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Welcome To My TikTok Algorithm: Rave TikToks Fuel Monisha’s Nostalgia

Life comes at you fast in 2020.

One day, you’re minding your own business, strolling outside listening to your carefully curated podcasts and watching soothing YouTube videos. The next, you’ve been in your house for two months straight, you only communicate by chucking up a peace sign and every night ends with you balls deep in a TikTok hole.

To be completely honest, Vine entirely passed over me when it still existed. It was a distant wave of shrieking/twerking American youths, that I’m sad to have missed. Pour one out for a true legend. Those in the know say it was the social media platform, and the YouTube compilations just aren’t the same. So this time around, I’m embracing micro-video content with open arms, and it has welcomed me warmly.

Initially, like other “reporters” I told myself this was for research. The time-honoured art of news gathering you know?

via GIPHY

The lie detector test determined that was a lie.

I adore TikTok. Wholly recreationally, too. When I told my sis she was appalled. I know it’s not the same as Vine. Even the compilations of “TikToks with Vine energy” don’t measure up, so I’m told. TikTok is something else. The content veers all over the place. Some TikTok’s have a certain level of earnestness and utility. I’m a big fan of TikToks from this therapist and this BBC journalist. But there’s the chaotic, “IDGAF I’ll do anything” for views Gen Z attitude that gives you the more extreme content (not safe for linking here).

There’s beauty and hair tutorial TikToks, the TikToks that frothed a million Dalgona coffees, friendship meme TikToks and depraved celebrity isolation TikTok. It’s all there, right for the scrolling. In Syrup‘s Welcome To My TikTok Algorithm, we take an unflinching look at the content that Syrup and friends are faving. Because this is the inaugural edition of this series, yes I’m answering my own Q’s, but use some ~threatre of the mind~ to imagine our later ones.

What’s up bitch, how long have you had TikTok?

I downloaded this blessed app in January, a late adopter. As mentioned, I downloaded it in a futile attempt to keep up with friends (and the world I guess??). The thing is, trends are born and die faster than the human eye can actually register them. Now I’m just a fan.

Have you made any TikToks?

Not yet, but every day draws closer. I have practised the Renegade dance. Note, practised, not actually learnt.

What TikTik hole are you currently in?

Alright. Hear me out. We’re in isolation. Live gigs, concerts, raves, even going to the theatre: all canned for the foreseeable future. These are dark times, even if I guess… our serotonin is technically flourishing. Right now, I am tragically obsessed with rave Tiktoks. They’re so fucking good. It started with a single TikTok that a friend sent me, the one below.

@phoenix25179

When the nang hits ya on the D Floor 👌👌🎶 ##doof. #n#everstopthedoof #r#ave #f#oryou #f#estival #i#solation #r#abbits #n#ew #n#ang #d#ance #v#ibes #t#iktok

♬ Take It – Dom Dolla

It literally invoked a visceral, physical longing in me (although, not for nangs… maybe just to be alongside someone popping a nang). And not the kind of longing you get listening to a Chris Hemsworth meditation. That sweet silver hiss, ya know? What we all wouldn’t give to be surrounded by a bunch of sweaty, dusty strangers testing the absolute limits of how long a body can sustain itself on nothing but Airwaves and alcohol. I hope wherever this champ is, they’re well and safe.

What characterises the rave TikToks genre?

So there’s definitely subsections in here. The world of rave TikToks is wide and it is deep. Anyone who has ever spent any time in the legendary LG and LB watering Sanctuary will recognise the elements of East-Asian rave culture. You’ll find the goods at #subtleasianravers. I so badly want this pretty rave girl to be looking after me ;-;

@eatanasian

pov: rave mum🥺👉🏻👈🏻 ##fyp ##rave ##foryou ##xyzbca

♬ Pretty Rave Girl – S3RL
@_joshkimm

Iykyk 😳😳 ##fyp ##foryou ##foryoupage ##rave ##asian ##caps ##australia

♬ T N Biscuits – slowthai
@j4nnaa

ily to all the rave mums and dads 🥺🤟🏼💞💗 ##rave ##abg ##plur ##subtleasianravers

♬ Wait a Minute! – Willow
@angelnicolev

if i stick my hand out to headbang, you grab my hand!! ##greenscreen ##edmtiktok ##subtleasianravers ##ravergirl ##headbanger

