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One of the many world- changing events of the last two years has been the rise of the social media platform TikTok.
As engagement on the platform soared at the beginning of lockdown, Tide Lines thought we should get involved just as Donald Trump was considering banning it because it was owned by the Chinese!
After well over a year of using it, TikTok still remains a mystery to me. Until very recently, it required all videos to be under a minute – confines that prove very challenging for someone as verbose as me.
Our own profile on the platform is basically full of me singing short versions of songs: some Tide Lines; some Gaelic; some Scots; and some pop or rock covers. I also go live on the platform now and again for wee concerts from my flat and – at one point, I even attempted a ‘chat show’ where I invited other users onto my live stream. You can see why I haven’t quite got my head round it.
It has a very young usership and, for the first time in my life, aged 27, it has made me realise there are now generations below me with whom I am almost completely out of touch. This must be how my Mum and Dad felt when they first discovered Facebook – a good few years after anyone under 30 had moved onto Instagram and largely left Facebook behind!
I actually saw a video on TikTok recently where someone was asking if anyone remembered ‘the old days’ when you had to buy music rather than stream it. I felt like saying: yes – partly because I’m a full-time musician and partly because I wasn’t born yesterday. The first music I bought was on cassette after all.
Anyway, the reason I am telling you all this is that, in the name of TikTok, I have been trying to go to picturesque places for my short videos. When I was back home during lockdown, this was easy enough. I could have a different view of the Ben each day and, now and again, throw in a nice shot by the River Lochy.
In Glasgow, however, it is slightly more difficult because all the photogenic spots in the city tend to be busy.
With this in mind, in the nice weather last week, I set off for the Campsie Hills. Stopping at the car park just above the Campsie Waterfall, I set off, guitar in hand like Julie Andrews, up the small hill directly above it. Half way up, I found the perfect rock to perch my phone and film myself singing a few songs.
No sooner had I started than a lovely Indian family appeared and sat down and had a picnic – the young lad offering me some chocolate peanuts from his lunch box! They gave me a round of applause and, thus, became only my second live audience since March 2020. It’s a funny old world these days!