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July 4 2022 3:26 PM ˚
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Tiktoker offers much-needed comfort in time of uncertainty

Tiktok star Saad Shammoot is seen in acts he puts out on social media for entertainment in these undated photos. (Photo: Handout from Saad Shammoot)
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AMMAN — Extended lockdown periods since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced Jordanians to spend a lot time at home, which, according to 24-year-old Jordanian Tiktok star Saad Shammoot, served as an outlet for creativity. اضافة اعلان

“If you give people absolutely nothing to do, they might stumble upon a passion they never knew they had,” said content creator and radio host Saad Shammoot in an interview with Jordan News. “I never thought I’d be posting stuff on social media for fun; that was never a big part of my plan.”

Yet, after joining Tiktok and posting a few homemade videos, Shammoot realized that people were paying attention. In a matter of months, his audience multiplied; he now has over 850,000 followers and 19 million likes on his Tiktok account, Saad Radio. 

“I do a compilation of things,” Shammoot said. “It’s a vlog with a bit of satirical comedy and a lot of cooking.” 

What draws people to his content, he explained, is the comforting, feel-good energy it radiates.

For example, every Friday afternoon, Shammoot posts a Tiktok video as a part of his “Friday lockdown” series, detailing what he did throughout the day. From family activities to cooking unrealistically large meals, these upbeat videos have become a reliable source of entertainment for many locals.

“Lockdown is awful. You’re sitting at home and you can’t go out, so I thought I’d do something fun with it,” Shammoot said. “It is something to look forward to on a day that no one looks forward to.”

Although the videos he posts vary in style and content, the one thing that groups them together is their ability to make viewers smile. “I always want to post family-friendly content, I don’t want to do anything controversial,” Shammoot said. “At the end of the day, if it’s not going to put a smile on someone’s face, I just don’t want to post it.”

What started out as a pastime alongside his career as a radio host quickly became a time-consuming venture. His ideas come from conversations with friends and other sources of real-life inspiration, which require significant preparation to execute.  

“I always think [about] how much easier things would be if I had an editor or film crew,” said Shammoot. “But if it wasn’t me doing it and panicking about it the entire time then it would lose half the charm.”

The effort Shammoot puts into his videos, from making giant posters to spending hours in the kitchen, sets him apart from other creators on TikTok. People respond well to effort, especially on a platform known for quick, easy trends, Shammoot explained. 

After leaving lockdown, the new Tiktok star was shocked by the public attention he received. Being recognized in public places, said Shammoot, is a feeling he will never get used to. 

Having a social media career comes with a series of challenges, including increased public scrutiny. However, Shammoot believes that the benefits outweigh the costs. “If I had kept letting other people’s opinions and fear of failure stop me, I wouldn’t have been able to do all the crazy things I do now,” he said. 

“I have no idea where this is leading to; this is not one of those traditional career paths where I’m going to get a promotion,” Shammoot said. “For now, I am just doing it and I am having fun.”

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