♬ Brain Sludge – VIP – Midnight Tyrannosaurus
@_joshkimm

Really let myself go for this one…😂😂 ##fyp ##foryou ##foryoupage ##korean ##rave ##hardstyle ##sydney ##melbourne ##brisbane ##australia ##asian ##meme

♬ original sound – juliabeautx99
@vinnyv269

Lights or no lights? You decide 🔥 ##edm ##rave ##ravenation ##fyp ##chachaslide ##lightshow ##fingerflow ##duet with @angiepkim

♬ 原聲 – Cindy👄

There’s the rave TikToks that have a distinct air of Western Sydney and Newcastle gremlin about them. I mean this kindly, these people are legends.

@unclechev

festival tings pt.2 ##fyp ##foryoupage ##foryou ##australia ##newzealand ##eyesonme ##ifykyk ##festivals ##rave ##touchbass

♬ Blinding Lights – The Weeknd
@unclechev

Bunch of dads 🧢👕👖##xyzcba ##foryoupage ##australia ##perth ##festivals ##rave ##comedy

♬ original sound – unclechev

There are reflections on the loss of raves and how people are coping in quarantine. The sentimental rave TikTok, if you will.

@_joshkimm

RIP MM 😭😭 I’ll probs still fly down to syd or melb for a bender tho 🥵##fyp ##foryou ##foryoupage ##australia ##asian ##coronavirus##rave ##caps ##shykids

♬ Yung Skrrt – Hit It – cm4est
@aaront23

ok back to bed 🥺🤘😔 ##subtleasianravers ##melbourne ##australia ##paradigmfestival ##psytrance

♬ Roses – Imanbek Remix – SAINt JHN
@kimberlyppham

Just a semi-friendly PSA 🙃 wait for it… ##stayathome ##subtleasianravers ##asiangirl ##vietnamese ##raves ##ravegirl ##quarantine ##EDM ##festival

♬ The Smile Bang Song – kimberlyppham

Some of my favourites are ones of former ravers speculating on their interactions with the next generation. Or accidentally outing themselves to their own parents as sesh gremlins.

@_joshkimm

Post rave hardships ##fyp ##foryou ##foryoupage ##australia ##asian ##rave ##ravelife ##trending ##iykyk ##ifykyk ##xyzbca

♬ original sound – grantminor1
@its.jovan

When you try to text your mate for kickons and this happens ##subtleasianravers ##raves ##hardstyle ##australia ##sydney ##melbourne ##lg ##lb ##abg

♬ sonido original – ericgalinski4

There’s a lot here, and admittedly I have never been to an actual hardstyle rave. My vibe is generally more of a festival or you know, a lil Henry:

@alisonwonderland

On stage as king RL Grime drops core. ##festival ##musicfestival ##fyp ##viral

♬ original sound – alisonwonderland
@razzedri

##oneliners ##fyp ##foryoupage ##fy ##foru ##xyzbca ##xyzcba ##viral ##trend ##rave ##foryou

♬ original sound – beanslee

The below Excision rave TikTok though was the one that really tipped me off the edge.

@gypsylife92

Excision’s Evolution Premiere at the Tacoma Dome! lenme tell y’all, it was incredible! ##Excision ##thunderdome ##dubstep ##rave ##Evolution ##TacomaDome

♬ original sound – gypsylife92

Once this is over, and if it’s made not illegal. Catch me at Defqon. Oh, to be trading Poy Sian to be hoisted on some muscle-y dudes shoulders.

If anyone needs me tonight, I’ll be listening NOVA top to bottom.

Monisha is a writer with a background in publishing and digital media. A chronic Pisces, she’s into trying to be a better person and sparkling water.

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