TikTok, formerly known as Musical.ly, is a social media platform that allows users to share 15-60 second videos of themselves speaking, lip syncing, acting, singing or pretty much anything else. With around 689,000,000+ users, it’s safe to say the app has become pretty popular.
All types of videos are available free of charge for anyone who downloads the app, which is possibly the reason for the fame. Particularly, teenagers have flocked to TikTok, and some have gained an army of fans. Charli D’Amelio, for example, currently has 111.6 million followers on the app.
With the variety of videos ranging from dancing to comedy and more, there’s a place for everyone on TikTok. Teens can easily find people with similar interests and watch videos about anything that interests them. As a result, many TikTok users create and share videos about topics that were previously taboo, such as mental health and trauma.
The social media app has created a safe space for its users to share their experiences and find others who can relate, as well as even being able to find support. For example, TikTok creator Anna Wannquist (@annaboebana) posts “Aggressive Pep Talk” videos in which she reminds viewers that they are not alone, and motivates them to keep their heads up. Not only are these short viral clips entertaining, they are genuinely helpful for viewers.
In addition to offering an outlet for teenagers to speak out about their personal experiences, this app also has a plethora of educational content. Personally, I have learned a lot of cool facts and tips from TikToks.
Hank Green (@hankgreen1), who also has educational YouTube channels such as Crash Course and SciShow, makes daily TikToks where he answers fans’ scientific questions. You could easily learn something new on TikTok without even realizing it. This social media platform is useful for more than just mindless entertainment, which is partially why it is so important to teens.
It’s easy to spend hours and hours scrolling through TikTok. It would also be easy to dismiss the time spent on the app as unproductive and lazy, and some parents have even set limits on their teen’s screen time.
While it is undeniably entertaining, great things are happening on TikTok. Teens have a safe space away from adults to share their feelings, people are learning more and more, movements concerning injustices and inequalities are taking place, and so, so much more. It may seem like a waste of time to some, but the teenagers on TikTok are a part of something truly amazing.