If you were born before the 21st century, it's possible that you've never spent a second of your life on TikTok. The China-based social media app allows users to shoot, edit and score seconds-long videos and send them out to their followers, and it's with more than 2 billion downloads around the world. Because of that popularity, a handful of young, enterprising TikTok users have actually mined their virality to tremendous success, and the odds are good that the teen in your house considers themselves a TikTok star in the making. Here are a handful of non-tech gifts that could help your tech-obsessed kid improve their online presence.
If you want to catch peoples' attention as they're swiping through an endless string of videos, then you need to dress the part. You'll want to hook viewers' attention in a split second so that they stay and watch your content, and you can do that with eye-catching outfits and impressive costumes. A shopping spree at Boulevard Vintage would be the perfect gift, in that case. The secondhand store is a local favorite among bargain hunters and fashionistas alike, and their old-school threads from half a century ago are still totally in style. Aim for bright colors and bold patterns, the sort that vintage fashion delivers better than any contemporary label. Boulevard Mercantile • 1012 N. Washington St.
SPEAK OUT! BOARD GAME
Any burgeoning TikTok star is going to need a gimmick or two to separate them from the herd. Dance challenges are big on the app, as are inventive lip syncs to pop song loops. But some of the best TikToks are the comic ones, and you could really rake in the views with a particularly fun party game called Speak Out! The premise is simple: You have to wear a lip-stretching mouthguard while uttering goofy words and phrases, while your teammates try to guess what you're saying. Its mixture of performance and absurdity means you could get a great TikTok video out of it, but it'll help with enunciation, an underrated talent that all megastars need. $24.99 • Uncle's Games • 404 W. Main Ave.
SOCIAL MEDIA STARTER KIT
TikTok has all the basics as far as editing and shooting are concerned, but you can always step up your game in terms of the look of your videos. Courtesy of the company Tech2, this all-in-one kit is a perfect starting place. It comes with a phone tripod, non-slip grips for your phone, a collection of lenses (who doesn't love a good fisheye view?), a remote so you can control your apps from across the room, and a light specifically designed to make your selfies look good enough to frame. Once you've got all the necessary accessories, the sky's the limit. $29.99 • HSN.com
TIKTOK GUIDE BOOKS
As is the case with any technology that blows up seemingly overnight, there are already how-to manuals and guide books on the market for navigating TikTok and establishing the largest possible footprint on the platform. TikTok: The Ultimate Unofficial Guide! is a slim,. kid-friendly book courtesy of Scholastic, which teaches young readers the ABCs of the app, and includes quizzes about and features on the most in-demand TikTok stars. For something more interactive, consider The TikTok Challenge (releasing on Dec. 15), a game book that tests your mettle with various dances and lip sync challenges to determine who is the ultimate TikToker. Both books are available to order through Auntie's and Wishing Tree bookstores. $8.99-$14.99 • Auntie's Bookstore • 402 W. Main • Wishing Tree Books • 1410 E. 11th Ave. ♦