Chances are, you’ve heard of TikTok, one of the fastest-growing social media apps launched back in September of 2017. Formerly known as Musical.ly, TikTok is a creative outlet in which users can create and watch short videos paired along with music or other audio. Not only is this app popular among teens, but even adults and grandparents use it, explaining the surpassing of other social medias in monthly installments such as Instagram and Snapchat. With a simple mission of singing and dancing, TikTok seems like a copy of previous video apps such as Vine. However, the manipulating design of the app creates non-stop scrolling and users easily become hooked. Personally, I have experience with this as using TikTok has frequently turned my five-minute homework breaks into five hours of scrolling.
Currently, I’m a sophomore, but a lot of my classmates downloaded the app when we were still in middle school. I often heard people talking about their great addiction over the comedy of TikTok, only I never understood their obsession. I wasn’t a Musical.ly user myself as I never understood the whole lip-synching trend and honestly, I didn’t see the point. This past summer, one of my friends downloaded TikTok and instantly became hooked. She really emphasized the entertainment of the app and even urged me to get it. However, knowing myself, if I got TikTok, I would spend all of my time on it and be even less productive than I already am.
I finally gave in about a month into the school year when everyone was raving about the app. I wanted to see for myself if TikTok was really as promising as people made it out to be. After only watching two or three, I was extremely surprised just how good some of the videos were; the reality of the app greatly exceeded my expectations. The single factor that I love most is definitely the comedy. Compared to its former self, TikTok has a sense of humor that Musical.ly seemed to lack. Furthermore, some have related TikTok with the Instagram Explore Page, but again, its irresistible algorithm is unparallel to any other video-centric media base. The only downside of the app is its ability to suck the time out of my already busy life. The never-ending scrolling promotes unhealthy binge-watching so that even after I stay up late doing homework, I seem to lack self-control and open TikTok. For me, this is always a grave mistake as the previous six hours of sleep turns into a deprecating five. If I were to use one word to describe my feelings about TikTok, it would be: conflicting. I love the app, but yet I hate it at the same time. On one hand, it provides a great source of entertainment and relieves stress. However, on the other hand, I have never had less time in my life after I got the app. Some people even delete TikTok after downloading because they cannot resist the urge and their time management goes down the drain. One sophomore quotes: “I think TikTok is entertaining but I don’t really know why- it’s just random funny stuff”, summing up how the majority feel about the platform. Another classmate says, “I don’t really understand the point…I think that it has the potential to unlock creativity in teenagers, but it can also be really inappropriate!”
Ultimately, if you’re not already part of TikTok’s 2.27 billion monthly users, be sure to think twice before downloading the app as it requires extreme self-control to restrain from its addicting ways.