In true TikTok fashion, our Creator Spotlight this week focuses on a creator who is all about using the platform to educate others about blindness, document relatable everyday experiences and have a good laugh. Without further ado, meet Toby - aka, @blindtobes!
From sharing facts about living with blindness and explaining how to approach a blind person, to hilarious skits on university life and public transport pickpockets, Toby’s content is the perfect balance of serious and playful! We have loved watching his efforts at raising awareness and making conversations and safe spaces more accessible, both on his platform and in the real world. With followers taking to the comments to share experiences and ask questions, he's definitely succeeded!
With 6.9M likes and 189.1K followers, it’s clear that our community loves Toby's content, and so do we. We sat down with him to find out what inspired him to get started on TikTok, his goals for the future, and who he loves to follow...
What first inspired you to create on TikTok?
My journey into becoming a creator on TikTok started very spontaneously. A creator posted a video that I featured in which ended up going viral, there were lots of questions in the comments section which I could answer so decided to make a video of my own addressing the questions. That video also ended up going viral. I realised that I had an opportunity to spread awareness about my condition so decided to continue making videos. I was inspired to regularly make content by the abundance of blind creators on the app who were making so many amazing videos and educating huge audiences along the way.
Have you been surprised by the response from your community?
Before using TikTok I thought it was mainly used for trending dances and lip syncing, so when my videos received the traction they did I was incredibly surprised. I also never expected to be able to build such an incredible audience and community in the short time that I’ve been making content. It’s been amazing to interact with people who regularly engage with my content.
Do you think TikTok can help to raise awareness and educate more people about living with a disability?
TikTok has this incredible ability to push content to millions of people across the world, with this comes a huge opportunity to educate and spread awareness about any topic imaginable, in my case that would be spreading awareness about blindness and disability. I find TikTok to be an amazing tool for engaging others and giving them information that they wouldn’t actively seek to find outside of the app.
What is your favourite recent challenge or trend on TikTok?
I haven’t done too many challenges on my channel, however one that stands out is the coke challenge. It seemed really authentic to me as I was able to put my other senses to the test.
What is your goal on TikTok?
My primary goal on TikTok is to consistently produce content that doesn’t only spread awareness about blindness but also provides the audience with value, coinciding with this is the goal of continuing to build upon the amazing community that already exists on my page. On a personal note, I would love to one day reach that illusive one million follower milestone.
What else or who else is on your TikTok For You feed?!
Naturally on my FYP is a lot of blind related content. I love learning about others who are in similar circumstances to myself and supporting their growth on TikTok. You’ll also find a lot of football content on my feed too. My favourite creators are Mary Earps, who just won the Euros with the lionesses, and Milly Pickles who is an incredible disabled creator.
What is your favourite TikTok you have made to date and why?
My favourite video of mine so far from a content perspective was my blind man decorating skit. As well as spreading awareness I love to have a laugh and this video really captures my sense of humour. From a personal perspective, I’d have to say my first blind football match. It was a proud moment for me to step on the pitch for the first time in a match and capturing the moment made for a video I’ll always be fond of.