TikTok’s Influence on the World

How TikTok is making an impact on pop culture and the world: www.TikTok Changing the World.com

Unless you’ve been living under a rock since 2018, you know what TikTok is. Although, for those of you who don’t; TikTok is a social media platform where lip-syncing, dance covers, and other forms of entertainment are created and posted. TikTok has become a part of most people’s daily lives and culture. There are many different categories in which TikTok has made such an impact on the pop culture world such as Education, Self-Expression, Talent Discovery, Career Revivals, Cultural Diversity and Inclusivity.

Education

Many of the TikTok users that are still in school anywhere from grades K – 12 have found the TikTok platform very resourceful when it comes to educating them academically or culturally. There are many TikTok influencers that create content for the sole purpose of educating their viewers. These influencers will create content anywhere from academic knowledge such as math, history and science all the way to daily life skills such as cooking and cleaning. There are many TikTok influencers that are teachers in high schools or middle schools. This is so the teachers have a way of connecting with their students and also educating them in an entertaining way.

Self-Expression

TikTok is a great platform for expressing yourself freely and creatively. This is a space where content creators can show their talents and participate in entertaining “challenges” posted on the TikTok platform. Many TikTok creators have used their platform to go against fake social media norms such as photoshopping and editing to make their posts look better. This makes other creators feel more open to expressing themselves on their TikTok page and expanding their platform. Many TikTok users will post their hobbies or side talents on their page that draws attention and then creates a chain of posts leading from one comment to another asking them to create content pertaining to the comment posted.

Talent Discovery

In today’s society, you don’t need to be discovered by Usher or J-Lo in order to become famous. Just by posting multiple entertaining videos on TikTok and going viral, you can create this huge platform, get “verified” and then become a social media influencer. Many have released their own songs on TikTok that have went viral and ended up on the radio and have then gone on to get discovered by famous artists who want to sign a contract with the song creator that went viral on TikTok.

I don’t use TikTok, but Instagram has started to take on their platform by adding what they call “Reels” to their app. This is essentially the same as posting a TikTok. I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of responses I would get from posting a reel on Instagram using a popular sound that has been trending all over social media.

Career Revivals

Everyone ranging from not famous to famous and young to old, have found second chances on TikTok to revive their career or even start a new one they didn’t even know was possible. For many who thought their career was over, a few viral videos on TikTok can change that all around to making them a social media influencer. An app that started as an entertainment platform has now created many career paths for influencers around the world to grow in the path and take advantage of their newfound opportunities.

Cultural Diversity and Inclusivity

TikTok has been a great place for many users of many different cultures and ethnic background to educate viewers about their culture. Many users on TikTok are welcoming of all from different backgrounds and is inclusive of everyone and anyone who wants to use and post on the app. From the website listed above, influencer YanYan De Jesus says, “The platform is proud to be a place where everyone belongs, regardless of nationality, gender, background, or any other dimension of identity.”

While TikTok has created a lot of positivity in the pop cultural world, there is also a negative side to the TikTok platform. It can be very bad for users’ mental health when using the app.

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Why TikTok Is Bad For You And Your Mental Health: www.TikTok and Mental Health.com

Many have been glued to the TikTok app ever since the platform released. TikTok has become even more popular ever since the pandemic in 2020. The website listed above was written by a concerned parent who took it upon themselves to download the TikTok app to see how the platform worked and evaluate for themselves if it was an appropriate platform for their kids. There are many reasons why this parent thinks that the TikTok platform is unsafe for their child, such as: dangerous challenges, automated feed, TikTok predators, TikTok is addictive, harassment, and data privacy.

Dangerous Challenges

TikTok has become a platform where creators will post “challenges” for their viewers to partake in; most are harmless, but others are very dangerous. TikTok’s audience is made up mostly of young children or teenagers who are easily influenced or crave the need for instant fame. There was a challenge on TikTok that the site talks about where it encourages pill popping Benadryl to get high and have hallucinations. This has led the creators of the videos into seizures, comas, or even worse, death.

