Following a mandatory stay-at-home order issued by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, many LSU students are forced to be creative when it comes to entertaining themselves in quarantine.
The University cancelled classes for the week beginning on March 16 in an effort to slow the spread of the virus and give professors ample time to prepare for a complete transition to online classes. Students were off for spring break the following week.
With two weeks without school, many students including economics junior Eldon Smith have turned to social media apps such as TikTok to pass time during quarantine.
Smith believes the humor on TikTok helps to take his mind off the panic much of the country is enduring. It has become a routine for him.
“When I wake up in the morning, I jump on TikTok for my social media wake up routine,” Smith said. “There have been times where I’ve woken up and laid in bed and watched TikTok for 2 hours straight.”
The app uses an algorithm to provide users with content fitted to their “likes.” The more content a user “likes,” the more specialized the user’s “For You” page will be.
It isn't uncommon for University students to find LSU-related content on their home pages.
English senior Molly Holmes said her first “big” TikTok post, which has received over 430,000 views as of Tuesday, March 31, featured the University. In it, she poked fun at the difference between the aging Middleton Library and the privately-funded $28 million LSU football locker room.
“I still love Joe Burrow,” the caption read.
“When I was making TikToks about LSU, I was seeing more LSU and Louisiana content on my 'For You' page,” Holmes said.
Holmes has amassed over 227,800 likes on the app. She said she can spend more time on the app than she’d like to admit.
According to her phone’s recorded information, Holmes spends around an hour-and-a-half to two hours scrolling through other users’ posts. If she produces content, she spends much longer on the app.
“If I’m trying to make TikToks, it can be a lot longer. I’m almost embarrassed to say that one day last week I spent six hours on the app.”
Biological sciences junior Sophia Galbo said she enjoys the app because it offers entertaining content for everyone during quarantine. But, she said, there is no way to escape what’s going on in the real world.
“It’s mainly entertainment,” Galbo said. “There really is no getting away from conversations about the virus on any social media platforms.”