TikTok’s Mind Games

From the end of 2020, the number of TikTok’s users has sky rocked. Hours feel like mere minutes to over 800 million users around the world.

TikTok, a rising social media platform, is a video-sharing app that has been taking the world by storm. Ages ranging from ten to 49 have taken part in participating on the app. People around the world use TikTok to make a variety of short videos to share among friends or people with similar interests. Short videos include genres such as dance, comedy, and education. These videos can last from three seconds to one minute. Some influencers are given a platform that reaches millions of people causing them to have a large impact on others.

   The app’s popularity began during the first period of COVID-19 quarantine. The world was confined to the indoors with endless free time. Popular trends arose throughout the millions of active viewers around the world. Trends included new bread recipes, tie-dying old clothes, making a new form of coffee, and endless new dances that went along to top hit songs. It could be a distraction from, what seemed like, the crashing world outside the comfort of our home.

   While TikTok can be used as a fun escape from reality. Avid viewers have seen the negatives of some of the short video concepts. The issue of mental health and wellness is a popular concept on the app. Other controversial topics are often talked about and misunderstood through a short video. Sensitive issues are a reason some people don’t download TikTok and don’t feel the need to. Anna Bartron, a student at Pennridge Highschool, states, “Lots of political things are on there and I don’t want to get involved in them”. Many others agree with Bartron and feel that TikTok is bad for teenager’s mental health.

    Hartlee Adelman produced a viral TikTok video displaying her pink jeep. Her video currently has over 300 thousand views along with 50 thousand likes. When asked about TikTok’s mental effects on her she states, “I am addicted to TikTok, but see a lot of negativity on it”. Hartlee catches herself on it immediately when she wakes up and continuously throughout the day until she goes to sleep.

   From another perspective, and the same household, Nadine Adelman is a mom of two teenage daughters. She has an account of her own, but rarely uses it. Nadine noticed, “Kids spend hours a day making and watching TikTok”. While her kids might spend too much time on the app, Nadine finds it both positive and negative. Her kids downloaded TikTok during quarantine as a form of entertainment and distraction from the greater world. She thinks TikTok might be helpful in a way because it is a place for kids to spread creativity and their own unique talents.

       While TikTok is a fun way for people to connect and pass time, it is also a lesson that everyone needs to be careful on any social media platform.