Tik Tok is a social media app that is owned by the Chinese Government. It is a video-sharing social networking site where people, mostly teenagers, create short videos showcasing their talents like dancing, drawing, singing, etc. People also create comic and lip-sync videos. Lip-syncing videos have always proved to be a popular form of entertaining user-generated content. Teenagers enjoy creating videos for fun, participating in challenges on TikTok, competing against each other for likes, reactions, comments, etc.
Teenagers are moving away from being spectators to becoming an online creator. Creating and sharing have become a major part of their lives. Gaining followers and maximum likes are now their priority.
Tiktok gives people the opportunity to be an “influencer”. Once you are in the spotlight, you don’t feel like giving it up. This is what makes the
application toxic. The application is designed to be extremely addictive and social media is already addictive but TikTok takes it to another level. The way the application is designed makes it magnified and makes issues look a lot bigger than any other social media platform.
Tiktok has a ‘For You’ page which displays customized content of your choice, something you may like based on other videos liked by you. Other platforms refresh their feed but TikTok keeps going on and on non-stop, you never hit the bottom of anything. The algorithm of TikTok is so small that while one is scrolling, he will enjoy 90% of the videos, making it addictive. Other social media apps allow you to curate what you want to see based on your subscriptions on Youtube and ‘following’ on Instagram, Twitter, and other apps.
However, TikTok shows you content that otherwise you wouldn’t be exposed to. This itself has its pros and cons. The plus point of this app is that it makes it easy to gain popularity. To be featured on the For you page, it is necessary for an account to be public and so most of the people keep their accounts public. This can be viewed by anyone, even predators.
Tik Tok is an app where people post provocative content which they wouldn’t post on any other social media. This gives out the wrong messages to the users. They post triggering content just to feel validated. They share a lot about their personal lives which is completely alright when only a bunch of teens are watching but as mentioned before there may be predators out there who can view all of it and may use it against you.
The age limit of TikTok is 13+. But the content being progressively more adult or R rated, the minimum age to be on this application should be at least 16 years. People post a lot of offensive videos on this app. They crack racist jokes just to fit in or be funny or something. Children who watch these videos are encouraged to bully people. Like most of the social media apps, TikTok also has a pretty privilege. To those who don’t know what pretty privilege is – Pretty privilege is called the “halo effect”. People assume that a person who’s very good looking is doing a better job than in fact they are doing.
Teenagers or young adults are in a fragile state of mind. They are insecure about themselves. Being exposed to such content is extremely harmful. The reason this has been brought into light is that we can curate what we see on other apps but TikTok. This makes people feel bad about themselves just because they do not fit in TikTok’s definition of being perfect. This is toxic especially for those who already have low self-esteem and self-confidence. This is important because teenagers are so desperate to go viral that they are compromising their morals and putting their reputation at stake in the real world just for a drop of clout on TikTok.
Earlier, TikTok used to be fun and games but now we are starting to see the repercussions of things because everything is escalating and getting worse. It’s concerning what this application is doing to teenagers.