iamjoshcarroll, Enoch AKA @enochj_ and Andrew AKA @itsyaboyandrewpav
Have you been private privacy during the pandemic? Missing spontaneous vacation romances? Does your only source of sexual tension come from watching Jack Grealish’s calves at the euros? Me too.
But don’t worry, you won’t have to live this way any longer because TIC Tacthe dredgers are here to save you! All you have to do is go to your FYP page and they’ll start asking questions like “What would you do if I was your delivery guy and I delivered your pizza to you and you opened the door and we have made “eye contact” as they slowly look you up and down, or say things like “when she knows the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you are'” while moistening the air.
Some of these straight and adult men even go so far as to list all of the ethnicities of women who attract them or give a talk on how they will date you for your “maturity, values ââand ambitions“. Others go I’m literally begging to go out with you.
But why are these TikTokers making these videos and hitting everyone on their feed? Are they really looking for love? And do they think people actually find these videos attractive?
âHonestly, for me, I like to see people smile. I like to have a reaction. So most of my videos are positive, âsays Enoch, the man who might be your pizza delivery guy. âI think the first video that gained traction was a POV. I started reading the reviews and noticed that there were only a lot of women there, so I was like “okay, let me market to this crowd a little bit more.”
Unfortunately, not all reaction to the Enoch videos has been positive, and a few commentators have scoffed at the 25-year-old from Atlanta for posting “cringe” videos. But that doesn’t seem to depress him too much. âWhen I made the video, I just threw it in there. So I knew it would be received positively or negatively. I just hope nobody takes it seriously because it’s just a little fun. He said.
Does Enoch even try to search for love on TikTok? Not now, because he’s dating someone IRL. And yes, she knows the videos.
The creator sees compelling content as a way to keep engagement on their page and thinks it can help them professionally. âIt’s an open door just to get your feet wet. It’s a hobby. You never know who will give you a contract or something that will come out of it.
And he is not wrong. Like Josh, 31, a TikToker and model based in Sydney reveals, for some content creators, being thirsty on the platform can be a fast track to global success. At a time when Vinny Hacker sets the e-boy standard on TikTok, many men imitating him do so because they know the videos are pollinating their audiences.
âI have a friend who is much younger than me,â Josh tells VICE. âHe’s only 20 years old but made those kinds of videos. And then I met him in person and he doesn’t like cringe at all, but it’s a way to get there – he wanted to work in social media. He wanted to be able to collaborate with brands, he wanted to be able to make money in this space.
“Having gained over a million subscribers on TikTok, he now works with Dior, Prada and other top brands.” There is a method to madness, after all.
As for Josh’s own videos, he recently created more dating-related content. One of the most recent was a POV based on what he would say to a girlfriend who worried about stretch marks. âSome posts – especially the ones where that might be a pretty sensitive topic for men and women who have acne or stretch marks or things like that – it will be a bit of a calculated thing,â he said. declared during a video call.
Most of Josh’s videos are based on real-life experiences, like dating someone with acne and reassuring them that’s okay to worry about.. âSo with that particular one,â he explains, âyeah, there was some thought behind it, because I knew people would relate to it. But I thought it was a positive message.
Josh says his audience is 85% female, so he wants to be intentional with the videos he posts. âI kind of have to put things in place that they’ll relate to. So this style of content seems to work better for me, purely based on my audience.
Like Enoch, Josh is also in a committed relationship, but says if he was single he wouldn’t try to find love on the platform. “I’m 31, so I can’t really be here trying to thirst trap a bunch of teenagers, âhe laughs. The model also works with big brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, so he’s worried about what more aggressive flirting videos would do to his image. âI have to take care of my brand. I can’t be, you know, turning up and down in front of the camera. “
But what about young designers who don’t yet have to worry about a brand image? AndrÃ©, a 16 years old with 1.4 million followers on TikTok and wants to grow even more subscribers, says that whether the videos cringe or not, they “get engagement anyway.”
I came across his video on caring for an imaginary girlfriend during her period on my TikTok feed. âWith this video, I thought there would be a commitment like ‘oh he’s respectful’ because I’ve seen others do the same. I usually check to see if multiple people have made the same video. and got good engagement and no hate for it, âthe LA-based teenager said.
These days, however, he wants to get away from that content because he doesn’t seem to serve him anymore. âI’m actually starting to turn my content into something else, because I think I’ve reached the top of the POV category, and I need to find a new thing, so I’m growing even more. “
While many younger users may not see that building engagement is at the heart of this type of content, it is clear to others. âA lot of men pose for the camera and talk about surface feminist stuff while being shirtless,â says Jem, a 30-year-old TikTok user from Glasgow who came across the videos while parading. âAnd it seems a little grim once you log into the whole system that they’re sort of engaging with their audience. I find it hard to see how it could really be anything other than performative. “
Like everything on the internet, it seems these videos aren’t what they seem – they were largely orchestrated to cultivate the likes and engagement of a specific audience. Whether we think they are uplifting, funny, or just scary, the question is: how long are we going to keep watching them?