(WETM) – There is a common misconception about the state of New York. When you mention the words, “I’m from New York,” to some people, the only aspects of New York they can think of are skyscrapers, traffic, and the infamous ball drop at Times Square each year.

But, as many of us know, there is so much more to New York State than just New York City. This point is exactly what TikToker Austin Casey is trying to unveil.

”Most people outside of New York State but especially the world, when we say we’re from New York, it centers around New York City,” Austin said. “I figured let me just touch on things about New York State and one thing that I see collectively is that we have a separate identity from New York City.”

Austin has been on TikTok since 2020. It was the midst of the pandemic, and like everyone else, Austin decided to join the popular social media app. But, Austin didn’t use the app to pass time scrolling for hours like most of us. He became a content creator on what’s now one of the most popular social media applications in the world.

In 2020, Austin began creating TikToks. He would spread kindness on the app creating videos where he would tell people they were loved, worthy, and powerful.

Austin was born in Ithaca, N.Y. and grew up in Manchester. He currently resides in Canandaigua, N.Y. but he’s traveled all throughout the state. He spent over 7 years serving in the U.S. Army and even played semi-pro football in Carthage, N.Y. He was able to travel much of the state and quickly realized Upstate, New York had a lacking identity.

“We have beautiful mountains, we have beautiful landscapes, we have beautiful lakes, we have great food, we have all sorts of things to do,” Austin said. “We are people who are different, we live differently, we act differently, we interact with each other very differently. I think it’s important that at least I helped New York State in and of itself have its own identity separate from the city.”

That’s exactly what Austin did. After growing his original TikTok account to over 400,000 followers, Austin turned his attention to spreading kindness to people in the midst of a time we were all stuck at home. His account now is focused primarily on addressing the identity issues in New York State.

“Humor is what brings people together. I chose to use self-deprecating humor of New York State,” Austin explained. “I might say funny things about these places and I might make little digs about these places where truthfully, I love them.”

Unfortunately, Austin’s original TikTok account was hacked. After taking a break from the social media app, Austin decided to join again. He created a new account to continue his Upstate New York content as well as some new content and now has over 26,000 followers and 800,000 likes. While building his platform is a priority to him, shining a light on Upstate New York is just as important.

“Laughter is the best medicine. I believe I do this because laughter is what helps me and other people in a lot of really bad situations.”

If you would like to see more of Austin’s content you can follow him on TikTok @austincasey_. He also plans on attending an upcoming Sav Bananas baseball game for anyone interested in meeting him. He hopes that TikTok can one day bring his original account back so he can continue to create content that everyone has seemed to love so far.