„Go on TikTok”, they said. „It will be fun”, they said. And guys, let me tell you, they were not wrong. Like so many of you, when I heard about this app I rolled my eyes so hard I could go back in time. I confess that I was arrogant and quick to judge this app at first. I kept thinking „No, you’ll never see me there, that’s for kids”. And little did I know, months later, I was going to install the app. „Why?” you ask? I gotta be honest here, IG was and maybe still is my favorite app, but TikTok just makes me smile and forget about bad vibes, bad thoughts and gives me all together a great mood.

I can hear some of you saying „Yeah, sure, but Roxana, once you get on TikTok you spend there hours and hours. That’s not ok”. I would have to agree to disagree on this one. If for some reason one day I’m feeling down and the content I see on TikTok makes me laugh and lift my spirits up, you know what? It’s entirely worth it. No minute is wasted there since I get to feel better, laugh so hard my cheeks start hurting and in a lot of ways I get educated on subjects like racism, feminism, toxic masculinity, bullying and that’s not even it. There’s a lot more.

I had no idea how the app works (still a newbie just fyi) and I kept scrolling in the beginning just to see what’s what. I’ve noticed that day after day, this guy, Brendon, kept popping-up on my foryou page. I very much appreciate that the app was smart enough to keep recommending Bredon’s videos and content until I realized „Oh, wait. I need to follow this guy cuz I really like his content”.

Right off the bat I could tell in every video he’s very genuine and authentic about his take on the topic he decides to speak about. And more than that, he chooses topics that he’s really passionate about and that was the „hook” that got me to follow him in the first place. I could actually feel that passion through the screen and that’s what makes a great content creator. People feel when you’re being fake, especially on Social Media and there’s none of that with Brendon.

The people who’ve met me in person know that I simply love discovering talented people, people I can learn a thing or two from and to be even more specific, people who inspire me to do better, be better and make me see a different perspective on any topic.

Brendon has this raw, sarcastic, yet very funny way of interacting with people on Social Media. Seeing his videos I realized he’s got a lot of interesting stories to tell, he’s very insightful and naturally my next thought was „Now I gotta know more about this guy”. As you already know, I don’t like to be selfish and that’s why I decided to make this interview. I truly believe that other people will benefit from this interview as well.

I spoke with Brendon about Social Media, relationships, about how men treat women in the US and I even find out what makes him smile.

Get to know Brendon and his unfiltered way of expressing things in this interview.

Have a read.

Some people (including myself) at some point believed TikTok was just for kids, but now it transformed into this huge platform where a lot of serious things get discussed. How did you get on this app and did you had a goal/strategy in your mind when you did?

For about a year, I would see TikTok videos come up on my Facebook or Twitter or even have friends send videos to me. I never really wanted to download the app only because of how much time I knew I would spend on it. I had just moved away from 2 best friends and they came to visit me for a weekend. One basically handed me their phone to start swiping through for a while after a night of drinking which ultimately lead me to download it. He stated that he knew I would go viral rather quick just because of how I am. He was right about that; it only took me about 10 days before a video went flying up in likes. It’s still a little crazy to me that in 6 months I’ve gained nearly half a million followers.

How much authenticity do you think there’s on TikTok and how much is the desire from the content creators to go viral?

I think that quite a few creators are truly themselves on the app and they learn to articulate their personality, thoughts, and words really well so it all portrays well. There are even some that are themselves and turn their life into pure entertainment for others. Of course, there are a lot of creators that just use their bodies or amplify pure negativity to gain followers. I know when I say that, that probably draws the question. „What do I mean by negativity?” and to simply put it, everybody likes a good villain. That’s why there are so many toxic people that thrive on TikTok. As cruel as some of them are, even I find their content entertaining.

Balancing between the good and the bad, do you think Social Media has broken or helped relationships in general (between partners, friends etc)? And why?

I think that we are introduced to Social Media a little too young because it takes away from our ability to be on our own without some sort of entertainment in front of us. Social Media is one giant escape from the real world. We have the entire world of knowledge in a small supercomputer and we choose to use it to look at funny content instead of studying to better ourselves, learn new skills, or even try to get one step ahead of the curve.

I’m guilty of it too, but lately I have been trying to learn more on my own time when I can. But because of this, it definitely comes between relationships. We window shop all the time by using our phones. We are always comparing our lives to those of somebody else or we are comparing the friends we have to the ones we see online. I’m not saying this is the case all of the time, but I’ve seen enough relationships (friends and dating) be torn apart by Social Media because of that. That fear of missing out on something better.

What are five rules that Social Media changed when it comes to dating? And do you agree with them?

I don’t know about 5 rules really, at least not for me. I do know that all my life, my mom told me to never meet with strangers on the internet. It’s funny because I can honestly say the last 2 years has been nothing but me doing just that.

