Is TikTok actually worth your time?


Haylee Downey

A Milford student’s weekly average screen time.

Haylee Downey, Staff Writer

When it comes to social media, TikTok is one of the most downloaded apps with 1 billion monthly users, and over 3.5 billion downloads just this year according to EarthWeb.

However, with popularity comes both positive and negative ramifications.

One of the biggest questions seems to be whether or not the good aspects of TikTok outweigh the bad.

One of the biggest pulls of TikTok is the great amount of entertainment it brings. Users can get creative with singing, dancing and acting. Creating content of pretending to be someone famous or provide hours of entertainment. These acts can be shared with others to expand their social circle or kept private and completely for fun.

Another fun incentive of TikTok is publicity. Just about anyone can get “famous” off a unique talent, crazy stunt or humorous video. Sometimes it isn’t even necessary to be creative to get the views. However, if you do have something to show off, TikTok provides a space to get your artistry out to the masses.

A newer aspect of TikTok is the ability to learn new things. Some TikTokers use the platform to share knowledge, money and time-saving hacks, opportunities, edible treats and even life tips. You can even find doctors and teachers using TikTok to share their knowledge. Teachers use TikTok to share their classroom ideas, learning and teaching techniques and even for comedic relief. Doctors use TikTok for things like tips, demonstrations and to bring awareness to their more personal side.

TikTok can be a great advertising platform for new opportunities. Many companies have jumped on the TikTok bandwagon— showing off their products through influencers. Vacation locations may be chosen after a video goes out showing beautiful scenery in the background. Dairy Queen releases a new Blizzard—see if it’s worth waiting in line for on TikTok. You can find just about anything you need and many things you don’t, just by scrolling through TikTok for a few minutes.

Just as there are positive qualities of TikTok, there are also negative ones. One of the most serious issues is addiction. According to Digital Music News, Americans spend up to 24.5 hours a month on TikTok. Speaking on her weekly average on TikTok, Sophomore Anna Dietderich says: “I have an average of 8 hours and 29 minutes this week.” Freshman Eli Garris says: “my average this week was 9 hours.” As one scrolls through the app’s ‘for you page,’ they will note that it’s very easy to spend hours on end watching all the videos that are perfectly catered to their taste and interest. This IS intentional through algorithms. Videos come every 30 seconds, making it really hard for anyone to grow bored.  Before long, the five minute check-in becomes five hours without even realizing it.

Another negative of any social media app, including TikTok, is the ability to bully and be bullied. Some users will criticize and comment negatively on posted videos. Others will use the platform to create videos to belittle others. A current trend on TikTok right now is rating people at your school and having it posted for everyone to see; this is a form of bullying due to some classmates giving others low ratings.

All of this negativity can have a serious impact on the mental health of all involved. Sometimes, even leading to life-threatening situations or decisions.

Finally, TikTok requires no restrictions to join. Anyone can have an account, which leaves the door open to predators. It is always important to be aware of how easily a stranger can make contact through TikTok, which can create harmful situations, especially with younger audiences.

As TikTok continues to grow in popularity, all of the benefits of TikTok will increase. Likewise, so will all the negative factors. The key to a healthy balance is being aware of all of these things and monitoring usage and exposure.

A look at a TikTok profile.