What If You Got Stuck Inside TikTok?
You’ve finally done it! You’ve created a simulator that allows you to copy yourself into the apps on your phone to learn faster. You plug your phone in, open Google, and put on a helmet with goggles to get a 360˚ view. After hooking them up, you call your sister to activate the machine.
She’s not answering you, so you head to her bedroom, where you see her doing a TikTok dance challenge. You tease her for it and pester her to activate the machine downstairs. She follows you while still using TikTok.
She gets upset and, without you looking, changes the homepage on your phone to TikTok. She then activates the machine.
You’re in the simulation, but something’s wrong. You’re going through a virtual wormhole. You see all kinds of apps circling you until you land flat on your face on a dark surface.
You’re scared. Your heart is thumping. You look around and see yourself in a room with a screen in front of you. It asks for your username. You shout all kinds of words, asking to let you out, but a red light blinks every time you do so.
Every word you say is picked up by the screen, which then displays it as your username while asking you to accept it to proceed. You say accept, and the wall opens. Your username is “Let me out.”
You exit and enter a futuristic city glittered with purple and blue lights and tall towers with screens showing TikTok videos non-stop. The tallest tower shows the most trending videos today, while the other towers show other popular videos. You follow the road in front of you.
It leads you into a crowd in the middle of a virtual Times Square. Everyone has a floating bubble above them with their username and bio written there. It also shows how many followers they have. Most of these people have just a handful of followers. They look like their profile pictures. Everyone is staring at you since you’re the only one who looks not like an avatar but like a real human.
You see 2 people standing opposite each other without moving. You see the bubbles above each of them change — they are now following each other. Suddenly, everyone stops and stares at the girl as she becomes verified. A blue tick appears in her bubble, and she vanishes. You run up to the one who has just followed her and try to get some information.
You’re the only one talking out loud while everyone else is communicating through direct messages in their inboxes. You realize that you have to stand still and wait for someone to accept your DM. The person you’re talking to receives your message and blocks it. You try to initiate another dialogue, but the person freezes and then walks away.
You realize some people are looking at you in a peculiar way. They start following you. They’re everywhere. You start walking fast and disappear into a sea of people where they can’t find you.
After a while, you dip into an alley and find an underground café. You enter and see a bunch of people sitting around doing nothing. You try to talk to some of them, but they don’t answer. Even weirder, they don’t have faces. None of them have followers. They don’t respond to anything. And if you try to communicate with them, they just spaz out some advertisements.
You look at the screen in the room — it shows your face. TikTok is after you. You hear a knock on the door, and dozens of people rush in. They’re the internal security of TikTok — and they’re after you. You exit through another room.
Now, you’re inside a building where many of these bots are living. They’re behind you and getting closer. You reach a dead-end with a window in front of you. You turn around and see the security running straight at you.
You have no choice but to jump out of the window. You get a running start and sprint through the glass. You land on the roof of a neighboring building. Every tower is now displaying your username and profile pic as wanted. You have no idea why they’re after you.
You make your way to another alley and hide in a dark corner. It seems you’ve lost them. You check your settings to see why you’re the most wanted man on TikTok. It shows that you’re an invalid user. The app thinks you’re a glitch that’s gonna destroy the very fabric of TikTok.
You know for a fact that it’s just the cybersecurity of TikTok working to catch any bugs or attacks. You open your settings, but you can’t do anything since they’ve blocked you. You open “Search” and type in your sister’s name. It turns out she’s verified — with a blue tick which will be difficult to track.
You head back out and try to search for her. You hear some people walking around and quickly leave the alleyway. You get back to the crowd. You can’t act hysterically anymore, or you’ll draw attention to yourself.
You reach Hashtag Avenue, where all the trending videos are. So far, no one has noticed you. The most popular hashtags are at the top — it’s quite a walk to get there. You browse through most of them but can’t find your sister.
Then you remember that she was dancing, so you check the hashtag ’dance’ and try to locate her. You find out that the video she was doing earlier is one of the most popular videos. You finally find her, but the security stops you and chases you along Hashtag Avenue.
You randomly appear in various trending videos. You reach a dead end, and the security catches you. They escort you to a room where they try to get information out of you. They think you’re a bot, but you keep telling them that you invented the machine to copy yourself on TikTok virtually.
They’re not buying it. Eventually, they try to extract you, but it’s not working. They try to figure out what to do, but they don’t let you leave. While they’re transporting you to another facility, you manage to slip out of their sight and sneak off to search for your sister. This time, you have to be on high alert.
TikTok is searching for you. Users have seen you in hashtags, so they’re also on the lookout. Out of nowhere, large cameras pop out — they’re trying to spot you. Any slip-up, and you can be stuck on TikTok for good.
You make one last attempt to get to your sister. You find a hat and a jacket to disguise yourself. Now, it’s impossible for you to interact with anyone since they can detect your activity. But you have to take this chance for her to get you out. Eventually, you go back to Hashtag Avenue and head to your sister. You find some of the most popular TikTokers chilling together. Your sister is among them.
There’s a lot of security, so you keep it low. After a while, you slowly approach her and take her aside. You activate the chat option and ask her to head downstairs to the basement and unplug you from the system.
But before you can finish the last few words, the security guards rush over to you and start chasing you. But this time, all cameras are on you, and there’s no place to go.
You surrender yourself to the security, and they take you to a locked room you can’t escape from. You sit there worried. You’re bouncing your knees and rubbing your palms together. You have no idea if your sister has received the full message or not.
Hours pass, and no word from outside. You may have blown it. But suddenly, you get a notification from your sister. You try to type, but nothing is working.
You start feeling funny. Everything around is shaking. The walls start glitching, and you see the real world. You get pulled into a wormhole... and you wake up in your lab!
You’re breathing heavily, trying to piece the recent events together. You feel like you’ve been on TikTok for half a day. But apparently, it was less than half an hour.
Your vision is clear, and the first thing you see is your sister filming you with her phone. She’s grinning from ear to ear, not knowing what you’ve actually gone through.