The Downside to TikTok
By Khalidha Naushad
Ceylon Today Features
TikTok. Most of you need no introduction to this platform. If you have never heard of this before, it is a social media app that gives content creators a wide platform to share their work. So why are most people against it?
We all know that it’s beneficial to learn both good and bad aspects of anything. Tiktok in this case, has plenty that should be made aware of. Despite the fact that it is an app which is usable in ways that can be helpful to your education, career or business, the harmful challenges and crazy trends that Tiktok users, mostly teenagers, attempt can be a bad influence.
When I was first exposed to Tiktok, I was surprised to see young teenagers around 13-16 dancing around and attempting challenges, making the app one of their main priorities, better yet, earning through the app after they gain a considerable amount of following.
It’s no wonder this app has faced a lot of threats including temporary bans from many countries including India, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. Although Sri Lanka has never considered banning the app before, perhaps the devastating news of the 17-year-old Sri Lankan who was killed over a dispute pertaining to the app, may give authorities a reason to be concerned.
He was stabbed to death over a Tiktok video. Seemingly, it is the first death in Sri Lanka that has been caused over such a dispute. The Dailymail reports an incident that happened in UK where a 14-year-old girl who ‘stabbed her wheelchair-bound sister, 19 to death’ and posted photos of a bloody latex glove in the snow. More troubling reports have emerged recently about the dangerous things kids are doing to get noticed on the platform. The call for trust and safety management to rise up has never been more pressing.
Many more people have died as a result of doing Tiktok challenges or over Tiktok disputes in various parts of the world. Whatever the case may be, what do you believe the real issue is that causes people to behave in a destructive way that could lead to death?
Popularity, perhaps? It would seem as if their desire to gain popularity is unquenchable and people will do anything to go viral, from silly pranks to extreme stunts—nothing is off-limits. It is appalling what children and teens are doing for entertainment these days! Imagine people’s thought process to go to any extent just to gain popularity? Teenagers seem to have the grasped the wrong idea of fame or reality.
Social media is often entertaining and interesting, but it can also become addictive, which is why TikTok dethroned Google as the most popular site in 2021. To be honest, I am a Tiktok user myself and I catch myself scrolling for embarrassing lengths of time, watching videos of all sorts but perhaps like any other app we have to be watchful how we engage on the platform, it is entertaining but not worthy of time.
Here are some negative effects of TikTok that you should be cautious about.
Not worth your time
This should come as no surprise to you. If you’re an active TikToker who uploads videos and takes on ‘interesting’ challenges, or you’ve fallen down the TikTok rabbit hole like I have too, you should be mindful of it. There’s a time for limitless scrolling, do not let it distract you from your work or from achieving your dreams.
Work on your goals, take time to plan your life rather than spending hours on Tiktok. The sheer amount of time that users spend on the app is great for TikTok but so great for the TikTok users. In other words, TikTok is a distraction. If you do not hold yourself accountable, it can quickly negatively affect your productivity and waste time. It’s genuinely perplexing why people act like buffoons despite the fact that they understand it’s a complete waste of time.
What and what not to attempt
You can find challenges that are quite decent and is worth attempting. There are also challenges that are disastrous. If you think you are grown up enough to download the app and make videos, you should also be cautious of how to use it.
Here are some challenges worthy of your time:
- The invisible transition
- ‘The woman was too stunned to speak’ audio
- The ‘From tha Back x Miss the Rage’ dance
- Slow-motion night out
- The ‘and I think to myself...” audio
- The cat dance
- And many more challenges that are harmless and enjoyable.
One you should avoid:
- Coronavirus challenge
- DIY dentist challenge
- Skull breaker challenge
- Autism challenge
- The blackout challenge
- Benadryl challenge
- Scalp popping
The downside of anything – be it social media or any product, cannot be made aware unless something unpleasant happens. This is your time to rethink.