When a contemporary crop of younger stars started constructing audiences on TikTok in late 2019 and early 2020, many had been hopeful that this time could be completely different. They’d grown up watching YouTubers communicate frankly about these points. “When it comes to Gen Z creators, we talk so much about mental health and caring for yourself,” stated Courtney Nwokedi, 23, a YouTube star in Los Angeles. “We’ve seen a bunch of creators talk about burnout in the past.”
Still, they weren’t ready for the draining work of constructing, sustaining and monetizing an viewers throughout a pandemic. “It’s exhausting,” stated Jose Damas, 22, a TikTok creator in Los Angeles. “It feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day.”
“TikTok is just as demanding as YouTube,” stated Gohar Khan, 22, a TikTok creator in Seymour, Conn.
Thanks to the app’s algorithmically generated “For You” web page, TikTok delivers fame quicker than every other platform; it’s potential to amass tens of millions of followers inside a matter of weeks. But as rapidly as creators rise, they will fall.
“It almost feels like I’m getting a taste of celebrity, but it’s never consistent and as soon as you get it, it’s gone and you’re constantly trying to get it back,” stated Lauren Stasyna, 22, a TikTok creator in Toronto. “It feels like I’m trying to capture this prize, but I don’t know what the prize even is.”
The volatility might be rattling. “When your views are down, it affects your financial stability and puts your career at risk,” stated Luis Capecchi, a 23-year-old TikTok creator in Los Angeles. “It’s like getting demoted at a job with no warning.”
Creators have encountered all types of issues, together with bullying, harassment and discrimination. “Some creators get their content stolen too, so someone else will go viral off their content then they get all the press,” Mr. Harris stated. Not to say, fan communities and web commentators might be vicious. “You can’t just film what you want to film,” Mr. Harris stated. “They’ll make fun of you if your views drop.”