Is Hi Hat a Real Social Media Platform?

Finn Wolfhard stars as Ziggy Katz, a teenage singer-songwriter, in Jesse Eisenberg’s ‘When You Finish Saving the World.’ The film explores his fraught relationship with his mother, with whom he feels he has no common ground. The feeling is reciprocated and worsens the situation between the mother and the son. The lack of his mother’s approval leads Ziggy to find that validation on social media, and he devotes himself to his fans on Hi Hat. With so many social media apps floating around these days, the audience is bound to wonder if Hi Hat is yet another real-life app on the list.

Hi Hat is a Fictional App Modelled on Popular Social Media Platforms

The social media website used by Ziggy Katz to livestream his songs to his thousands of followers is not a real website. Hi Hat is a sit-in for popular apps like Tik-Tok, used by youngsters to engage on social media and to display their talents to the world, be it in the form of singing, dancing, acting, or anything else. Their popularity on the app allows them to monetize their talent accordingly, much like Ziggy does in the movie.

When writer-director Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Mark Zuckerberg in the critically acclaimed ‘The Social Network,’ conceived the story, he thought about Ziggy as a kid in the 2030s, whose life is so deeply ingrained with social media that it is the only thing available to him through which he connects with the world. ‘When You Finish Saving the World’ was originally released as an audiobook on Audible, but when the time came to turn it into a feature film, Eisenberg made some changes in the plot and the narrative, but the core of Ziggy’s story remained the same.

Eisenberg revealed that his fascination with the growing importance and influence of social media in today’s youth was the reason he brought Hi Hat into the story. He wanted to explore the difference between the life that people live on social media and outside of it. For Ziggy, it is difficult to form connections in the real world. He barely has any friends, and when he has a crush on a girl, he doesn’t know how to talk to her about it. So, he puts on an act, just like he puts on an act for his 20,000 followers on Hi Hat, with whom he feels closer than his own mother.

Having written a character like Ziggy, Eisenberg also became aware of the “strange dichotomy” of the character, pointing out how a boy with the guitar and writing and singing songs would be considered cool and be popular in school if it was a couple of decades ago. Now, the situation is entirely flipped. Actor Finn Wolfhard, who plays Ziggy, also connected to his character’s situation, saying that there are a lot of people of his age group who develop “a skewed idea” of their identity and lose track of who they really are, becoming more invested in the personalities they have on social media. To drive home this point, Ziggy and his relationship with social media are presented through Hi Hat and his legion of invisible fans.

Read More: Ricky Stanicky: Is The Royston an Actual Bar? Is Chelo’s Hometown a Real Diner?