Taking a journey through my TikTok Favorites — the ultimate digital wonderland

Corrupted or deleted TikToks showing a grey void
Corrupted or deleted TikToks showing a grey void
Some deleted TikToks from my favorites.

Recently, in order to commemorate the whirlwind of a year that was 2020, I decided to go through all my favorited TikToks, back to about January, which was when I started using the app consistently. As I begin my scrolling journey, I pass through the various eras and layers of TikTok (DeepTok, anyone??), through filters and glittering pixels, through beat drops and edits, and intricately choreographed dances.

But amidst all of that, there are spaces in my Favorites page where there is just…nothing. Instead of there being a TikTok, there is just a gray rectangle with a broken video icon on it. …

This Vivienne Westwood choker is on everyone’s Pinterest boards.

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Mini Bas Relief Choker

Instagram influencers, TikTokers such as Ellie Zeiler and Vinnie Hacker, and seemingly every girl on your Pinterest feed is wearing it. With its string of pearls and sparkling orb charm, the Vivienne Westwood Mini Bas Relief Choker has become the newest must-have in any fashion-forward person’s jewelry collection.

The choker is currently available in Rhodium Crystal Pearl (a silver color), Gold-Tone, and Pink Gold-Tone. The charm in the middle, which is also the Vivienne Westwood logo, is a combination of the Sovereign’s Orb and the rings of Saturn. …

Does the classic YouTube tradition still hold up in 2020?

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Let’s travel back in time to a cold December day many years ago. After a long day at middle (or high) school, you bundle up and walk home enduring the winter chill, until, after what seems like forever, you finally reach your home, quickly getting your homework done so you can get on to something way more important. That thing? Vlogmas.

You make yourself a cup of delicious hot chocolate and open up YouTube, eagerly clicking on your favorite YouTuber’s newest installation of the internet’s favorite holiday tradition, reveling in festivity and winter spirit.

So, What is Vlogmas? The Beginnings…

Vlogmas was created in 2011 by YouTuber Ingrid Nilsen, who had the idea to post a video (a “vlog,” or video blog) every day leading up to Christmas as a sort of “advent calendar” for her subscribers. Kathryn Lindsay describes in Refinery29 how daily vlogging was not yet a “thing” when Vlogmas started: “It was rare that you’d see someone give such an intimate look into their lives every single day, especially not a beauty YouTuber like Nilsen.” Nilsen’s first Vlogmas video, which offers a look back into a different, improvised and unedited era of YouTube, was uploaded on December 2nd, 2011. …

Behold, the stuffed animal that has taken over the internet.

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via Evies Toy House on YouTube

If you’re at all familiar with the stuffed animal market, then you’ve surely noticed that recently, there’s one brand that people just can’t stop talking about — Squishmallows. Squishmallows are soft, squishy, cuddly animals that come in a variety of different colors and sizes. According to the Squishmallows website, they’ve been around since 2017, but in the last several months they have gained tons of fans, with the Squishmallows Instagram account now up to 220,000 followers.

But with so many different brands of stuffed animals to choose from, what makes Squishmallows so special? And why have they become so popular over the last several months? …

In 2020, to tell a teacher “thank you,” students have to get creative.

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via queenofrelax11 on Redbubble

I heard it in almost every class I was taking leading up to the end of my first semester in college: “If we were in-person, we would do this…” “Normally we’d have a party on the last day of class…” “The end of the semester usually doesn’t look like this, but…”

Although it seems obvious by this point, it’s true — this semester hasn’t been at all normal. And yet it is the end of it, those last few classes before winter break, that perhaps feels the weirdest. While we have (to the extent possible) developed friendships with our classmates, gotten to know our teachers, and have built up some spirit and excitement, we don’t get to celebrate the semester in person, but rather, through a Zoom screen. …

Some thoughts on the last few months: school, writing, and more.

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This image just about sums up the last several months.