Automated Feed

The content uploaded to TikTok play automatically as soon as you open up the app. This is what sucks people into watching TikTok content for hours at a time. Automated feed on apps is made on purpose to keep viewers on their platform longer and glued to their phone for long periods of time. Automatic feed is also a bad idea in the sense of not being able to control what videos that you watch on your feed. There is always a possibility of coming across a video that you wish you would have never seen.

TikTok Predators

Unfortunately, there are many predators all over social media platforms. Although, TikTok lacks the security protocol needed to be put in place in order to keep predators out of children’s private messaging inboxes. There have been many reports of child predators trying to direct message children with explicit messages to their accounts. The social media platform has made it easy for child predators to contact children and message them privately and does not do a great job at getting rid of the predators quickly.

TikTok is Addictive

With the constant entertainment that TikTok provides, there is always the feeling of wanting more content. Not only is TikTok addicting for viewers to scroll through, but it is addictive when you are the person posting the content because you are always looking for more likes and comments on your posts. Many users on the TikTok platform will intertwine their online feedback with their self-worth on the app. This can lead young people to having severe anxiety and depression from the social media app.

Harassment

Many negative comments are made on social media platforms. There will always be trolls and people who make themselves feel better by bringing others down with their comments and hiding behind their smart phones. For an adult, most negative comments can just be brushed off, to an impressionable child who is still forming their identity, those comments can make these children fall into depressive episodes. Cyber bullying is a huge problem in society today and social media makes cyber bullying very easy as users can create anonymous accounts.

Data Privacy

There are many social media apps that require you to share permissions such as your camera, audio, pictures, location, contacts, and more. TikTok is owned by a company in China, so there are very many unknowns surround how their data is collected and used. This was one of the main concerns when TikTok first came out, the fact that it is owned and controlled by an external country can be very concerning for many reasons.

It is important to make sure that you are aware of the dangers that social media can possess. TikTok is a great place to be discovered, entertained, and connect with people; but users still need to be aware of the dangers and walk on the cautious side of the platform when using the app. Both of these sites connect by one giving you the benefits to using TikTok and the other giving you some of the dangers that can come about from using the platform. Both of these websites have helped to inform me better on what the TikTok platform can be used for in both great ways and bad ways.

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2 thoughts on “TikTok’s Influence on the World

  1. Hi, I really enjoyed your post about TikTok. I have not been on TikTok myself; my understanding was that it was videos doing music, funny things, etc. I didn’t realize that some people were using it for teaching purposes; it could have a positive effect on children who might be struggling with a certain topic and can get a different perspective on it than their teacher. However, unfortunately, it seems there are more risks than there are benefits to TikTok. The fact that it does automated feed is very risky and if I were a parent I would definitely want control over this aspect. As you mentioned, children are very impressionable and they can’t always understand the risk of doing a challenge, connecting to a person that they don’t know, or seeing a disturbing video.

    Is there anyway you can add controls to TikTok? I can’t imagine that a social media app wouldn’t let you put controls on what you and your children see. I would also be interested in knowing if privacy laws, data collection, data selling, is more loose because it is not a U.S. company. Even though U.S. citizens use it, I would guess that China laws may be in place. Can you as a user control what information you add to the app and control what they can use?

  2. Hi @alikeo,
    Great job on this blog regarding TikTok. I’ve seen a few videos (on Instagram – I don’t have TikTok either) where Native American women are using the platform to educate people on their ethnic background, culture, and practices. I was impressed when I first saw these types of educational videos. I was less impressed with the “challenges” videos.

    I can see how this type of social media could be addictive and a strain on one’s mental health if not careful. I think, if used carefully and mindfully, this is a great creative outlet for people. I’ve seen some of the dance videos people come up with and some of them are amazing. Like all social platforms, there is risk when putting content out into the world – we just need to be aware and informed.

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