Editorial: Social media app helps, raises concerns

Megaphone Staff

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If you have been on a social media site within the past 24 hours, at some point you most likely came across a video from TikTok. This program has infatuated a generation and resembles a very similar social media site by the name of Vine, a company that used to produce short clips of singing, dancing, and acting people but is now gone.

The Week writes in an article that “TikTok started out as Chinese app Douyin, an app dedicated to video sharing. Developer ByteDance first released TikTok as a version of Douyin for the non-Chinese market, and then purchased Musical.ly, a lip syncing app, before merging the two apps in 2018.”

This app, which is free to download on the app store, features videos of random people from across the country doing silly things or reenacting a previously famous video.

Many people have taken advantage of TikTok’s fresh and new style, becoming famous quickly as the app and program is gaining a lot of popularity.

It is very common these days to hear students in the hallways saying, “Oh, did you see that TikTok.”

The popularity of these clips stems from how short and resonating they are for teens of the 21st century. Most of the videos on TikTok range from a few seconds to even a full minute or so. Don’t forget to look at the caption as well, which usually ties nicely into the video.

“TikTok doesn’t necessarily bring anything especially new to social media, but it brings together the most popular and Gen Z-adored features under one app: Vine‘s video snippets for copious amounts of content consumption; Instagram‘s user feeds for easily following influencers; Twitter‘s trending hashtags for keeping up with what’s going viral; and video game-inspired techniques for encouraging in-app spending,” says Business Insider.

The appeal of TikTok is that is perfectly represents the difficulties of being a teenager in this generation. Many of the clips promote self-pity or are videos of people depreciating themselves.

The Week adds that “it can seem a bit sad, until you remember that this sort of self putdown is a way for young people to work through their insecurities.”

Young people love to put their problems out into the public, hoping for reassurance that they are not the only one and reminding themselves that there are other individuals their age dealing with the same issues. Kids will spend hours on the app, scrolling through videos to lighten their day or make them feel better about a certain issue they are dealing with. TikTok has seemingly become a therapy for some struggling with the battles of life.

We are a generation with a lot of problems and a lot of insecurities. We need a space to vent, but of course, there has to be limits on how much we say. “TikTok is full of all the usual problems: misogyny, racism, harassment, and of course, creepy middle-aged men leaving comments on the posts of 17-year-olds,” states the Week.

When people begin posting online, they lose their filter that they most likely have in a face-to-face conversation. People can act and say things they wouldn’t typically say in a personal setting. That is the issue with the internet. It creates a space for people with hatred to express it because there is no person to directly respond to them in person.

So, next time you hop onto your social media platforms like TikTok, remember to be conscious of what you say and what you post. You can’t take it back once it is out there in the digital world. All rights to your post are gone. If you’re lucky, maybe you will become TikTok famous yourself.

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