Tik Tok is currently one of the most popular social media apps. Tik Tok has accumulated over 800 million active users since the app started in 2016. Creators on Tik Tok originally gained massive followings because of the popular Tik Tok dances which is how Tik Toker Charli D’amelio became the first person to hit 100 million followers. Also, creators have been known for their comedic content, their skits and using their platform to spread awareness about social issues.
A couple months ago, while I was using the app I came across this video. As seen in the video, the woman is recording a conversation to help someone if they feel as if they are unsafe and they do not have anyone else to talk to currently. The video is meant to be played on speaker so that if someone felt that they were being followed, the person following them would hopefully leave them alone. That video has over 18.6 million views now, and because of its popularity it is no longer the only one of its kind. Now, when I scroll through Tik Tok I see a couple of these safety videos weekly. But how did this safety video originally come about?
Mendy Perdrew, the woman who created the first video, had an interview on Good Morning America (GMA) about how she came up with the idea. Mendy explained that her friend had contacted her one night as she was leaving work and was worried, but Mendy was unavailable. Fortunately, nothing happened to her friend, but Mendy wanted to come up with a way that if this happened again, someone could have another option. So, she recorded her video, and it went viral.
Some of the comments from that one video are “I used it, and this worked”, “This is so helpful”, “Saving this for later”, “Every. Woman. Has had instances in which they needed this”, and “the fact that we need this is unbelievable.” It is unbelievable that people need to use these conversations to protect themselves; these types of situations have occurred so many times we have had to create unique and different ways to protect ourselves from danger.
As Mendy has become not the only one who has continued to create these videos, another person from the GMA interview, Craig Conrad, stated how people asked him to make videos as a dad calling their child. Tik Tok users in the comments are asking for different situations that could apply to everyone such as in different languages, if the person has kids, if the person is married and much more. The creators of these safety videos are trying to be more welcoming to all the different lives their followers may have.
Mendy mentions in the GMA interview that someone once told her “A person was following me; I was in danger. And they heard your voice. And they turned around.” It’s astonishing and amazing to see that these videos are saving people’s lives.
Additionally, in case the possible perpetrator has heard these videos, Mendy suggests making your own and to change them all the time. Creators have also added in their videos what the person who is using the video could say; this was added so the person who is in danger that does not need to make up some lines on the spot. Nonetheless, Mendy does say, if you really feel like you are in danger, to call 911, because the police may be the best in some situations.
Mendy is grateful that these videos are helping those who are in danger because she “… took 60 seconds to care for another person and it’s helping all these people.” Hopefully anyone who uses these videos are being brought to safety after, but I think we all are grateful these resources are here for those who are in uncomfortable situations. It’s great to see social media being used in a way to protect others.