Pre-Protocol Assignment

The piece of media I chose is a TikTok based on the trend “I got 3 looks/moods and that’s it.” There are many iterations on this trend, but the general idea is that a person says they have three moods and then successively acts them out alongside a short written explanation. These snippets are set to three different songs by Bo Burnham from his recent Netflix special Inside, which was a reaction to, reflection on, and coping method for life during the pandemic. The specific TikTok variation of this video I chose is “I got 3 moods as an empath” because I connect with its message. In my experience, identifying as an empath can come with woo-woo, bleeding heart connotations but this TikTok gives a good overview of the inner world of some empaths. The first clip of the song that plays is from “Welcome to the Internet” and depicts the person frantically trying to communicate with someone off-screen to convey care and appreciation. The second clip is “Look Who’s Inside Again” which has a defeatist vibe, linking to the experience of emotional burnout. The third clip is set to “Bezos I” which usually depicts the content creator showing how their qualities make them feel superior, triumphant, or at their best. While it would have been fun to see this video round out the usual trend, this TikTok focused on the aspect of disconnection that empaths can experience in realizing that others may never be on the same plane of emotion as them. While the higher-than-thou attitude of “Bezos I” can be avoided, I would have enjoyed a positive ending to the video, showing the upsides of the empath experience, such as deep joy, to combat the overwrought, jaded attitudes depicted in the beginning. Of course, the limited 16-second video can’t cover all the nuances of being a highly sensitive person or empath, but I would have enjoyed a bit more variation in what the content creator chose to include. In terms of accessibility, this TikTok could be considered a Tier III meme since it builds upon prior trends and jokes. The “I got 3 looks” audio is a trend in and of itself, first drawn from a 2014 comedy song by YouTuber Jenna Marbles, in which she describes how she only dresses like a homeless man, 12-year-old boy, or a hooker. This audio was then mashed up with the Bo Burnham songs to create a new video type. It helps to know the context of the songs within the Burnham comedy special, but I’d say this trend can generally be appreciated by any internet passerby. 


ok fellow empaths which one is your default emotional state bc mine is 3 hahah #empathtiktok #empathsbelike #empathsoftiktok #empath

♬ I got 3 moods Bo Burnham – Julz Morriz

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