I’m not normally a huge stickler about following traditional writing advice or “rules”— “write every day” being a very common one. But as I’m thinking about this advice now, I can definitely understand why it’s a thing — and maybe it’s not so much about not writing one day, but about what happens when that one day becomes two, and then three, and then four. And then suddenly it’s been a month (or two or three) and you realize you haven’t really put out anything.

For the last few months, I’ve taken a bit of a break from writing. Not completely — I’ve written a bit for my college’s chapter of HerCampus, and of course, there have been essays and things for school (and I also was an episode of one of my best friend’s, Molly Van Gorp’s, podcast “Get Cultured”). But I haven’t really written pieces like I did this summer — on things I find on TikTok, youth culture, etc. Things that really excite me and where I have essentially complete creative control, as opposed to an essay for school. …

Amidst the turmoil of 2020, people are turning to a whimsical countryside aesthetic called cottagecore.

A collab piece by Kristin Merrilees and Molly Van Gorp. Our social media accounts are linked at the end of the article.

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Photo via LoveShackFancy

It’s a picturesque summer morning: buttery light melts through a viridescent landscape accented with the pinks and reds of blooming peonies. Yellow finches chirp as a group of girls dressed in head-to-toe flowing garb and matching headbands indulge in a breakfast spread, complete with freshly picked strawberries, marmalade, homemade croissants, a piping hot herbal tea selection, and a cloth-lined, wicker picnic basket. You might be thinking to yourself, is this something out of a Disney movie — perhaps a piece of Sleeping Beauty or Snow White fanfiction, unearthed from the archives? These were our thoughts exactly after encountering video after video in our TikToks feed depicting scenes like these: lifestyles seemingly extracted from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s (famed Anne of Green Gables author) very imagination. Yet, this turn-of-the-century, pre-industrial country living is more than just a fairytale rendition. …

And the unique moment of human connection that comes with it.

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Photo via Wired

Having recently graduated high school, I can definitely say that I know a thing or two about Google Docs (and Sheets and Slides for that matter as well). Google Docs were (and still are) an extension of me, where I would write all my essays, type up notes and study guides, and jot down all my ideas, thoughts, and various miscellaneous other things I had to keep track of for school. There was rarely a day throughout my four years of high school where I wouldn’t interact with a Google Doc in some way. …

One digital native looks to the past to find out why she’s become a collector of online content

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Photo Credit: howtos101/YouTube

If there’s one thing I do online, it is save things. On TikTok, I have an endless feed of favorited videos, hashtags, sounds, and effects. And if I see a TikTok that I want to distinguish from the rest of my heap of TikToks, I’ll save it to my camera roll (where it becomes part of an even bigger heap of pixelated artifacts from both my physical and online life).

I’m constantly pinning on Pinterest, bookmarking on Twitter, saving on Instagram, saving on Reddit, saving and archiving on Medium, downloading PDFs of articles on my computer, adding to my “Memories” on Snapchat. I’m liking songs on Spotify, putting VSCOs into my collection, saving articles for “later” on my New York Times and The Atlantic apps, creating playlists of videos on YouTube, downloading episodes on Podcasts, putting books into my “Want to Read” on iBooks, adding stuff to my wishlist on all my shopping apps, and simply screenshotting anything else that I can’t find a home for. …

The hottest DIY fashion trend right now is the Nike sock top, which has drawn a mixed reaction online.

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KELLY NG on YouTube

During the past few months, as malls across the country have been closed and we’ve all finally had the time to clean out our closets, fashion fanatics everywhere have been getting crafty. DIY projects have been extremely popular, such as custom college gear, tie-dye sweats, embroidering, and “thrift flips.”

And now, people are making “sock tops,” DIY cropped tank tops most often made out of Nike socks. Like many things nowadays, this trend has been popularized on the internet, most notably, on TikTok. Back in June, TikTok user @issymayes uploaded a video showing her process making a top out of white Nike socks, which has since accrued over 3.9 million views. …


Kristin Merrilees

Student and Gen Zer interested in culture, technology, and education. More at kristinmerrilees.com

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