With over 3 billion downloads since its creation, the Tiktok app has superseded what it means as a social media platform; to change how we live. Some shocking data insights by Social Media Today have raised eyebrows around Tiktok's performance and engagement figures. But, even with Tiktoks popcorn growth of the century, rising concerns surrounding the app's moral integrity are still at the forefront of debate.
"It takes less time to do the right thing than it does to explain why you did it wrong." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Big Picture Talk
Tiktok, the Beijing-based social media app formally known as Bytedance, has made headway this year, accumulating over 2 billion users halfway through 2021. What's more interesting is the impact that it's having on culture and mental health.
Negatives Side Effects Of Tiktok Trends
Negative Self-Images & Comparison - Filters that show you what your face would look like if it was perfect, cover your blemishes, lifting your face, and giving you fuller eyes and lips are among the top used filters on Tiktok. These [perfect] filters allude to the notion that women are not beautiful without them, and tiktokers are rebelling.
Rebels have made voiceovers with [perfect] filters that highlight the filters are fake and suggest tapping the filter off and recording a close-up of your face to recognize natural beauty [no filters] as a norm.
“To find yourself, think for yourself.” - Socrates
A Monopoly of Content Creators - Are making it more difficult than other apps for a wide variety of users to get any good follower traction. Tiktok prioritizes its most highly prized and sponsored tiktokers to attract and keep new users to the platform.
Limited Exposure to New Content - As the app's algorithm caters to the user's experience, it also diminishes it by restricting access to a wide variety of content. Therefore, the user experience becomes limited assuming, that we are only as diverse as our environment. Sure, the app is entirely diversified. What about the individual user experience. Doesn't that matter?
Positive Effects of Tiktok Trends
Cultural Appreciation & Dance Recognition - Indigeounous tribes on tiktok are gaining awareness and influence surrounding cultural genocides, appropriation, and dance that is otherwise not prevalent. Tribes gather fans together to create change surrounding inappropriate stigmas and viewpoints while getting more people on board with what is acceptable and what is not.
Family-Oriented - Drawing families closer together - Families are spending time together more than ever in successful attempts to create videos that show family dynamics, struggles, impersonations of family members, traditional food dishes, and the list goes on.
Content is Relatable - The algorithm generates new videos on the FYP (For You Page) based on what you like and how long you watch each video. The result is content that is relatable and relevant. Some users say that scrolling through relatable content helps them through personal obstacles and struggles like relationships, career goals, and creative concepts.
How a Cigarette Pack Can Change The Game
On the back of every cigarette pack, you can find a surgeon's general warning label, displaying essential information about physical health. Why do we not have warning labels surrounding our mental health on social media apps in plain sight, like a cigarette pack?
Although there are positive and life-changing phenomena per tiktok, look at the widespread mental health effects that the app has and will continue to have. By all means, keep using the app. Just be aware of your loyalty, your time, and getting caught up in false images--not to mention creating an echo chamber of your ideas and thoughts.
As a society, we are comfortable with the current set of social media standards. Although there are accounts that talk about ways users can limit their media consumption and gain clearity. Vitality is the tool to push forward in mental health matters like many of us have done throughout covid.
“We cannot live better than in seeking to become better.”