When I think about it, it makes sense that TikTok would create its own microtrends. After all, the app is meant to be fun and entertaining, so why not give users a way to categorize their music tastes in an easily digestible way? Core music trends have already become popular on other social media platforms, and I can see why they would make their way onto TikTok too. For example, if you listen to bluegrass or folk music, then you might consider yourself a cottagecore listener. On the other hand, if you prefer electronic dance music (EDM), then that might be considered your core genre on TikTok. As always with these types of things, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer – everyone has different musical preferences and needs!
Corecore isn’t just an aesthetic, it’s a form of self-preservation. It’s a way to cope with the mundanity of our lives, by turning everything into an ironic joke that feels too sincere. It gives us something to hold on to when everything else around us feels hopeless and empty.
The corecore video has drawn criticism for its exploitative nature. Critics argue that the video portrays everyday people in a negative light by asking them what they make and how much money they’re worth. They also say that the fast-cycling clips create an unbalanced and uncomfortable sense of perspective, as viewers are constantly bombarded with images of chaos and disorder. Some have even Called for a boycott of the product in response to this content.
Whether it’s robots talking about people being afraid of them, demos of new VR headsets, or clips from Joe Rogan’s podcast, corecore videos all seem to share a negative sentiment–that technology is tearing us apart. This trend seems to be at odds with the “day a life as a tech employee” trend, which surprisingly isn’t an top-down corporate propaganda psyop. Is this pessimism inherent in the industry or is there something more behind it?
The first thing to note is that the TikTok content on corecore seems to be in response to the state of tech employment. The corecore community itself is made up of people who use technology and share a similar aesthetic, which makes sense considering that they are all part of an industry that relies heavily on technology. However, corecore has a much bigger purpose than just being critical of the state of tech employment; it highlights how vulnerable we all are to changes in the economy and business dealings. For example, Facebook was initially started as a platform for college students to socialize but then turned into something much more commercialized. Similarly, Google has become one of the largest companies in the world through its search engine and advertising platform. However, these platforms could easily be taken away if a different company decided to acquire them or use their technology in a different way. Thus, corecore serves as a reminder that we all depend on each other and that no one entity is completely immune from outside forces.
As the author of Corecore and one of the masterminds behind its creation, Adam Saltsman is well aware of the satirical nature of the meme. In an interview with The Guardian, he stated that “[Corecore] is a ridiculous meme because it’s true, and that’s where the power lies” (Saltsman). Although it may seem like a nonsensical image meant to satirize our current society, Saltsman argues that Corecore actually reflects back on our addiction to social media. As users continue to share and comment on this strange image, they are unwittingly contributing to its validity.
It is hard to say anything meaningful about corecore, as it exists only in the form of a string of code. However, its existence suggests that somebody or something regards it as important. Whether or not that Somebody or Something isreal is up for debate, but either way corecore represents an unknown force in the world.