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).
Picture your high school class clown, except actually funny and also really, really internet famous. That's Mark Gaetano, AKA @snarkymarky. The 18-year-old Toronto native has perfected the art of imitating both teachers and students in his POV clips. He's also made significant and hilarious contributions to the ongoing Karen discourse, inspired by his experiences working at a grocery store and serving shitty customers. A study hall legend.
Introducing our class of 2020 PAPER People exclusively on TikTok💕 now go apologize to @snarkymarky for eating during class🤬♬ original sound - papermagazine
Which TV shows are helping you survive 2020 and why?
Big Brother is getting me through 2020! Big Brother is a live show with live feeds that you can watch 24/7. I watch them almost every day or whenever I'm bored. It definitely keeps me entertained! Outer Banks was also great too!
What was your last text?
"That's my new!" sent to my mom, because she found my new debit card in her car. I got it two days ago. I got a new one because I lost my old one. Here we go again!
What's something no one knows about you but you wish people did?
I actually hate being the center of attention and I am nothing like I am in my videos. People are scared of me because I scream and yell in my videos. I promise, I'm not like that! I'd consider myself to be an ambivert!
What was the last song you listened to?
"Club" by Kelsea Ballerini. I love her so much.
Where do you want to be five years from now?
I would love to get into acting, or be a correspondent on a talk show. But if my online career doesn't last as long as that, I would love a job at the United Nations. I'm a freshman in college and I'm studying international relations! I've always loved learning about the world, and different cultures, so I'd love a career in that field!
In one word, how would you sum up the internet?
Out-Of-Control. If I use hyphens, that counts as one word, right?
What's your next move if TikTok is banned?
TikTok getting banned would be... terrible. But, I would try shifting my platform onto YouTube and do some videos there. But Instagram Reels has been super amazing. It's reached some new audiences, and I was recently just featured on it!
What is your most irrational fear?
I feel like someone is watching me at ALL times. I feel like there's cameras and microphones picking up on my every move. It's really strange. Maybe it's all the Big Brother I'm watching that's causing this fear.
What's your go-to appetizer?
Nachos! Or mozzarella sticks. Anything cheesy!
Who was your childhood hero and why?
Hannah Montana/ Miley Cyrus. I always thought it was super cool how she was an "ordinary girl," but had a secret side to her. She was an average high school student, but also a pop star. I wanted to be her so bad.