We need to destroy Tik Tok for good

April 19, 2020 — by Edwin Chen

Everyone keeps talking about the COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting the whole world and how we need to flatten the curve. But no one has been talking about the pandemic that has been infecting the entire teenage population since the beginning of the school year: TikTok. 

Unless you went into quarantine back in July, you probably know that TikTok, formerly known as musical.ly, is a social media platform where people make short videos and share them with each other. People dance, perform skits and lip sync to popular songs, just to name a few of the app’s functions. TikTok has quickly risen to become one of the most popular social media apps of 2020.

This app has taken over many teenage minds, including the ones at our school. When school was still in session, people indulged in unfunny TikTok humor, such as skits with dry and overused jokes or TikTok “dances” that don’t even require moving their feet. 

The other day, I was scrolling through my discovery page on Instagram, and I was bombarded by an obscene number of TikToks. As I kept scrolling down, all I could see were these unfunny TikToks. I have yet to see a TikTok that actually entertains me. 

TikTok is not only annoying, but it can also become an addiction. My classmates have told me how they spend hours on TikTok watching goofy skits instead of doing their homework or hanging out with their friends. I have never seen Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook impact the teenage mind to the point where people can spend countless hours on those apps. 

I believe that TikTok is addicting because of its less than a minute videos that satisfy teenagers’ short attention spans. Many creators find unique ways of packing their content into such a small time limit, making it different from traditional YouTube videos or Instagram content. This leads to users being able to scroll through mounds of content within a short amount of time, drawing them more and more into the app. 

This addiction is not only time consuming but dangerous.

According to Vox, TikTok is under investigation by the U.S. government for its ties to the Chinese government and the national security threat it could potentially possess. According to leaked documents, TikTok has been instructed by the Chinese government to remove content harmful to the Communist party. The app is currently banned by the U.S. Army and TSA on employee phones. 

TikTok has also faced child privacy fines by the FTC, something that could be a threat to many teenagers.

Despite all these obvious red flags, teenage addiction seems to be only worsening as people become increasingly bored throughout quarantine. 

The best way to stop the spread of TikTok is to discourage the production of TikToks. Staring at someone while they’re making a TikTok makes them uncomfortable and may prevent them from finishing it. This has worked numerous times for me. 

Another way of slowing the spread is to replace TikTok with healthier hobbies, such as playing video games with friends, taking walks or reading. 

TikTok can be stopped one person at a time. Let’s not only flatten the TikTok curve; let’s destroy it before our souls and minds rot away.

 

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