As we head into the weekend and look to unwind from another difficult week, it’s time to discuss another (not-quite-as) serious issue as the pandemic.
I used to think that Katherine Hepburn was the most famous performer from Connecticut.
However, my teenager tells me during this Stay-at-Home period that I’m wrong: It is Charli D’Amelio.
If you have a teenager, you know what I’m talking about. For the rest of you, let me explain and explain why I’m convinced that employers still worried about Facebook or even Snapchat are chasing yesterday’s “ghost”.
(I’m not quite as convinced that Charli > Katherine, however.)
You may know that Facebook lost its popularity with teens in the early 2010s with many flocking to Snapchat. You may not know that Snapchat is no longer where all the teenagers are now hanging out.
TikTok is this year’s social media standout and the undisputed star of this pandemic stay-at-home culture.
(My wife would argue that it’s really The Holderness Family but that’s a different post entirely.)
TikTok (formerly Musical.ly) is not that different from Vine which I covered way back in 2013. It is a showcase of looping videos, typically around 15 or 60 seconds.
The big difference is that the videos on TikTok are often set to sound and music. And where there is music, there is dance.
And this is where Charli D’Amelio comes in.
This teenager can dance. Really really well. And she’s really really good at making TikTok videos with her dances.
And while you wouldn’t necessarily think of Norwalk, Connecticut (where she is also isolating with her parents) as the center of anything (no offense to my good friends in Norwalk!), Charli’s dance skills make her one of the undisputed stars of the TikTok universe. (Her sister and parents have followed.)
Don’t believe me? Check out her stats on TikTok. She has over 52 million followers. And her videos have received 3.5 billion likes.
So why is an employment law blog talking about Charli? Well, beyond the fact that I’m always happy when my little state gets famous, I’ve been thinking that when this quarantine ends (and it will — as early as May 20th for some!) will employers suddenly think that TikTok is a thing to worry about?
Like social media sites before, there’s no doubt that employees will, in fact, record themselves at the workplace. In fact, videos with “workplace” have already been tagged over 50 million times.
A lot of them are harmless. A few are downright fun. And, so, most employers are probably advised to ignore them.
But like Vine before it, there will be exceptions. And regardless, employers do need to be aware of that what happens at work is going on social media – just not the social media that you’re used to.
Your social media policy is probably a few years old at this point. If you’re looking at reviewing your policies, make sure your policy is broad enough to cover newer sites like this as well as reminding employees of the rules of the road. There’s little need to panic or overreact to everything, but understanding what is going on is crucial.
Workplace TikTok videos can still be grounds to fire people, but whether employers should in every circumstance has been an ongoing discussion among lawyers and their clients.
To be sure, employers have much bigger things to worry about right now and the forseeable future, but that hasn’t stopped employers from making cavalier decisions based on social media before.
Now, if you don’t mind, I have to go work on my next dance moves. I hear Charli has another dance challenge coming up.