TikTok, Social Distancing, and the New UnNormal

You might remember not long ago I was on here grandstanding about deleting my Facebook account to live a better life of real human connection and personal experiences.

Well, bad timing I guess.

Thanks to a global pandemic and our new reality of “Social Distancing” my grand plan needs a Plan B. Turns out Social Media is a good thing during a state-wide Shelter in Place. I hang out on Instagram and Twitter a lot, these days, and sometimes long for my old Facebook feed.

10 days ago after getting locked up with my wife and two teenage kids, I decided to give TikTok a try. My family has been bugging me about it for awhile, recording dances in our living room while I pouted in the background hiding my face from the camera. But under the current circumstances I relented. So I created an account for my handmade skateboard making persona and published my first video (follow me at SK8Makers).

I’ve been posting almost every day since, digging in to my archive of social video clips. Here’s some original content I made with my wife to demonstrate how a woodworker practices social distancing with a tape measure extended to 6-ft. (wait for it…).

@sk8makers

How a woodworker practices “Social Distancing” with a tape measure #coronavirus #shelterinplace #covid19 #woodworking #woodshoplife #tiktokfamily

♬ Mama Said – Lukas Graham

Turns out I have a shot at getting TikTok Famous in my narrow little woodworking nitch. Three of my videos so far have attracted 5-figure views. Like this one below that shows some of my woodworking students (pre-COVID-19) laminating 7-layers of maple veneer into a Skateboard kick tail with a vacuum press. It’s up to 32.4k views at time of publication:

@sk8makers

Laminating 7 layers of Canadian Maple to build a handmade skate deck. Remove the air, bend the wood! #skateboard #maker #diy #woodworking #safehands

♬ Mission Impossible Theme (Movie Trailer Mix) – Dominik Hauser

As a veteran content publisher of more than two decades, I have to admit that TikTok is hands down the best content creation platform I’ve ever used, especially on a mobile device. It’s so easy and intuitive to make expressive videos right on your iPhone. Let me predict: The TikTok generation of content creators will be the greatest yet. Listen up Content Management Professionals.

Despite all my views and likes, I’m really looking forward to things getting back to normal, sending the kids to school, and seeing daily life resume to some degree. And I can’t wait to write my big emotional exposé on “Why I’m Quitting TikTok.” [Insert Link TBD]

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