With words by Ellah Perone
Originally associated with text and loud fashion, ‘jejemon’ is now a derogatory tag for those who supposedly follow and “give in” to mass culture. As we evolve our social spaces, jeje-judgers expand from Facebook to Twitter and now to TikTok.
TikTok is the current Gen Z rage. And if you’re lucky, you might end up on thousands of FYPs (For You Page). As dancing is one of the app’s claim-to-fame, many think that dancing to sped-up/slowed-down songs is “corny” or “jeje”.
TikTok dancers Patricia Anne Holgado, Yana Nicolas, and Veronica Fernandez share their stories to prove what’s beyond the 15-second trend and break the stereotype.
TikTok is a wide platform that’s open to everyone and for us to enjoy.
Veronica (aka @imthefatmermxid on TikTok) confessed her loyalty to the app back when it was called Musically– a lip-syncing social media platform. And in October 2019, she posted her very first TikTok dance.
todo na ata to dc: @jaedengomezz
Patricia (aka @amazonianne on TikTok) and Yana (aka @yana.nics on TikTok) started making videos pre-pandemic at school with their friends. Back then, Roxanne and The Weekend were all the rage because of how easy the dance steps were. Veronica, Patricia, and Yana’s love for dancing eventually grew because of the app. For them, it was a form of friendship bonding.
As the lockdowns were implemented nationwide, boredom struck. Through time, Patricia found TikTok likes to be rewarding as well when it came to creating dance videos. “It’s easy to (be) patok,” Veronica said about garnering lots of engagement. This can be done by following dance crazes to entertain a growing crowd. Charli D’amelio, Addison Rae, and Kara Canella are some of the few TikTok dancers with a big influence.
Veronica added that the TikTok Algorithm is weird. One video could be a hit, the other could flop.
Prior to joining, Patricia had already made a name for herself through dance competitions, which became impossible to pursue during the pandemic. TikTok became an opportunity for her to showcase her talent.
Is TikTok this generation’s jEj3?
TikTok has been around since 2016, but found a surge in users during the height of the pandemic. Now, the TikTok community boasts over 315 million downloads – and we bet you tried at least one trend at home (we won’t judge).
Because of its mainstream fame, creating content on the app is routinely accused of becoming “jeje”. For Yana, dancing on TikTok is open to anything — whether they’re praises from random internet users, judgments from people who could easily hide behind their screens, or misinterpretations from people with different backgrounds.
Veronica agrees and adds that “people will judge you for doing too much and would still judge you for doing less.” People tend to be overly critical of anything that we do. So why not do it regardless?
Just because it’s a free-for-all, doesn’t mean it’s jeje. Y’know?
TikTok as a platform: pros and cons
Though TikTok is usually a fun place, Patricia, Yana, and Veronica warn us of the possible harm TikTok may bring. With a ton of opportunities comes an equal amount of risks. They warn minors of internet predators. Once your content is out there, it’s out there for everyone to see.
As with everything, a sense of responsibility is needed. But for the most part, TikTok is harmless fun. The old saying goes: “Shut up and let people enjoy themselves.”