Does TikTok do more harm than good?

Allison Li, Writer

TikTok is a global platform where people from anywhere and everywhere can use it to share opinions, ask questions, or just make random content. Currently, there are about 1 billion active TikTok users as of 2022, showing good statistics and proving that a LOT of people definitely like the app, but the question that comes into play is — Does TikTok do more harm than good? Personally, I think TikTok is a very fun and enjoyable platform. Depending on what you like, TikTok’s For You Page can include countless different types of videos, all ranging from educational to promotional to entertainment. Like other social media platforms, TikTok brings people together from around the world, and lets us meet people we wouldn’t have otherwise. Videos are sorted by what you like and the algorithm brings together people with similar interests. So, not only can you explore more about what interests you and new things that spark your interest, you will undoubtedly meet people with similar interests, therefore, making friends. It is also a great place to learn new things — how to sew, cupcake recipes, ancient Egyptian history, anything and everything is pretty much available on TikTok. For me, I search up a lot of weird animal facts and chocolate recipes, which is totally cool. There are no such things as an interest too small, there are people who do tarot readings on TikTok, teach martial arts, do completely hilarious car rants and just random things. We all stumble upon videos explaining things we never knew about, and wouldn’t have otherwise, with so many users and content creators there really are innumerable topics covered throughout the entire platform. Promotional videos also do really well, especially if you see other people using it. TikTok is one of the best apps to promote small businesses due to the evidently  large number of viewers stated above. Song artists have gone viral through the app, along with other products, trends, jokes, and most of all, dances. It gives people something to talk about, like the news, just more comedic and trendy. And last but not least, pure entertainment can be found throughout TikTok. Personally, these are my favorite because they can be absolutely ridiculous and people will just accept it. I think TikTok influences our own humor, which can be good at times, almost like a newly acquired skill in a video game or something. The app leads to a new perspective on a lot of things, you can glimpse into other people’s lives or get inspired. And most of all, you can also make your own videos, whatever they may be, and join the algorithm. Whether it be harmless dance videos with your friends, or maybe wanting to share your opinion, I think TikTok is a really fun platform. The question though, is “Does it do harm?”. And though there have been many links to mental health issues with teens spending too much time on social media, I think that can be avoided with balance. Obviously, your non-electronic and social life are way more important than the interests you find on a screen.  And real life friends and family are much more preferable than strangers you meet on the internet. But a little entertainment never hurts anybody, and quite frankly I think it’s helpful to see other perspectives and fun content. It gives you a connection to the world outside of your hometown or school. Another issue many people are concerned about, especially parents (such as mine), is the blue light and how it will wreck your hormones and sleep schedule. Speaking from a teenager’s point of view, again, I think moderation will help. Think of it like a little seasoning in your life. Just a little will do more good than harm. That was a weird analogy, I apologize (We all spend our whole school day on our chromebooks and I don’t see parents complaining about that ;-;). But anyways, TikTok is just another variation of all other social media platforms, such as Instagram or Facebook, which are more accepted. Did you know that the chances of you having TikTok while reading this is 78%? Actually that’s not true, I just made it up. But you believed it didn’t you? Because putting numbers and statistics in your writing pieces, even if they are wrong, make it way more likely for people to believe you. I learned that on TikTok ;-;