VSCO Girl and E-Boy Duke It out in ENC 2135 Debate: ‘What Is Content?’
TikTok’s disease-like offspring have been infiltrating mainstream media for weeks now and have really rounded out the definition of the word “viral.” While this infectious medium takes residence as the fastest growing social app to date, entry-level English classes everywhere are signaling a grim prognosis. ENC 2135: Research, Genre, & Context is a course particularly grappling with TikTok’s symptomatic character decline both literally and figuratively, as the actual verbiage has now dropped to an average of three hashtags while the people are plainly detestable. Although treatment is underway for the new platform and its side effects, TikTok users and the like have been quick to spread their recent enlightenments with any bystander or poor TA brave enough to ask for their opinion.
“If I worked on it, then it’s content. I do a lot of work with the saturation effect – it’s kind of like my staple – so, because it’s, like, my thing, it should be considered my own content,” elaborated first-year Kandice Kramer in defense of her VSCO posts after a student inquired whether or not she took or captioned her own photos. With a nervous transference of scrunchies from one arm to the next and an incessant clanking of her ice-filled Hydro Flask against her desk, Kramer furthered her argument by comparing herself to iconic cultural figures. “I mean, Marilyn Monroe didn’t take or caption her own pictures, but no one’s denying that she was an influencer! If you couldn’t handle her at her worst, then you definitely didn’t deserve her at her best. Now everyone stands on sewer grates and breathes in God knows what for a sick pic or vid.”
“Copying is totally not a big deal anymore,” said student and self-described TikTok superstar Xander Witten while fidgeting with the multiple silver chains sitting atop the Grateful Dead t-shirt he found on clearance at Urban Outfitters. “On TikTok, it’s actually better to do the same thing as everyone else and take the credit for yourself. If lip syncing to strangers’ audios has gotten me 50K followers, how are you gonna tell me copying is ‘ethically corrupt?’ The shares speak for themselves!”
The feud between the internet sects continues in and outside of the classroom as each faction persists in justifying why their catalogues of stolen material are enough reason to ditch college in pursuit of their “passions”. From brand deals and national tours to binders and Natural Light, the TikTok and VSCO digital demographics will continue their assessment of the necessity of education versus endorsements for the foreseeable future. Before dismissing the Gen Z’ers for weighing internet fame over school, first ask how much you’d rather replace those student loans with a self-driving Tesla… or whatever the next clickbait gift is.