TikTok: the savior or downfall of our generation


Kat Swift

A student opening TikTok. According to CNBC, TikTok reached 1 billion users in 2021 and has been growing ever since. “I like being able to share content with others and the interactive aspect of watching people’s content,” Catherine Berninger, ‘28 said. “It’s addicting.”

Fiona Kelley

TikTok is a video-based online media platform, and it would be no surprise to overhear someone talking about this fast-growing app sweeping the nation.

During the pandemic, TikTok became the main social media platform for teenagers to use in their daily lives. TikTok was created in 2016 by Zhang Yiming, combining this app and another music app, Music.ly.

While TikTok has always been an app open to any age, the popularity of TikTok came mainly from teenagers making and watching videos. This is an app where you can express your creativity, your imagination, or just make a dance video with your friends. But all big social media platforms come with a downside and TikTok is no exception.

“[TikTok helped me make] a Christmas list idea when I had no idea what to put on my Christmas list,” Maddie Wade, ‘28, said.

It’s always nice finding something you like to see on the app that can help you out, but sometimes you may also come across something that you wish you didn’t see.

“I saw a video making fun of redheads…me personally being a redhead I took that very offensively,” Wade said.

However, some kids don’t see it that way and just appreciate it for its briefness. Many people that scroll through the app use it as a little break from stress to enjoy themselves or relax.

“I like how it’s short and you can watch different videos,” Holden Schur, ‘27, said.

Other people also appreciate TikTok’s positivity, just in different ways.

“There’s a lot of different accounts and different creativity,” Wren Prows, ‘28, said. “I saw this one

and it was like rice art and the lady explained what she loved. She showed climate change awareness and other stuff like that.”

While some people see TikTok as addicting, others see it as a way to express themselves creatively, raise awareness for certain topics,, and just have a good laugh every once in a while. Some kids feel like they are part of a bigger thing and that it’s just a way to escape from the real world.

“I like being able to share content with others and the interactive aspect of watching people’s content,” Catherine Berninger, ‘28 said. “It’s addicting.”

Berniger admits that it has affected her mental health as well.

“It made me more anxious. When I would get on TikTok, I would see videos that scared me or made me sad and it made me want to watch more videos to forget about it, which would make it addicting and made me feel anxious.”

But some people don’t have a problem with it.

“Yes, some people can be bullied on TikTok but some people can be famous on TikTok,” Ben Oakenful, ‘28, said.