22 April 2022
TikTok and Its Impacts on Teen’s Lives
Teenagers have, over the years, invested more of their time on the internet with the rise of digital media. In the contemporary world, however, trends are often temporary. TikTok is among the popular applications currently big used by a significant number of teens across the globe. The app has provided them with a platform for expressing who they are to the whole world. On TikTok, millions of teenagers between the ages of 12 and 20 share short videos. There are higher chances of individuals going viral because of a single video. Such aspects of the app have stimulated more teenagers to compose short videos of themselves and post them on the app. This paper aims at exploring the positive and negative impacts of TikTok on the lives of teenagers.
There are various benefits that the app has on the lives of teenagers. The first advantage is that it is a learning tool. Like other social media tools, TikTok has offered the majority of individuals with opportunities to learn about various aspects and disciplines in life (Guo, 2022). According to research, scholars, teachers, and academic professionals gain their reputation by offering their knowledge and expertise on the app. With such information being posted, teens are able to search about their school subjects on the app and easily find experts in the field who have already shared a video to spread the knowledge. The app further stimulates the student’s talents to create music (Guo, 2022). Most videos on the app are often composed of individual movements with melodic music. After shooting their TikTok videos, teens will be required to edit them. Through this, they will be able to acquire editing skills.
The second benefit is it leads to self-actualization and satisfies the social needs of teens. Technology tends to offer students inspiring opportunities to use their time flexibly in regards to pace and time. Therefore, the app can satisfy the teenager’s mentality. Since videos are posted from different parts of the world, teenagers can perceive the world physically and mentally. As they explore, their personalities, perceptions, and morality is shaped. They also develop a sense of feeling that they are mature enough (Guo, 2022). Therefore, when they are in puberty, they will consider themselves adults and will be able to make rational decisions. TikTok also has a way of satisfying the juvenile’s self-actualization. Besides, the app can be used as a relaxation tool that reduces academic pressure.
The first effect is it encourages negative comparisons. The app often offers a short video glimpse into the lives of other individuals across the globe. The videos posted often gives a false sense of reality. The perceived reality of the video posted is often glamorized (Canady, 2021). Such aspects make teens compare their lives with those videos, making them believe that they are not living a happy life. Secondly, it may be a platform for bullying (Bhat, 2020). The amount of hateful and malicious comments on TikTok’s videos may negatively affect the mental health of teenagers. Such cyberbullying may result in anxiety, depression, and extreme stress that may affect an individual’s day-to-day activities and functioning. Hateful words are often hurtful and upsetting.
Thirdly, TikTok may lead to addiction and may bring about safety concerns. Since the app often has endless streams of different content, teens are more likely to spend longer periods on the app and become addicted to watdhing videos for longer periods. Besides, predators can easily use the app to solicit minors since TikTok makes it easier for strangers to message the teens directly (Memon & Alavi, 2020). There are no restrictions on who can join the app ad connect everyone virtually, thus exposing teens to bullies and predators. The fourth effect is that teens are exposed to new standards that may not be healthy for their mental and physical health. The videos posted in the app have increased eating disorders, depression, and anxiety among the youths. Most teens, like girls, have also begun making hypersexualized ideas in order to gain more likes and followers (Memon & Alavi, 2020). Teens who go viral on the app have a big following. However, the large number of fans is often linked to their attractiveness and not the content and talents that they showcase (Isoraite, 2016). The majority of teens are now participating in TikTok trends to get attention from others, which at times results in an unhealthy obsession with likes, followers, and comments.
Generally, TikTok has a significant influence on teenagers regarding social and educational perspectives. Although some of the effects are positive, some are negative since they affect youths’ mental health. There are various contents posted on the app that disrupts the normal functioning of society. The app’s usage has further resulted in child pornography, cyberbullying, body dissatisfaction, and eating disorders. The app has further been linked to stress responsible for memory loss among individuals.
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