Tik Tok is the world’s leading short video platform, an app used for creating and sharing short videos ranging from 5 to 15 seconds, in some cases up to 60 seconds in length, enjoyed by over 500 million users across the globe. It’s the world’s most downloaded iPhone app.
As with other social media, a hashtag convention is used to label by subject or interest. Popular hashtags include #dance, #fitness, #foodporn, #hair and #memes.
You might imagine that the appeal of the more popular videos is that they offer a glimpse into something exciting, exotic or attractive. So you may be surprised to learn that one hashtag garnering attention in the news today is #security. Georgia Wells of The Wall Street Journal wrote a piece about one security guard who has a following of 250 thousand viewers. Security Officer Terry Shanton posts videos of herself in uniform, at her post, doing her rounds alone. She dances. She chats to the audience. Wells writes that Shanton’s video clips in Tik Tok with the hashtag #security have garnered 44 million views, “outpacing job-related categories such as #lawyers, #dentists and #senators.” Forty. Four. Million. Viewers.
The overriding message is that across the board, security guards are super bored. They have plenty of free time to upload videos, while at work. The related message is that their job involves doing nothing and they spend an inordinate amount of time waiting for nothing to happen. It’s all a bit of a joke and harks to the Paul Blart Mall Cop movie series. As to these posted videos, perhaps people watch them because among other things, it makes a viewer feel less bored in comparison? Hard to say.
Sure, work at some security posts is boring, there’s no denying it. Overnight patrols in an empty space are far from stimulating. But every once in a while, something does happen. That’s the whole challenge of security and the nature of threat. The threat is always there, and the possibility of an attack, a robbery, infiltration always exists, even if rare. Being vigilant in the face of boredom isn’t easy but, it’s the job.
Some of the #security clips are cute and entertaining and although I wonder what their bosses think, I don’t necessarily fault the employees’ artistic expression. But gee, wouldn’t it be great to see positive material under hastag security that highlights the importance of the job of a security officer or shows an officer engaged and proactive? Will dream on….