Malaysians find TikTok videos fun and great for bonding during the MCO


  • Living
  • Thursday, 30 Apr 2020

A file photo of youths making a TikTok video on the terrace of their residence in Hyderabad, India. Photo: AFP

It has been downloaded more than two billion times worldwide and boasts some 800 million active users globally.

The social media phenomenon has been highlighted by Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon and lists various celebrities among its users.

Video-sharing app TikTok, founded in 2012 by Chinese entrepreneur Zhang Yiming, lets users create 15-second clips set to music or soundbites which they can then jazz up with various digital special effects.

During the ongoing stay-home order, Malaysians have also turned to TikTok to pass the time, have fun as well as bond with each other.There are so many personalities on TikTok whom I didn't even know existed! It's really a whole new world for me,"There are so many personalities on TikTok whom I didn't even know existed! It's really a whole new world for me," says Hoi. Photo: Hubert Hoi

Petaling Jaya-based Hubert Hoi, 39, started using TikTok even before the movement control order (MCO).

“It was about a year ago when I did my very first video, just to see what the hype was all about. I did it with my niece and we lip-synced to some songs but made it funny by having her sit behind me (so you couldn't see her), with only her arms showing.

“I looked like a lip-syncing T-Rex! It was cute but I felt it was way too much work and I didn't open the app again until the MCO, ” says Hoi, who heads the training department of a homegrown beauty and lifestyle retail chain.

To date, he has created some 20 TikTok videos.

“There are so many personalities on TikTok whom I didn't even know existed! It's really a whole new world for me.

“I just do what makes me laugh and to poke fun at myself. I believe laughter is truly the best medicine, regardless of age, especially during stay-at-home times, ” he adds.

Does he intend to continue making such videos after the MCO?

“Ha, ha! Good question! I probably will but will most likely not have the time to produce as many videos, ” says Hoi.

Meanwhile, making TikTok videos together has made Sasha Ranaesha and her siblings, Brandon Jeremy and Melissa Marie, realise each other’s strengths and talents.

Public relations executive Sasha (right) and her siblings, Brandon Jeremy and Melissa Marie, have found that making TikTok videos together has strengthened their bond. Photo: Sasha RanaeshaPublic relations executive Sasha (right) and her siblings, Brandon Jeremy and Melissa Marie, have found that making TikTok videos together has strengthened their bond. Photo: Sasha RanaeshaThey did their first video a week after the MCO started, on the Macarena dance done at a fast pace with a bass-heavy soundtrack.

“We were inspired by a lot of social media influencers’ TikTok videos and wanted to see if we could do a simple dance out of a song.

“In all our videos, we try to make them our own by adding different elements – be it props, outfits or using our facial expressions. It’s always fun especially when all of us have different personalities that we bring to the video, making it a little different from the rest, ” shares Sasha, 24, a public relations executive.

To date, they have produced six videos, including cooking tutorials on the famous Malaysian kek batik and Dalgona coffee, as well as voice-overs on quizzes.

“We laugh a lot in the process and enjoy making the videos. They help us express ourselves and bond, especially while practising together, correcting each other’s dance moves, and actually finding out that, wow, one of us is actually good at dancing!” says Sasha, adding that they also sing and play the cajon and guitar.

Sasha feels that TikTok has really impacted how people view and use social media.

“TikTok has become a new norm for everyone and has grown into such a huge sensation. I would discover new recipes on TikTok shared by many talented users, and I don’t go to Google anymore to find out about recipes.

“I think the TikTok craze will not end, as every other day TikTok comes up with a new song, new effects, new dance moves and especially new challenges for everyone to try. It is so interesting and I don’t think I will ever stop!”

Bank manager Shazrina (right) with her husband Hermy and children Aisy, eight, and nine-month-old Dara. Photo: Shazrina JamalBank manager Shazrina (right) with her husband Hermy and children Aisy, eight, and nine-month-old Dara. Photo: Shazrina Jamal

Bank manager and mother-of-two Shazrina Jamal, 34, finds that making TikTok videos has done wonders for her family.

“My son is known to be shy so I love seeing the self-confidence portrayed by him when we are doing the videos, ” says Shazrina, from Subang Jaya.

“Some people say TikTok is a waste of time but, for me, it depends on our mindset and how we bring the positive aspect out of it.

“To get your introverted spouse and children to do at least one video is a big achievement, and it’s one of many mediums to bring up their confidence level, ” she believes.

Shazrina’s very first TikTok video was on fitness, which she made with her husband. Subsequently, she made nine more videos on various topics including dance, cooking and art.

“There is self-satisfaction when I look at how my family is committed to making one video after another. Viewing TikTok videos and making them has been a new activity that we do together as a family. I think we will continue to do so even after the MCO, ” she says.

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