“TikTok is an eternal channel flip, and the flip is the point: there is no settled point of interest to land on. Nothing is meant to sustain your attention…”

And just like that, we’re back to TV. Kyle Chayka unpacks just what makes TikTok so bingeable—it reinforces entertainment outside the algorithm, neither programmed nor curated, just…random, weird, and delightful.

I’ve thought a lot about how media remakes itself in the end, not just in content but in form. Gather enough newsletters together and you’ve got….a magazine. A non-linear Netflix? Now you have a cable channel. It’s like we’re all trying to invent the shoe from scratch; everyday items we’ve grown familiar with, but this time it took $100 million to get there.



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Michelle Legro

Deputy Editor, GEN. Previously an editor for Topic, Longreads, The New Republic, and Lapham’s Quarterly. gen.medium.com