delicious is whipped coffee; coffee lovers went crazy over the new way to enjoy their favorite drink. Whipped coffee was originally from South Korea where it’s called Dalgona coffee.  The coffee named after a honeycomb toffee candy was quickly spread around through social media and now is enjoyed by teens and adults throughout the world. 

On top of drinking coffee and constantly and staying at home, teens found a great way to stay in shape through home workouts. A fitness YouTuber named Chloe Ting became well known for her tough workouts that really got people sweating. The #ChloeTingChallenge inspired many teens to get up and move by trying her tough weekly workouts. 

Other than the trending workouts, teens started to create simple and easy dances which brought many smaller creators their fame. With new songs trending on TikTok every week, there was always a new dance to go along with it. Many talented and aspiring choreographers took the opportunity and showed their skills when creating and performing their new dances. One dance that took the app by storm was the Renegade dance choreographed by TikTok creator Jalaiah Harmon to the song of “Lottery” by K Camp. The dance was popularized by TikTok user Charli D’Amelio, who inspired many to start dancing along with her. 

Alongside the new dances, the songs that were popularized by TikTok helped smaller artists rise to fame. During quarantine, many teens found themselves enjoying listening to new music. The song “Say So” by Doja Cat quickly became one of the most popular songs. Doja Cat had been releasing music for a while, but finally got into the spotlight when TikTok users noticed her songs and started using them in their videos. The right music is a major part of a successful TikTok, and “Say So” was a song that users couldn’t get enough of. 

Lastly, though staying at home was lonely, teens quickly adapted to the change and began making new friends online through games such as Among Us. The game was released in 2018 but finally gained popularity through TikTok as it allowed players to join their friends in a game, or play with new people. 

A year later, TikTok users are looking back on these trends wishing they hadn’t taken this time for granted. Users are even beginning to remake whipped coffee Tik Toks and use sounds that were popular during quarantine to express their nostalgia over the era that was complicated and difficult, but felt so simple and full of creativity through social media.  Though the older generations may think teens are wasting their time on social media, it’s actually a great source of entertainment and has led to many finding themselves, new hobbies and friends during these isolated times.