TikTok takeover: Student becomes TikTok famous


Emily Gold

“Is that Tik Tok John?” An ecstatic roar traveled through the gymnasium.  A flood of 15-year-old girls gathered around junior John Bernauer during the rain delay of the Johnstown football game. The girls ask for pictures, hugs, even some TikToks were made in the process. After the pictures flashes faded, and the girls scattered away, a normal 17-year-old stood there. 

Bernauer has gotten fame from a platform called TikTok, an app where users can post short videos which range from lip-syncing, comedy sketches, talents and everything in between. The app launched in 2017 but has skyrocketed in popularity since last year. During the summer of this year, Bernauer started making videos for fun.

“At first I made them with my baseball team, but after I got a few more likes than everyone else, I thought I could keep going,” Bernauer said. He did just that. With more than 188,000 + followers on TikTok and close to 11,000 followers on Instagram, Bernauer is on a roll. His highest viewed video has close to 2.4 million views. 

“It has close to 400,000 likes right now, which is absolutely insane,” Bernauer said. 

The question most would be asking right now would be what on earth is he posting that is getting him this following and the answer is straight forward: “Because he is funny and good looking,” freshman Abby Sanders said. 

Bernauer said that the formula for being successful is simple.

“I basically scroll through the ‘For You’ page [on the home page of TikTok] and find sounds that I can put my own spin on,” he said.

However, the TikTok fame have out of control. Around school, everyone calls him ‘TikTok John’ and knows him for making videos. 

“I don’t mind being called that. It comes with being well-known so I guess it is just a con of making the videos,” Bernauer said.

One of the most popular videos he posted was with high school health teacher, Mrs. Worrell. It was a video of him dancing in front of Mrs. Worrall and her making a disgusted face at him. It has 1.5 million views. 

“That was one of my all-time favorite video I made on my TikTok because it was not planned and it was her honest reaction to me dancing which I find funny,” Bernauer said. 

Bernauer is not the only famous TikToker in the school. Junior Noah Cottrell, junior Guy Zimmerman, junior Caden Smith and senior Tyler Johnson are all up there in the world of TikTok. Put together, the five have 226,000 followers and close to 4 million likes. 

For the most part, people in the school are big fans of the app.

“It has so many short funny videos that keep my attention span for such a long time,” senior Tara Martos stated. “It’s kind of like watching a comedy movie with no storyline but just entertaining content.”

However, some students are not the biggest fan of the app. 

“The app is annoying because it has the same music and the same dance moves for every video. There are no differentiating factors throughout the videos,” senior Alyson Parks said. “It also causes stereotypes to come about because of all the girls trying to act like the people on TikTok which is not always the best influence.”

As far as trends go, TikTok might be just as long-lived as Vine or Musically, but for the time being TikTok is here to stay, and is only growing larger.