A TikTok talk with Samuel Johnson

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Courtesy of Samuel Johnson

Madelyn Shapiro

With all the extra time students have due to quarantine, many students have found themselves turning to TikTok for entertainment, or maybe even fame. With over 7,700 followers, several videos garnering hundreds of thousands of views, and 594,000 likes, some would consider junior Samuel Johnson TikTok famous.

Johnson focuses on trying to make his videos as natural and funny as possible. Many of his videos come from spontaneous ideas. “I’ll just get an idea and write it down, then make it the next day,” Johnson said. “I think the key to making something popular is to not make it long and boring.”

Although Johnson has had TikTok for over a year, he only started making videos this past November. He quickly gained popularity on the app, receiving over 150,000 views on his second post featuring a joke about warming up for cross country. “It kind of just happens,” Johnson explained in regards to how he is able to get so many views. “If people like it then they like it. I don’t really understand how TikTok works, I just make stuff.”

Some of Johnson’s favorite videos to make are ones with his friends. “I made one that was a compilation of me and my friends doing stuff, and that was pretty cool. And I’ve gotten a lot of views on some of those,” he said. 

Johnson also enjoys watching TikToks, though he does not like the dancing videos. “There’s a lot of really bad content on there, really cringey, but there’s also some really funny people on there. I like to see people make their own videos,” he said. He named Henry Byrne (@byr.ne) and Manley McConkey (@manleym) as “two of the nation’s best TikTokers.”

While Johnson thinks his popularity is “pretty cool,” he does not care about followers or fame. “It’s fun, but it’s not something you should really care too much about,” he said. “Don’t really worry what other people think of you, because that’s the point where it just gets unhealthy.” 

For anyone looking to get TikTok famous, Johnson’s advice is to “make a lot of videos, just try to make original stuff, and just try to be funny.” For any students interested in some funny videos, Johnson’s TikTok is @youngthugfan2000.