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The Dakota Planet

"We Revolve Around You"

The Dakota Planet

"We Revolve Around You"

The Dakota Planet

TikTok: The Bad and The Good

TikTok%3A+The+Bad+and+The+Good

By now, everybody knows what TikTok is. TikTok is a social media app that people can share short-form content on. This app has gone viral since its release date in August of 2018. Prior to this, the app was known as Musically. Many big creators on this app move onto other huge opportunities. This app is gateway to huge internet success for some. But, this app can be both useful and damaging depending on how it is used. So what are the effects of it?

What are the positives? One benefit of TikTok is the ability to create connections with other. Especially during Covid, people could communicate with others across great distances during a time of such isolation. However, this was not just true during Covid. Even today, people stay connected through creating and sharing videos. You can meet new people and even make friends through communication on TikTok. The app can make people feel more apart of society or a group, as long as it’s a healthy connection. A controlled amount of TikTok can benefit some socially.

Another benefit is education on social issues. Since TikTok is a video app, there are many ways to share information with people across the world. For example, the conflicts going on in Israel right now have a lot more awareness right now due to the mass amount of videos being shared about it. Anyone viewing has the ability to get multiple different perspectives on the issue. You are able to get accounts from people in the conflict, connected to the conflict, on the opposing side, and those with no relation to the conflict. This allows viewers to form a background and gain knowledge. This also brings awareness to causes all around the world.

An additional benefit is its ability to increase creativity, especially in young people (https://www.cyberwise.org/).  For example, makeup content creators. They create looks that can inspire others. Their unique art gets recognition and can create opportunities for that creator in the business space. Another example would be creators who make skits. Many of these skits come from real-life experience and create an entire story. In doing this, creators get attention and views for putting together and acting out a storyline, which can gain them money. In turn, viewers are entertained and get a good laugh.

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The last benefit is the variety of business opportunities that TikTok can open up for many. First of all, if a creator becomes somewhat big, they can get brand deals or sponsorships. They are able to work with brands and promote them as a source of income. In addition to this, working with a brand can make you an ambassador for them or get you free products, as well as income. Second, if they have a talent, they can be sought out for more work on TikTok. TikTok is the perfect free advertisement for businesses and talents. It can help build the creator’s clientele and give them more experience. Third, is the many opportunities small businesses have. TikTok, again, is a great tool to use in order to promote a small company. It can help bring in more orders, revenue, reviews, etc. A tool that can be used to aid this progress is TikTok shop. People are able to put their products into the shop and attach products directly to specific videos. This is a super easy way to promote products. This also can allow small businesses to sell enough product to move the supply into larger stores such as Walmart or Target.

Now, what are the negative effects of TikTok? To start, yes, TikTok can be informing. However, there is a lot of misinformation on the app, which contradicts one of my earlier points. While some accounts may be able to give you accurate, up-to-date information,  many of them can’t and may even be biased. This can cause viewers to form inaccurate views that may be harmful. Even when creators are spreading awareness, you must take the actual content with a grain of salt. It is ok to get your news off this app, but you need to make sure what you’re hearing is what is actually happening. In order to find truthful and accurate information, you must do your own research outside of social media. Look at popular news sights and organization. Use websites ending in .org, .gov, or .edu. These types of sites will give you the most information and it will be the most accurate.

On top of this, TikTok can have an impact on positive body image. “Seeing unrealistic standards of what a body ‘should’ look like can be very harmful (childrenssociety.org). Many people on the app use filters, good lighting, specific angles, and certain clothes to achieve the most perfect look on the internet. For younger individuals, this can be perceived as a natural and normal body. They believe that is what they should look like.  This creates a false sense of reality, especially in young people’s minds. Comparison to those online can create lower-self esteem and a distorted sense of self. This can lead into eating disorders or even depression.

In addition to this, TikTok can increase anxiety and depression. The more time an individual spends on TikTok the more they will feel isolated and anxious (dbsalliance.org). “According to John Piacenti, a professor in the UCLA department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, the weight of the Pandemic was especially heavy for adolescents. Teens and and adults have an increased need for peer interaction” (dbsalliance.org). Interacting on social media cuts off true social interaction. With the need for it to be higher, this can cause social anxiety and depressive habits. Research has even proven that “cyberbullying, social exclusion, and drama that can occur on these networks have been associated with higher rates of mental health issues in adolescents (dbsalliance.org).

As with social media, there are positive and negative effects of TikTok. The best way to limit the negative effects is to limit time spent on the app. You can gain the benefits, but avoid increased mental health issues, addiction, and uninformative news.

 

https://www.cyberwise.org/post/8-pros-and-cons-of-tiktok-on-kids-mental-health

TikTok and Youth Mental Health: Weighing the Pros and Cons

 

 

https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/what-we-do/blogs/how-tiktok-affects-childrens-mental-health

 

 

 

 

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Gracie Fillo, writer
Gracie is a current senior at Dakota High School. She loves reading and writing, and English is her favorite subject. She's written many essays of all types in the past. Gracie loves hanging out with friends, going to concerts, going to the gym, and being outside. As for the paper, Gracie wants to incorporate more stories that really inform anyone who reads. She would like to talk about the psychology behind school stress, procrastination, anxiety, etc.
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