South Africa

Tactless TikTok tactics

They say idle hands are the devil’s playground. And it seems that social media has proven that.

I genuinely can’t believe that we are using such a powerful and valuable tool for stupid, mundane and unnecessary pursuits.

Take the video that was circulated of a woman who goes by the handle “Maznoena1,” calling into question the veracity of Shireen Essop’s abduction.

She thought it was her place to “expose” the family, until the Essops threatened legal action against her, forcing her to post an apology video.


Besides the complete lack of tact, what this also proved to me is how little some people know about the law, but also how little they care about whatever emotional damage they may be causing.

In her half-hearted apology, Maznoena1 said she didn’t know the video would become as popular as it did.

But that is exactly why people make videos like that, isn’t it. It’s less about exposing a truth, than it is about the attention.

You want it to go viral, so why are you surprised when it does?

If your reasons are to get to the truth by exposing lies, then take it to the police and make it part of the investigation.

Then you can claim the credit and have your 15 minutes of fame.

But it will only be 15 minutes.

And that’s because we are using these tools for self-promotion only, rather than as a way to generate an income.

I see how youngsters are using TikTok to diss one another.

One aspiring rapper posts a video insulting another aspiring rapper, who then responds with a supposedly better insult.

It goes around in circles, and then the “fans” get involved.

These people barely have a support base, but they are wasting their precious time bringing each other down, instead of building one another up, growing their industries and courting real fame.

It reminds me of those silly teenagers who used to post foul-mouthed insults on MXIt and WhatsApp back in the day.

It is petty, dumb and short-sighted and will do nothing to further your goals and dreams.

You are not learning anything and you are definitely not teaching your fans and kids anything valuable.

TikTok, Instagram and Twitter are platforms that give you access to the whole world instantly.

You are in a unique position, because no previous generation has ever had this before.

It’s free and it’s an opportunity to do amazing things and earn both fame and lots of money.

And you are wasting it on copying someone’s dance moves, or dissing someone who is in the same position as you, trying their best to make it in the world.

While you are doing that, other young people are learning how to use these platforms effectively.

They are teaching themselves how to use coding tools and things like SEO, to reach as many people in the world as possible, with engaging content or services.

That’s how you use the full power of social media to your advantage. And that’s how you’ll eventually end up with more followers than any half-funny diss will ever get you.

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