Is TikTok making teens tick?

Witty, wild, and worth the the time? Or crude, cringy, and crass? Two students evaluate TikTok, and if it's worthy of its popularity.

Nathan Kowsky and Michael Marquess

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PRO:

By: Nathan Kowsky

TikTok has taken the world by storm. It is a video streaming app with 4.8 out of 5 stars on the App Store, where people post 15-second videos, similar to Vine.

The company that runs TikTok also bought and incorporated Musical.ly, which was weird to me, but on TikTok things are different. The videos are ironically funny and creative.

With over half a billion users, TikTok provides a sense of community for the whole world. Through the app, people can freely express their ideas, experiences, creativity and gain attention for it. “If you are motivated it is not difficult to gain popularity on TikTok,” says TikTok famous Eden Goodenough (‘19). This shows how the app can be used by anybody, and one can come from nowhere and make it big.

“My sister is TikTok famous, and she has enjoyed the app since she first got it,” shares Austin Wyatt (‘19). That said one does not need to be popular on the app to enjoy the experience, and that virtually anyone can make it big. “TikTok brings happiness to me even in the darkest of times,” states active user Harlan Hillis (‘19). This shows the joy one gets out of using TikTok.

Overall TikTok offers a fun experience to everyone. It also provides an opportunity for anyone who wants to express themselves or wishes to be internet famous. It’s entirely free, but provides priceless entertainment.

 

CON:

By: Michael Marquess II

 

TikTok is an abominable cesspool of vanity, hatred, and sexuality… just like any other social media platform today. The app encourages underaged children to film themselves lip-syncing to popular songs, and post said footage online. But saying that they’re just “lip-syncing” doesn’t do it justice. Go ahead, look up a Musical.ly or TikTok compilation, and you’ll know what I mean. Cringy skits, lewd dancing, and underaged exploitation as far as the eye can see. And it’s out there for the entire world to see. Any sane parent would agree that having their children paraded around the internet like that is clearly unacceptable. Most of TikTok’s user base consists of teens under the age of 18. Combine that with suggestive lyrics and dance moves, and what do you get? A popular hub for child predators. Even a person with half a brain can piece together that yes, people over the internet are watching my dancing children with sexual motives.

However, a new trend has taken over TikTok in the last couple of months. Videos and memes mocking the contemporary have exploded in popularity, satirizing the cringey nature of the average TikTok video. While these ironic TikToks are admittedly funny and clever, it would be wrong to say that some of these jokes do not stem from hateful roots. Some TikTok users are odd-looking, to say the least. The new wave of TikTok satirists, although refreshing to the platform, are quick to exploit these user’s physical flaws, and viciously mock them. Sure, they’ve managed to push back the cringe, but that’s only given way for something much more sinister: hate. The hatred for cringy videos has turned the already disgusting dumpster fire of an app into a vile and cynical echo chamber of mob-mentality.

Just stay away from TikTok.

 

Michael Marquess II
TikTok video being recorded by a tech-savvy teen.