I’ve never really gotten to meet many people from dating apps though, mostly people I’ve found on Twitter, Facebook (when I lived back home), and now TikTok. I have always been dumb cautious about dating apps because I don’t believe people truly know what they want and as much as I do enjoy hooking up, I don’t like to just hook up. I like having some sort of connection with my partners. I tend to learn over and over again how much that’s actually needed for the bond to work.

I can tell you are very passionate about going to the gym. What would you tell a friend if she/he says „I don’t like going to the gym”? How would you motivate them to go?

I love the gym because it gave me a chance at survival. I think if a person wants to go to the gym but doesn’t like it then maybe they just need to find workouts that are going to work for them that keep them interested.

I used to follow a lot of fitness accounts on Instagram that showed me new workouts and I also would go with a buddy when I was learning still to see what they could show me that I might like. I tell people who don’t like the gym the same thing I tell people with depression, the hardest step is getting out of bed to go.

Everything after that falls into place. It only takes repeating an activity 3x to form a habit or in my mind, to discipline yourself into a good habit. Even when I fall off for a month or two, I force myself back to the gym 3 days in a row and kick starts the habit/discipline I need to continue to go. The same thing applies to anything in life.

For instance, right now I want to spend less money on coffee from places I can drive to, so I get my coffee ready the night before each morning and start it as soon as I woke up so I would be in that habit. Now it’s second nature to just make my coffee and save money. Life is about what you want and what work you’re willing to do. It’s about how you are going to change your mindset.

What’s your favorite type of music to listen at the gym while doing your workout? Why?

Honestly, my music range varies a lot. I listen to a lot of upbeat music but sometimes I listen to a slow vibe and it helps me concentrate. I don’t really go to become bigger anymore. I gave up body building dreams to fulfill my travel dreams. I go now to become better balanced and maintain a strong lean body. When I’m doing headstands or handstands I listen to slow beats, but when I’m doing vigorous ab work I turn on EDM. I typically maintain a more upbeat playlist for anything else.

What are three things that can make you smile/happy during the day?

This question is a little hard because I’ve been at a mental low for quite some time and finding genuine serotonin is difficult. I’d have to say whenever my dog knows I’m feeling down and he climbs up and lays on my chest so I can kiss his furry little forehead makes me smile. He’s my little angel.

Another thing that’s been rather encouraging are some of the DM requests I read during the day from people. I’ve always wanted to inspire people so when I get stories of how I inspired somebody to do something or to be themselves, it fills my heart with joy. I started my online journey in hopes to „Queue the Change”.

I realized that reading off facts and stats wasn’t enough and in order to do that, I had to be the change people needed to see in a lot of ways. Hearing that I made a difference in somebodies life makes me smile and so grateful. I’ll stick with those 2 things for now.

What’s that one food combination you love, but actually other people find it weird?

I love plain hot dogs that aren’t cooked. Everybody finds them gross but I’ve always liked them. It was hot dogs and eggs when I was kid. Still love them.

I’ve seen that in your videos you speak a lot about how women are treated by men in the US. Where do you think this behavior/attitude is coming from and how can we get rid of it?

The way men treat women in the U.S. is most likely stemmed from generations of misleading guidance. Too many men from previous generations have been teaching their sons that they are the head of the house and the bread winner. This ideology has created a bad relationship balance. Men think they can say or do whatever they want because of that teaching. On top of that, they don’t try to tell other guys what’s right or wrong.

Men also do not take criticism well- I think this comes from the retort „Boys will be boys”. My brothers and I fighting „Boys will be boys”. Me getting angry and throwing my bike down after I was told to put it away at 4 years old- „Boys will be boys”. I was lucky to be taught that some things require a response other than that.

Getting angry and revolting against whatever made me angry wasn’t allowed. I was taught love, compassion, understanding, empathy, and to have a natural moral compass. My mom was extremely positive in my life regardless of how negative things got. We slept on the floor for a period of time and all I can remember is my mom smiling her way through it to give me whatever she could.

I am by no means perfect, but I think a lot of parents let what their boys do go because it’s just „boys being boys” when that is a terrible way to let things go. Boys will be how you raise them. It’s time to start raising them to recognize bad people and their bad decisions and start calling those people out. I could go on forever about how to raise a man but this is the gist of it.

As a European, I’ve heard over the years a lot of things (misconceptions) about America and Americans in general. Where do you think Europeans got it wrong about you guys?

To be honest, I don’t think there are many misconceptions. Our government suppresses its people. People choose the lazy way out. We eat an absurd amount of food and it only seems little to us because we are conditioned for massive portions. I think there is opportunity to unlearn a lot that is taught here but if people are not willing to be open minded to the rest of the world then nothing will change anytime soon. I can see a new generation of kids that want to make a difference. I hope they get that chance as the oldest political figures finally fall out.

If you were to pick a place in the US and move there, what would it be?

I think I would move either in the mountains of North Carolina or in the desert of Arizona. I’ve always loved nature and those two, albeit complete opposites, have felt the most comfortable and beautiful to me.

Write A Comment

error: Content is protected!