Teens choose Tik Tok. CdT interviews Lorenzo Cantoni

Institutional Communication Service

20 November 2019

Corriere del Ticino talked on Wednesday, 20 November with prof. Lorenzo Cantoni about TikTok, the phenomenon who took over the world of social media and became the most used especially among teenagers. Short videos of 15 to 16 seconds with background music: these are the main features that earned the app more than a billion users since its release.

Although this is still a recent phenomenon and requires further research, Professor Cantoni summarises in his article some of the reasons for the success of this new platform. First of all, the combination of video and music is what the new generations like to use to express themselves through short “stories. The concept of defining one's own identity  also is involved “in an increasingly uncertain and 'unbalanced' socio-economic context, TikTok's videos present an enviable 'harmony' in which young people can project their own identity and see themselves as they would like to be”. Novelty is also a keyword in the world of social media and communication technologies in general, as underlined by Lorenzo Cantoni, “"new generations try to differentiate/distinguish themselves from previous ones" and easily switch to new, trendier platforms that allow them to reach their circle of friends.

The videos featured in the app are often superficial and they lack of content. The journalists discusses with Cantoni about the increase of low quality content found on the net. In this regard the professor explains some of the dynamics with which social media can be analysed, talking about social problems, related (con)causes and solutions: “"Let us take for example the problem of weak or 'liquid' social bonds. The kind of “friendship” proposed by social media is an effect of a society in which relationships tend to lose strength, are shorter and less intense. Of course, social media can become, in turn, conducive to a rather superficial approach to bonding. But they can also help maintain ties in a society where people are increasingly moving more and physically separated from each other".

Attached the interview by Giona Carcano (in Italian).