For most of 2020, our world has been reduced to the experiences we have on our phones. And TikTokers have been leading the charge in creating viral entertainment that keeps us scrolling for hours and hours. So this year's PAPER People shifts its focus exclusively to TikTok — the breakout app our President wanted to ban, that launched sleeper hits and massive pop careers, that ushered in an entirely new generation of influence. Meet our 20 favorites across comedy, fashion, social justice and more, who are owning their spaces and racking in millions of likes. (And follow PAPER on TikTok).
Think of Syd, AKA @punker_irl, as TikTok's Manic Panic product representative. He's reworking the mall goth look for Gen Z and gaining millions of fans while doing it. Hit follow to watch him raise mental health awareness while recreating Just Dance routines, lip sync to everyone from Doja Cat to Lil Peep, and even single handedly save the USPS by offering a PO box for fans to send letters to and promising to write back. Sometimes in full clown makeup.
Introducing our class of 2020 PAPER People exclusively on TikTok💕 We all want to be @punker_irl 🥺✨♬ moment lildeath - yoogmi
What's your favorite animal social media account to follow and why?
My favorite animal social media account is @Monkeys400 and the #MonkeyMonday because they make me happy.
What's your go-to appetizer?
My favorite appetizer is Mozzarella sticks.
What's your most overused word or phrase?
I use this made-up phrase that my friends and I used to say in middle school. Instead of saying, "On god," we would say, "On baby."
What is the most embarrassing thing you've ever done?
I think the most embarrassing thing I've done is sign up for TikTok.
What does your star chart say about you? (Do you agree?)
I am a Scorpio, i have a Pisces moon and my rising sign is a Capricorn, so this means I'm very moody, I wear a "mask" when meeting or talking to people, and I have a very strong urge to solve problems and get over them as fast as I can.
What was your first reaction after going viral?
When I first went viral my only two emotions were terrified and embarrassed.
What's your favorite TikTok sound?
My favorite one is the "asdf" audio that goes like, "Ahh I'm a muffin it's muffin time, who wants a muffin?" — very silly, very funny.
Where do you want to be when the world ends?
When the world ends, I would like to be with my friends because I wanna be with the people who make me the happiest.
What does your (UberEats, Seamless, GrubHub, etc.) order history look like?
My order history is literally just boba and s'mores blizzards from Dairy Queen.
What was the last song you listened to?
The last song I listened to was "Francis Forever" by Mitski.