TikTok- The Voice of Youth


Veronica Merchelski, Staff Writer

The newly popular app called TikTok is starting to make a daily appearance in the lives of many young Americans. After the  release of the app in September of 2016, many kids across the country have been filming short little snippets of either themselves or any kind of content they want to present.  This may include comedy, dances, video edits, art, musical talent, or even their political views.

Based on Tiktok’s very selective algorithm, you can be presented with different “sides” of Tiktok. Some of those might include alt Tiktok where there would be an increase in art and more creative videos, deep Tiktok which would include a variety of different comedy, straight TikTok which would include dances of many kinds that other can learn to do themselves and informative TikTok which would show videos about informative topics such as history, science and even business. There is no denying that TikTok has influenced much of the younger generation today and helped shape and grow how they use the internet. More than ever before, people are allowed to see others from around the globe just by one click of a button, and TikTok has definitely helped to enforce that.

After having TikTok for about one year, Ola, a sophomore at Lindenhurst High School states how TikTok has impacted her life. “It taught me how to do cool recipes and taught me about social issues going on and also facts about history that I didn’t know before.” Ola also mentions how TikTok is bringing many people together through its use of the algorithm. “It brings people together and there are many people who can show their talents on the app. People are brought together and learn more about the world and become less closed minded, you can also find the people that you can affiliate with because of the different sides of TikTok making it seem like a community.”

Not only do high school students have their lives impacted by TikTok, but also students in middle and elementary school such as Kevin (7th grade) and Denis (4th grade). Kevin, a student at Lindenhurst Middle School, gives an insight on not only the positive but also the negative effects of TikTok, “Being on TikTok has made me more lazy and made me stay on my phone for multiple hours at a time.” Kevin is one of the millions of young Americans whose phone usage has increased during these past year with the appearance of TikTok. According to Oberlo, teens spend an average of 52 minutes a day on the app with 5.5 times more people joining in just the last 18 months. Denis, a student from William Rall, also explained how many dances, being more on the inappropriate side, are being presented to very young children encouraging them to learn the dance themselves resulting in a frenzy of young boys and girls presenting themselves in a sexual way.

TikTok allows children and teens to see and execute many of their ideas, ways, and talents in a platform that is available to all. This in turn could have negative effects such as adding to the already exciting addiction to their phones and positive effects such as allowing youth to speak their mind, present the information that they know to teach others, and bring people together in a community like manner.

Whether you see TikTok as a threat or a blessing, the impact that it has had on American youth is undeniable. With the recent planning to ban TikTok by President Trump’s executive order, it poses the question as to whether this banning is a threat to the voices of young Americans. Regardless, all three students, when asked what will happen to the future of TikTok, all of the students have stated that they believe the app will die down and a new app will resurface which people will use, just like all the apps before it.