I downloaded TikTok almost exactly a year ago. This happened out of general curiosity and a little boredom on one particular night, but it was also a somewhat ironic choice as I fully expected to delete the app after about a week. But I didn’t bail; instead, I became addicted. I like to believe my extended stay on TikTok is due to the brilliant creators I follow, and here are some of my favorites.
Drew Talbert (drew_talbert)
Since the random day I started following him in January, Drew remains my favorite TikTok creator. He’s known for his skits depicting life in the restaurant industry, and given his background as both a server and professional actor, his videos are pretty phenomenal—from the different character personalities to the staging to the clever remarks. Drew recently surpassed one million followers, though I feel he’s deserved to reach that milestone for quite some time.
Kris Collins (kallmekris)
I’ve convinced a few people in my life to join TikTok, and I’ve also successfully convinced them to follow Kris. It’s no surprise that she’s within the top twenty-five most-followed creators on the app. Kris is witty, creative, and known for producing sketches that feature memorable characters with various accents. She also explores childhood and family dynamics with some of her content. It’s evident that she puts a lot of time and dedication into her videos, and I think anyone can appreciate her one-liners and relatable personality.
Maia Knight (maiaknight)
If the phrase “goosh goosh” sounds like complete gibberish and lacks any meaning, then allow me to explain the recent TikTok phenomenon that is Maia Knight. Maia is a single mom in her early twenties who gained popularity (currently four million followers and counting) for the adorable yet chaotic experiences while raising her twin babies, Scout and Violet. The thing about Maia is that it’s clear she never intended to acquire any sort of TikTok fame; she’s not like most influencers on the platform. Nonetheless, viewers like myself are hooked on her sarcastic personality and her darling babies with extremely squishable cheeks—which Maia does, often, while saying “goosh goosh.”
Tabitha Brown (iamtabithabrown)
I came across Tabitha’s content on TikTok recently and I’m so grateful I did. She’s an actress and the self-proclaimed “world’s favorite mom” on TikTok, but the honor is becoming of her compassionate and encouraging personality. While her niche is vegan cooking and recipe videos, Tabitha has also reached viral fame for her motivational messages. Although I’m not vegan, I’m finding inspiration from her healthy eating habits and positivity.
Rod Thill (rod)
From workplace stress to millennial nostalgia, Rod’s TikTok content is especially relatable. Many users have turned to TikTok as an escape from the pandemic and its uncertainties, but Rod addresses the anxiety-inducing aspects of daily life in his videos. Although he uses dry humor to translate his work-from-home worries into funny TikToks, Rod is an open advocate for men’s mental health both on and off the platform. For any early 2000’s music fans or iced coffee aficionados, Rod is also your guy.
Anna Sitar (annaxsitar)
Maybe it’s the relatable Midwestern charm, but it’s tough not to love Anna. She’s a fellow Michigander who now resides in Los Angeles and works as a content creator while taking graduate classes. Anna is most famous for her coffee runs (“another day, another Starbies!”), getting ready montages, and killer transitions. Always promoting self-love, Anna is an ideal comfort influencer who radiates light and wholesome vibes. I think I aspire to be her when I grow up. And we’ll just ignore the fact that she’s a year younger than me.
Kayleigh (Fongers) Van Wyk (’18) graduated with a degree in writing and resides in West Michigan. She works as a reporter for the Grand Rapids Business Journal and Grand Rapids Magazine while also making time for freelance writing. When she’s not behind a screen, she enjoys going for walks, eating ice cream, and buying more books than she’ll ever read.