Glenties woman Michelle Boylan never expected to become a TikTok star.
When she uploaded her first video, her only goal was to make a few people laugh.
Now, 10 months on, tens of thousands are enjoying her little slices of comedy every day.
Michelle set up her IrishMammyLife page last summer as a way of sharing funny jokes and sketches during lockdown. Inspired by family and overheard conversations, her videos depict nosey neighbours, the lovable ways of Irish mammies, and the typical ‘mammy’s boy’ – Declan.
“The response has been unbelievable,” Michelle tells DonegalWoman/DonegalDaily.
“I can’t believe the amount of messages I get from people thanking me for doing the videos and saying it brightened up their day. That is why I keep doing them.”
Michelle’s followers have been growing rapidly ever since her first viral video on mammies and their reluctance to waste a drop of fairy liquid or food.
Now she has 75,000 followers and almost 3 MILLION views from people across Ireland, the UK and around the world.
TikTok videos may be short, but there’s a lot of unseen work that goes into each clip.
Michelle is a mum-of-two young children and works full-time as an intellectual disabilities care assistant, so she dedicates her time at weekends to creating enough videos to post seven days a week.
A lot of time goes into them, and it hasn’t been easy working in healthcare in the past year, but it’s the positive feedback that keeps her going, she says.
“I get a lot of student nurses that I’ve worked with over the years messaging me and saying I’ve taken them through lockdown. That means a lot.”
TikTok is an app packed with entertaining videos, but, as with many parts of the internet, there are unkind comments that Michelle has had to deal with too.
“Obviously you get a lot of trolls as well but you have to take the highs with the lows, but there is more positive than negative, you’re not going to please everybody, and I’m not out there to offend anybody. I’m just trying to make people happy,” she says.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Michelle has been involved in comedy and drama all her life, but this new platform has been a launch pad for her creative ways.
“I would never do the lead part in a drama or play, I would be too nervous. I’m much more at home on TikTok,” she says.
“That’s just my personality. I’m the joker of the group. I’m the baby of the family and I’m always taking the hand out of people. I just don’t take life too seriously.”
As TikTok grows and grows, Michelle says she isn’t sure yet what direction she wants to go with her page. For now, we’ll just keep enjoying the little clips of comedy!