The social media app TikTok may be better known by Generation Z, but Shannon Doherty’s parenting hacks have gone viral.
The Darien mother of four has gained 200,000 social media followers by posting videos that explain crafts and parenting tips.
“I started TikTok in March, right when quarantine started with my children,” she said. “At home with my kids I had heard a lot about it, but I wasn’t sure what it was."
Since then, her account At Home with Shannon has tallied over 40 million views from parents interested in everything from easy dinner ideas to creating a neon volcano science experiment at the kitchen table.
“I posted my life with my kids at home, and people questioned me about things that we had in our kitchen and things behind me in my videos,” said Doherty. “I realized that there was a space on TikTok for people wanting to learn ideas I have as a mom of four.”
Emily Zangari, director of Digital Content & Strategy at the University of Connecticut, said TikTok has become a popular outlet during the pandemic.
“TikTok is unique in that it has a different way of connecting people,” said Zangari. “It’s raw, it’s organic, it’s funny. It runs the gamut.”
Videos can’t exceed 60 seconds, and the app provides editing tools for people who want to post.
Zangari said not only does TikTok connect people, but it also makes them feel like they have a sense of community.
“That happiness,” said Zangari. “It kind of gives you the feel-goods.”
Which is what Doherty says she aims to do amid this pandemic as she manages work at her clothing store and raises her children, who are 1, 3, 5 and 6.
“It’s really been a window into our everyday life,” said Doherty.