Is TikTok good or bad for our happiness?
TikTok is not just an app but a platform to showcase your talent for the sake of fun and entertainment to its users. Earlier, it was known as ‘Musically’ the Chinese app TikTok has gained a lot of attention in a very short period of time. Its popularity has spread among the youngsters and teenagers like an addiction from which people have got so much influenced.
Nowadays, TikTok has become a major part of people’s life to let them gain popularity over the internet and experience new things. There are many creative contents that you’ll find out coming up from all over the world.
This app doesn’t just restrict people to enjoy only the funniest videos and for entertainment purpose but also provides many useful things and news that has to be acknowledged.
Sensational news starts to go viral in no time. It is very easy to share your creative side rather than just connecting to people like all other social media platforms.
It impacts people in many ways, it has received many bad presses in recent times. There are also many concerns with TikTok promoting dangerous challenges and also allegedly censoring creators. Let us discuss these issues in detail.
There are many challenges in TikTok that starts going viral, even when it is dangerous.
Many TikTok users attempt these dangerous challenges and many of those even include children. This results in getting hurt. For example, the penny challenge in which dropping a penny between a phone charger and the wall plug. This challenge went viral in many places and has claimed to start fire resulting in disastrous consequences.
Another dangerous challenge is called skull breaker challenge. The goal is to trip somebody so that they fall and smack their head on the ground. This challenge can probably cause serious injuries to innocent people.
TikTok has also been alleged in censoring posts. In this past November, a 17-year old girl from New Jersey has alleged that TikTok has censored her video that was related to the Uighur interment camps in China. Uighurs are a Muslim community who belongs to north western China. The video was made to bring light over these struggling people staying in Uighur internment camps in China.
TikTok is a social media platform for entertainment, it does not limit it’s content to a specific niche. Any user can upload any content through dance and music.
Almost all users in TikTok posts their content either by dancing or singing. This helps in getting recognition for their talent and make them popular.
Most of it’s audience are young in age and post videos based on their interests. This also helps in showcasing their acting skills to the world. These popular users call themselves influencers. They are even approached by big brands to advertise their products to users.
Privacy & Security:
In recent times there were also many allegations against TikTok with respect to security and privacy concerns. TikTok has been fined by US government for $5.7 million for illegally collecting children’s data.
In October 2019, the U.S. government launched an investigation into ByteDance to find out how the data gathered on TikTok users of all ages is being used. US senators are worried about the information collected and suspect that it can be used to spy on Americans. This data may even be used to influence political decisions.
Although, the community guidelines of TikTok is deeply committed to child safety. They use a policy of zero tolerance for behaviour that could lead to child abuse or sexual exploitation. TikTok has been a place where teen girls receive creepy and actively upsetting messages from many users. These users are often much much older than them.
In recent times, the situation has improved slightly by policy like restricting child user who are under 13 to only view the content and not to share or create them.
TikTok announced a new feature on Feb 19 called family safety mode. This feature allows parents to link to their teen’s accounts. This feature let them curb out their child’s screen time, limit direct messaging and restrict some content that may be harmfull. But, this feature is only available in UK and is set to launch in all other countries very soon.
Indecent & Harassing Content
This is one of the major disadvantage for TikTok users. Many users in TikTok use it to spread their prejudice ideas to targets certain sections of the people.
Many videos are done just to harass and discriminate people on the basis of color, race or religion. Also, indecent and inappropriate content which could be criminal in nature gets popularity in TikTok.
Another major con of using TikTok is the addiction that the platform brings with it. TikTok users get addicted to it in such a way that it even starts affecting their day-to-day life. For some, it act like a drug to their brain.
There are many users who use this platform even during work and driving. This not only affect their performance in work, it can also cause accidents when used while driving. These users may be so addicted to the app that they don’t even recognize the dangers of their behavior.
Not all is bad with TikTok , Some influencers are genuine and have build their career out of it. There are many examples like Loren Gray, Jacob Sartorius and Ariel Martin who have build their career through TikTok. They also transitioned to other media platforms like YouTube and Spotify
Not only in music, but many other users in other careers started growing their business with the help of TikTok. TikTok can provides huge number of following users in a very short span of time. If the original message add value to the society., then Tik-Tok is a great way to gain traction and spread that message better.
Now coming to our initial question whether TikTok is bad or good, we have to view this with a larger viewpoint. Although TikTok can be used to build ones career, get instant publicity and spread good messages. Still it doesn’t add much value to the common user. Instead it seems to be filled with bigotry, inappropriate content and harassment.
As there is a saying “Prevention is better than cure”, we are better off without using TikTok rather than using it.
If that article was a fun read to you, I recommend reading my article on Facebook impact on our life.