Published on 01 May 2022

The many shades of TikTok tribe

The Sunday Times, pages C2-C3 -

Though subcultures have existed long before TikTok, they flourished on the app during the Covid-19 pandemic as Generation Z – those born between 1997 and 2012, according to the Pew Research Centre in the United States – took to the platform as a way to find communities and form identities during a time of crisis.

Dr Edson C. Tandoc Jr, director of NTU’s Centre for Information Integrity and the Internet, says subcultures help their followers fulfil a sense of belonging. “Social media platforms are designed to facilitate the formation of subcultures because we can express our interests shared with other people and project the type of identity we want to construct for ourselves.”