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‘i’m Already Tracer’ Critics Tear Teens Down Just For Having Fun

Posted on July 16, 2018 by Akay
86 out of 100 based on 726 user ratings

Tik Tok, the lip-syncing video app that has surged to popularity in recent weeks, often finds itself as the subject of derision on YouTube “cringe compilations.” Across the internet, many content creators have made it their duty to collect and mock some of Tik Tok’s more earnest uploads, featuring teens singing and dancing along to all kinds of songs.

The latest Tik Tok clips to flood into the limelight are renditions of what’s been dubbed “I’m Already Tracer.” The viral hit, an Overwatch-themed clip from a fan-made song released over a year ago, has become one of Tik Tok’s biggest of late. On other areas of the web, however, it has garnered infamy, as its tenuous connection to video game player culture creates an intense level of scrutiny that goes beyond the usual degradation of Tik Tok.

Tik Tok’s rise to internet notoriety only happened over the past few months, but the Chinese-developed app has been around since 2014. Like the similar app Musical.ly before it, Tik Tok allows users to make and share short videos using various audio clips, where they lip sync and perform over popular songs. When Tik Tok acquired Musical.ly back in August, it inherited most of Musical.ly’s teenage community. In June, before its merger with Musical.ly, Tik Tok had over 500 million users. Since then, it’s only grown, absorbing the 200 million, predominantly teen female users of Musical.ly.

Now that the app is more popular, Tik Tok’s long-time user base is working on accepting the new communities, ranging from Facebook moms to furries, most who joined because of the ability to make some silly videos and express themselves. There’s a subsection of people joining the app with different, more mean-spirited intentions.

This is where cringe compilations come in, as they’re mostly made by people who don’t use Tik Tok to play along, but to make fun of those already on there. This is par for the cringe-culture course: People take whatever popular fandom is blowing up among a different crowd and deride both the content and its fans.

Just searching Tik Tok online brings up derision across the internet, even if you’re not looking for general compilations of clips to mock.

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Much like Cole Sprouse and the cast of Riverdale; leggings; and the music of Taylor Swift before it, Tik Tok occupies a space in pop culture where it is undeniably popular — but its acclaim with teen girls means it’s just as likely to be mocked as it is loved. Whether things made popular by teenage girls hold up later (think The Beatles versus Westlife), critics are quick to deem these fandoms as invalid because of the demographics of their fanbase.

Even when their clips don’t involve fandoms, Tik Tok users are regularly ridiculed simply for using the app the way its meant to be used. Add in the fact that “I’m Already Tracer” is an Overwatch-themed anthem, and the internet shows its ugly side.

Tik Tok users came late to “I’m Already Tracer,” which dates back to January 2017, before the Tik Tok days. It’s pulled from an animated music video by Mashed of The Living Tombstones’ “No Mercy,” and sung by two Overwatch teammates: a male player who keeps threatening to quit because his team keeps losing due to their lack of support heroes, and a female player who doesn’t want to be forced to play support, a role male players usually assign to women (or assume that women prefer). Ultimately, neither budges, which costs their team the match.