Politics. Coronavirus. Protests… my mind never quite escapes the 24/7 news cycle.
After paying close attention to the news this weekend, two proverbs came to mind: “Those that live by the sword die by the sword,” and “The pen is mightier than the sword.”
Stick with me…
The New York Times is reporting that TikTok users and K-pop fans say they are responsible for the disappointing attendance at President Trump’s rally in Tulsa on Saturday.
Now, I am somewhat familiar with how TikTok works, but I’ll be honest—I had to do some homework to figure out what K-pop is (simply put, it’s Korean popular music).
I discovered TikTok during the pandemic, and like so many users, it’s a rabbit hole for me, too. Once I start watching video after video, I cannot stop. I keep asking myself, How many ways can I watch that goofy arm dance? And no, I’m not going to do it myself. Although that song will probably be stuck in my head forever!
Anyway, I had no idea the effect TikTok could have on politics. I’m guessing the Trump campaign didn’t either.
If you haven’t heard, here’s what happened Saturday night. The Trump campaign held a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It said the campaign had received 800,000 ticket request prior to the event. Meanwhile the arena has about a 20,000 seat capacity. To accommodate the anticipated overflow, the campaign planned to hold an additional outdoor rally for all those who couldn’t get in.
Well, when it was all said and done, a mere 6,200 people attended, according to the Tulsa Fire Department. Obviously, it was far fewer than the Trump campaign expected and provided for photos of a lot of empty seats.
So you might be wondering, how could this have happened?
Well, TikTok users and K-pop fans say they were the reason. Apparently as a prank, the groups requested hundreds of thousands of tickets from the Trump campaign. None to be used.
Ouch, now that’s some prank!
As for my reason to quote parables earlier:
Many of us live and die by social. More and more these days, politics relies on social media outlets to get out its messages. That in itself is okay—if you understand that it doesn’t always check itself. Sometimes, it comes back to bite you, and in this case, it did just that.
In a similar way, words have always been more powerful than weapons. In our world today, it’s not a physical pen making the strides… it’s the keyboard. TikTok, it seems, is quite a powerful pen.
I have a feeling this is going to be an ugly election season. A lot of nasty stuff will be said. It’s proof that no matter how good you think you think you are at social media, someone else is undoubtedly better.
In this case, TikTok outsmarted even one of the most sophisticated political machines out there.
Yeah, the one with that goofy arm dance. Don’t worry, I’m still not doing that dance. I promise that’s not me… Really, it’s not!