Column: Sofia Bermejo experiences TikTok Phenomenon



Sofia Bermejo strolls through campus on a sunny day. Bermejo has found viral success posting videos on TikTok.

When TikTok first became popular, I told myself and everyone around me that I would never download it. Just months later, COVID-19 hit. Suddenly I was back home, taken away from my friends, and it seemed like time was moving in slow motion.

Needless to say, I gave into the rave that is the addictive app of TikTok, attempting to connect with friends and occupy myself during the isolating pandemic.

The first video I posted that went viral was one about my typewriter. I offered to write letters to people and send them off during the pandemic. This must have resonated with people because I ended up writing hundreds of letters. It felt good to know that I was making people feel a little less alone in such an isolating time.

A few posts later, I was getting more unexpected attention. It was overwhelming at first, but soon after, I came to find that I was getting nothing but support from those enjoying my content.

I’ve heard that the community of TikTok was shallow, but I have yet to experience that side of it.

After getting the hang of things, I landed an internship with a company called Chegg. My role there is to create education-centered content for their TikTok account. Since it’s targeted to people my age, I know exactly what appeals to them. It’s given me a whole new perspective on the power of social media and how impactful a creator’s videos can be.

As I’ve gotten more comfortable and shameless about posting, my passion to impact others has grown. The algorithm of TikTok is strategic in whose ”for you page” videos are put on, and as I’ve come to realize this, I’ve also noticed that everyone on the app is an individual person with interests and the power to make change.

My involvement with TikTok inspired me to collaborate with a filmmaker and make a short film highlighting violence against women. I chose to work with Futures without Violence in hopes that people could contribute to or support the subject or at least learn more. Moving forward, I have plans to collaborate with more creators to make content that will move or inspire others. The amount of support and thanks I’ve received from people both online and in person gave me a sense of purpose and appreciation for myself that I haven’t felt before.