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#MainCharacter: pandemic brings TikTok self-parody to the fore

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April 06, 2021 at 03:35PM

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Why are young people imagining themselves as the protagonist in fictionalised versions of their lives?

Staring longingly out of a window watching the sunset across the New York skyline, or sitting on a balcony while Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey plays softly in the background. These are just a couple examples of a TikTok trend which sees young people act out scenarios and imagine themselves as a protagonist or the “main character” in a fictionalised version of their life – usually based on film cliches.

With more than 5.2bn views of the app’s #maincharacter hashtag – psychologists say the trend has gained momentum because lockdown and the feelings of isolation that come with it have created a gap once plugged by social connection.

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