Tik Tok and How It Is Affecting Teens

Tik Tok is one of the most popular apps on the internet, coming in at #1 for entertainment. But for those teens who have it, does this app affect them positively, or negatively?

Ella Nelson

 

Teens all over the world are obsessing with an app that came out in 2016, created in China. That app is called Tik Tok, a social media platform where people can record short videos of themselves and post them into the public for people to watch, which can lead to both negativity and positivity for teens across the globe.

You can’t deny that you’ve heard the word “Tik Tok” before coming out of someone’s conversation. And they could have said anything about it, something bad, or something good, like a funny video they watched. “Some of my favorites are cat videos,” says Alyssa Schwarz (Sophomore). “It’s kind of a time passer.” Tik Tok is one of the most entertaining apps; people from elementary school kids to elders have accounts with videos they post online, but it is mostly teens. But like any other social media app, it has it’s positives, and it’s negatives.

What are some of the positive things in Tik Tok? Well for one, this is an app where people can express themselves through short videos. They can post their favorite things to do, like singing, playing a sport, acting, and so many other things you can think of. Tik Tok has a wide variety of videos to watch, a lot coming from the “For You Page” section of Tik Tok. “Finding a media to be creative, or just to relax, I don’t see how it’s any different from TV necessarily,” Michael Hebert, an orchestra teacher at Blaine High School says.

Another positive thing is “you can learn a bunch of new things,” says Kayla Blackwood (Junior). You can learn things from cooking, to school subjects like math or history, to crafts, and to much more. Alyssa Schwarz says, “There’s a lot of cooking things on Tik Tok, so they can show different recipes of their culture or where they’re from and it’s kind of nice.” If there is a certain topic you need to find, go to the “Discover” icon on the bottom of the Tik Tok screen and look up anything you want to learn, or just something entertaining to you!

What are some of the negative things on Tik Tok? Well, there is a lot of hate, especially with some popular Tik Tok creators with millions and millions of followers. “Tik Tok can spread lots of negative energy,” Kayla says again. In each Tik Tok video, there is a “Comment Section” where people can say anything they want under a video, unless the creator has their comments turned off, or limited to the public. There is a lot of name-calling, and a lot of hateful feedback in these ”Comment Sections,” which can definitely affect someone’s mental health.

Another negative thing is the strangers online. With the comment section and the DM’s (direct messaging), anyone online can say anything to you. Yes, the stuff they say can either be good or bad, but either way, you don’t know who they are. Luckily, at the beginning of 2021, Tik Tok came out with a new privacy policy. Now, anyone who makes an account who is under the age of 16, will automatically have their account set to be private. This all has been said by cnet.com. But still, you are online. Michael Hebert says, “You are putting yourself out there for millions of people to see, and that is concerning.”