The Great Debate: Is TikTok worth our time?

Opinion Editors debate the effects of the new social media platform

October 14, 2019

What is TikTok?

Tik Tok is a form of social media that like others have begun to take over many teen lives, either for better or worse. Formerly known as, Tik Tok absorbed in August 2018 and is run by a Beijing-based tech company ByteDance (Vox). However, Tik Tok has turned more and more into Vine with its relatable humor, rather than continuing with the lip-syncing and dancing of The app lets you create short videos and post them online for others to see. If many people like and repost your video, you are likely to get on the “for you” page. This page shows videos that Tik Tok thinks you will enjoy that are the most popular throughout the app. It helps everyone find a person around the world you can relate to by just checking out their profiles. The app is for people twelve and up, but there is no way to verify a user’s age. Though mostly teens are seen using this app, there are a few Millenials and adults that find the app just as entertaining. 

No. Time is tiking away

Tik Tok has become more and more widespread around the world and now it seems like every teen wants to be a part of it. The problem with that is how it can draw your focus from other more important things that need your time and attention, like homework and studying. It is too easy to get drawn in after only being on the app for a few minutes because it is designed to keep you hooked from the second you open it. 

This is done through the app seeing the type of videos you like when you are online and then catering the same type to be on your Foryou page. Saying you will only spend one minute online can quickly turn into one hour or possibly more. The more time you spend on it, the more likely you are to post yourself. 

Since it is so easy to get on the Foryou page, it’ll seem like you have gone viral. But with fame comes responsibility. You’ll possibly gain more followers every time you get on the For You page, so you will feel the need to post often to give your followers new and improved content every so often, which will take up even more of your time. 

Also because anyone can see what you post, you can become subject to public scrutiny. This can foster a toxic environment where people constantly tear someone down by commenting hurtful things on the videos they post. The comment sections, like other social media, give cyberbullying an unwanted platform in the app. It can cause anyone being attacked stress and anxiety over someone they don’t even though in real life and whose opinion about them does not matter.

 The one aspect of Tik Tok that many parents are worried about would be what type of videos their children are watching. Younger users have to risk being exposed to topics and videos they are not ready to know about or see. They could see posts that involve swears, sex, drugs, and other inappropriate material. Tik Tok taking over has too many problems that should not be overlooked by anyone participating in this app.

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Yes. Offers unique chances.

One of the main reasons for Tik Tok’s popularity is its likable algorithm. Unlike other social media apps such as Instagram or YouTube, whose algorithms make it hard to become famous, on Tik Tok, it is possible for anyone to go viral as long as people continue liking and sharing the video you made. However, it is similar to Instagram and YouTube due to the fact that popular creators can get sponsorships and money by going live and creating sponsored videos. It can create an interactive environment between the creator and the audience since the audience can use real money to buy digital coins on Tik Tok to give to their favorite creator during a live.

 Another appealing aspect of Tik Tok is the way it unifies people as they recreate the same dances or trends. It also unifies people from around the world due to its large global reach, so you can watch people from Australia or China do the same trends as you. With the majority of its creators being teenagers, much of the content is relatable to the mostly teen audience. If you are struggling with a certain subject at school, it helps to know that many people out there are facing the same problem by making the most of it and posting a video making fun of the situation.

 Tik Tok also gives a unique platform for aspiring artists. On more than one occasion, a dance with a song by a small artist goes viral therefore prompting users to use the artist’s music and checking out their other songs. Singers can also post videos of them singing to get buzz generated about themselves in a quick and easy way. It can help you expand your music taste because you are exposed to new and different sounds every time you open the app. It is extremely likely that the songs will get stuck in your head, and you will be humming it for the rest of the day. The dance that become popular on the app will have you dancing them throughout the day. Through its large and global reputation, Tik Tok has successfully become one of the most popular apps among teenagers today.

About the Writer
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Aaliyah Yan, Editor-in-Chief

Aaliyah started writing for the harbinger her sophomore year after being convinced by Anna He. She started as an assistant opinion editor and became an...

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