TikTok is detrimental to our mental health

TikTok addiction correlates to negative behavior in the younger generation.

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Eric Daniel Medina, Reporter

Ever since the rebranding of TikTok from Musical.ly in August 2018, everyone jumped onto the hype train with its 1 billion active users worldwide, according to Backlinko.

People love the content that the app gives. The continuous loop of short videos can range from dancing challenges to pranks and much more – which is what made the app so popular in the first place.

At the same time, there is certain content within the app that has been proven to promote negativity such as insecurity and self-hate. Most of this promotion has been received by the younger users. Even though the app’s purpose is to influence positivity, not everyone has the same view about it. 

Many of the app’s fun challenges have been made popular by the stars who do them. The original creators of the challenges have been known to have flawless features. From Charlie and Dixie D‘Amelio to Bella Poarch and many more popular users, all of them have created some of the most popular trends.

Challenges like the stargazing trend involve people laying on their bed and looking up at their ceiling, showing off their chiseled jawlines and “perfect” facial profile. Of course, these challenges have been known to make regular users compare themselves to these popular users, leading to insecurities and low self-esteem. 

It’s not that it requires beauty to participate in the challenges, it’s that the videos that go viral often come from people that have based their account solely on their beauty. Yes, the creators can be genuinely good people, but the presence of their beauty alone can set unrealistic standards in younger users who may start to believe that they need to be perfect in order to be accepted. 

Along with creating self-doubts, the app often supports a self-reject type of humor that often leads to more self-hatred.

According to Brandastic, about 60% of TikTok users are around 16-24 years old. The humor is widely accepted because it is relatable and is shared among their peers. Still, it does not change the fact that it prolongs the negativity that people hold within them. Although this humor is seen as a joke, it is a way for users to receive likes and comments. 

The app has also ruined the way users give attention to things. With never ending content at the swipe of their fingers, users can go on for hours without noticing the passing time.

According to Federal Computer Week (FCW), users on the app typically swipe away on the first 15 seconds of a video. Training an attitude often seen as quick-to-judge and short attention span. These habits can be transcended to the everyday routines of people, and can lead to impatience and distraction at schools or in normal conversations. 

TikTok isn’t so borderline harmful that it needs to be banned from the global app store, but it is worth knowing all the negative effects it has on the young, impressionable audience of its platform so they are more aware of what they are getting themselves into.