A FEW months ago, while sitting with some mum friends, one of them talked about how her nine-year-old daughter was obsessed with Tik Tok.

I am a keen social media user and find it to be a powerful platform if used properly but I had not heard of this app before.

Maybe I am a little old school as I only use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and I use them to not only share my stories but also to educate and share evidence based health news with my followers. With so much misinformation going around on social media, I find it to be part of my role to debunk that but what was this Tik Tok business?

As quickly as I signed up was as quickly as I signed out. My five-minute scan of this app seemed to show people posting 15 second videos of pranks or of themselves dancing to the latest trending dance routines.

Deeming it to be a “teenage” thing, I deleted the app. I did see some other medics on it, but felt it was too cringey to engage with. I swore I would never use it.

Fast forward to lockdown life where I find myself stuck in the dregs trying to juggle the homeschool:work:life chaos and someone sends me a hilarious

Tik Tok video on a WhatsAapp message. I sign back up to check it out again and now I am hooked to its positive vibes. I may even go as far as saying I would prescribe it to people, purely to inject a little bit of fun and laughter into those uninspired and dull moments of the day. We all have them and turning on the telly or the radio can become quite monotonous and anxiety provoking just now.

Every media outlet these past few months has been so draining to engage with as nothing but negativity has poured out from them. This is not the fault of the media for their job is to report news but it has been depressing especially as we have been put under many restrictions, have been separated from our loved ones and have no social life.

As I logged on, my six-year-old joined me. We laughed and felt so uplifted after watching multiple videos of people making the most of their times stuck indoors, rising up in the face of adversity rather than letting it take control of them.

The thing that has struck me the most about this platform has been how it has united everyone from babies to the very elderly, all using creativity to make content and in doing so are bringing themselves a sense of purpose and belonging. With one grandad on there, with almost a million followers, doing dance challenges with his wife to comedic parents relaying their lockdown frustrations with their kids – it really is bitesize entertainment on tap.

Watching families and neighbours collaborating, dancing and even getting their pets involved has restored a sense of fun and hope that not all is doom and gloom. Millions of people in the same situations as us, are getting creative and finding positive in what is a trying time.

It is no wonder then that Tik Tok has been downloaded 315 million times from January through to March and that number is rising fast.

There are many positive stories too. These range from creatives who had struggled to make it for years but have used the Tik Tok platform to ignite their careers, to people who had lost their jobs but have now found new opportunities and purpose on here. For others, like me, it has become a fun way to have a dance and a carry on with my son when we run out of things to do. Even my traditional parents and my grandad in India have joined and we have all had a laugh trying out some of the challenges.

On platforms like Instagram people are often showcasing perfect highlight reels which have been filtered to the n’th degree. Facebook tends to circulate a lot of misinformation interspersed with ads. Twitter can be informative but can also be rather mouthy and aggressive but this seems a platform where people can just be themselves.

With everything that’s going on right now, I have personally not felt inspired to take up any new hobbies or skills. My anxiety levels have fluctuated and simply getting through the days feels like a job well done. I have however found this app to be helpful in distracting myself from the negative news and it has also been uniting for my family and friends as we have all had a giggle on it.

Life is short. This pandemic has given us the space and time to just take stock. If you ever had a passion to dance or just want to watch other people getting funny with it, have a go and Tik Tok it! Stay home and have fun! PS, I can’t believe I have just written an entire column on an app…

I promise I have no links with it.