Tik Tok and Wellness

Walking through the halls of Wayne Valley, everyone has heard students mention the newest app– Tik Tok. The popular social media platform has taken over the screen times and lives of pre-teens and teens all over the world. There has been an ongoing debate about the benefits and downfalls of the app’s effect on the wellness and beauty standards of its users. Users can post comedic skits, lip-syncing videos, or any idea that pops into their heads, for the world to see. The app began to blow up during the summer of 2019 and, today, there are popular creators on Tik Tok with millions of followers and even brand deals. 

On paper, the app seems like a harmless way to create content with the possibility of “going viral,” but beauty standards can be an issue on the app. Fortunately, most creators are pro-body positivity and “being yourself,” which is refreshing for its millions of users. Most of the Wayne Valley students we interviewed had mixed outlooks on the app. Senior, Matt Hartwich states, “I like making Tik Toks with my friends, and it’s a good app for meeting new people.” But other students, such as senior, Shannon Mi, claim “Tik tok is overhyped but it is really entertaining to watch people who are cringy.” Gabby Oliveri, a senior, has a similar view, and mentions, “Tik Tok is the app that I spend the most time on and most of the time, I don’t even realize how long I am there. It is definitely superior to all other social media right now.” 

The content you view on Tik Tok is curated for you based on the videos you have liked. Still, some content– usually by “verified creators”– gets onto your “for you page” (videos recommended to you) and seems out of place. These Tik Tok stars, although idolized by younger viewers, can be negatively affecting their self image. These stars have perfect skin, body, hair, etc. and many profit off of solely their looks. On the other hand, people make negative content masked by a joke that may be funny but ultimately expresses low self esteem. The content we each consume may be affecting our emotional or social wellbeing, but because it “is super addicting to watch several videos in one sitting” as senior Kristina Martello put it, we may not even notice. 

The time consuming app is also affecting our overall wellness. With the hours we spend per day on Tik Tok, we are putting off homework and other obligations. The buildup of everything else may be causing stress or just worsening our procrastination. Although we may not be ready to give up the short, entertaining videos, we should at least try not to “fall into a Tik Tok black hole whenever [we] go on it” as senior Zach Bussanich explained. Attempting to shorten the amount of time spent on the app can improve the way we work and our time management habits. In reducing the time we spend on Tik Tok and being aware of the content we consume, we can all begin to use the app in a much healthier way.