How TikTok’s Anna Sitar Became the Ray of Positivity on Everyone's For You Page – E! NEWS

The start of Anna Sitar's story feels familiar to that of most TikTok users.
Having just moved to L.A. from Marshall, Michigan (population: 7,000), the recent college grad downloaded the addictive video app in April 2019 because, well, why not? All her friends were doing it. "At the time, I was in a long-distance relationship, I was living alone, and I didn't know anybody," she explains to E! News. "So, I was like, ‘You know what? I'm going to just make videos for fun.'"
She had just collected a degree in engineering and was starting grad school with a focus on film and TV production, so it felt like as good a time as any to "practice my storytelling," she continues, "get comfortable with the phone, with the camera."
Needless to say, she understood the assignment. Thanks to her "I Don't Want It" series dreaming up her future, her daily runs to Starbucks (or Starbies, for the true fans) and her uncanny ability to always be a ray of freakin' sunshine, she has amassed 11.2 million followers— including Paris Hilton, JoJo Siwa and Shay Mitchell—and been named one of TikTok's breakthrough artists of 2021 alongside Emily Mariko, Jonathan Graziano and, oh right, Taylor Swift. 
"I still feel so normal," the 24-year-old says during our Zoom session, chai latte in hand, "that sometimes I forget an aspect of my life is that I have all these friends who are watching my life unfold."
Not only watching, but excitedly cheering along from behind their screens as she detailed her sister's wedding, got real about how much breakups suck (she and the long distance boyfriend didn't last) and not-so-sneakily soft launched a new romance. (That would be with fellow TikToker and radio host Josh "Bru" Brubaker, the two finally confirming their relationship just hours after Anna spoke to E!.)
"My platform is a lot about me," she says. "And that's what I want to share on social media. If it helps somebody else find their voice, their path and feel more comfortable and confident in themselves, that's what I want for every person on the app. Not even that follows me, just everyone period."
And after our 20-minute conversation, one that felt a lot like chatting with a real friend, we can report she's every bit as sincere as she sounds. We dare you to read her super positive outlook on life and not feel uplifted AF.
E! News: Let's start at the beginning. What did you think of TikTok when you first downloaded it?
Anna Sitar: It was almost like an album for myself of memories and moments that I really enjoyed. I still love looking at those videos and being like, "Wow, my sense of humor has developed quite a bit since that time of my life." The girl that started TikTok is a totally different girl than who I am now. 
 
E! News: What do you see in that girl versus the girl today?
AS: I've seen a confidence shift. My first videos were me trying to find my footing and find my voice. And as I've grown on social media, I've also grown up. It's really been nice to see where I am now, the belief I have in myself, what I'm capable of and where I see my future going.
Join us as we celebrate the trends, moments and movements that made 2021-of-a-kind. Thank you for being part of the #YearOnTikTok !
E! News: How do you think the pandemic played a role in growing your platform?
AS: I was in grad school, and they were like, "We don't want anybody on campus." So, I moved back with my mom and dad, a little bit more north in L.A. I had all this free time because I just had to roll out of bed, open Zoom and then go back to sleep. So, I was like, "I might as well make a bunch of videos." I was bored and what else was I supposed to do. So, I was able to create an unrealistic amount of content. I got the chance to unload all these thoughts and concepts and I got the chance to grow them.
Honestly, the amount of time I had really launched my social media and gave me the chance to be freely creative. And the app, too—there are no bounds in the app. You can do whatever you want. And it's amazing.
E! News: How are you coming up with ideas today? Are you sitting down on Monday and planning out a full week?
AS: It's organic, whatever I come up with in the moment. Some days I wake up and I already know it when I get out of bed in the morning. I'll know a trending audio and I'll have a good idea for that. If I randomly have to run to Target, I might just film it. If I have a cute outfit I know I'm going to wear, I'll do a transition video.
E! News: Do you ever think, "I'm posting too much? or "That shouldn't have been shared?"
AS: I have a pretty good moral compass of, "This is too much" or "This is too little." I'll sometimes send it to my mom, which is kind of funny, like, "Hey mom, if you saw this on the Internet, would you think that I'm oversharing?"
There are moments where I will go on a date and I won't share that I'm going on a date. Then there are moments where I'll share prepping for it, but not share what happens during or after. There are times I will share going surfing with my family and there are times I won't just because I want to enjoy being around my family. It's finding a balance of what things I want to keep sacred to myself and what things I want to let the world in on.
E! News: You did let the world in on your breakup earlier this year. Why was that journey so important to tell?
AS: I've shared so much that it didn't feel right not to share something that was such a big aspect of my life. I wanted to make sure that when my relationship ended, I let people know that it wasn't the long distance that failed. We were on two different paths. It was like, if I share my journey, maybe it'll help somebody else with their journey. It also was a big comfort to create something artistic out of something that was hurting and then have a memory of all these moments.
you already know 🙂
E! News: On that note, share the tips for soft-launching a relationship on social media.
AS: Soft launching, I don't know what that is…
E! News: We love the comment section of your TikTok…
AS: I also love the comment section on my TikTok.
E! News: People are very witty.
AS: So creative! I will tell you this, none of it was ever intentional. I had come out of a relationship where I showed a lot. And I was like, "You know, maybe I don't share as much on this one," but I also was really excited about this new thing that was happening in my life. So, I was like, "I'm just going to share little bits and pieces." People know that I'm fine and know that I'm happy and in love and things like that. It became this thing where it was an investigation. It got out of hand really fast. It's a funny joke now, but we'll see if it lasts. [Laughs]

E! News: Obviously, with a huge platform comes the keyboard warriors. How do you ignore haters?
AS: I always knew that I really wanted to keep it really positive and really feel good on my page because that's normally how I wanted to feel. I just wanted my community to be a safe space for people. Everybody's welcome to add their input and give their advice. But we all have to keep in mind that it's with a nice twist.
I'm really fortunate that I have a community that is on the same page. And if there ever is any floating negativity in the comment section, it's so incredible to see people step up. I don't even have to handle my hate comments anymore. I usually have somebody that comments like, 'Hey, I don't think you should say that. That's not very nice."
just do 1 thing and i promise it’ll boost the whole mood 🙂 drink that coffee, do that makeup, wear those shoes, or hug ur fav human
E! News: Be honest, how do you avoid burnout?
AS: My goal is always three to five videos a day, which is a lot of brain power to think of that much content. And I went a solid year where I didn't take a single day off. Even now it's pretty rare I don't post for a whole day. So, burnout is really natural.
I feel burnout the most when I'm not enjoying my real life off of social media. If I'm living on my couch, just scrolling TikTok all the time, I don't feel as lively and inspired as I do going on a run or going to the beach and seeing people's lives playing out. So just keeping your real life interesting helps with being able to post on social media too.
E! News: What do you want to conquer next?
AS: I was working on my thesis project, which is a 15-minute short film. I'm hoping that can get submitted to a few festivals and see how it does with those. For social media, the TikTok is going to stay. I'd love to get more into YouTube, a little bit longer form.
And I'm hoping that I can fill the year with so many adventures that I'm never bored. My biggest goal is just keep enjoying what I'm doing and soak in every moment I can.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
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