SAGA SOUNDOFF: Are you a TikTok fan?


I H8 TikTok

Opinion of: Ruby McMahon

I downloaded TikTok in the summer of 2019. It was an immediate mistake.

I made the download after weeks of my sister’s constant insisting that the content was funny, or a way to unwind before bed. After her belaboring the idea for long enough, I finally got the app and instantly found myself addicted to the endless scroll the app has to offer.

Since being a TikTok user of two years, to now being what I like to consider 10 months “sober,” I have come to form many negative opinions of the app, and here they are:

1. Distraction. It is no secret that TikTok’s algorithm is incredible at constantly learning what you are enjoying to better predict what on your feed will entertain you next. Now, I don’t want to give off the impression that I have a fear of the FBI on my phone, but to me, the rabbit hole of videos became all-consuming once the algorithm knew me better than I knew myself. When I should have been doing work, I would pull out my phone. I devoted two or three hours to scrolling on nights that I should have been hanging out, yes, with real, human beings, and having fun. While the videos offered a quick answer to boredom, they only made me feel worse in the long run.

2. Unhealthy expectations. A positive side TikTok possessed was the creativity and entertainment that talented creators put into their work. I loved certain influencers for their different niches -like comedy or fashion creators- and pulled inspiration from them where I could. Yet, these positives inevitably came with their negatives. I noticed feeling like I, too, had to be just as creative or have the amount of fun that the people being presented in five or 10 second clips were having. Ultimately, those clips aren’t always an accurate representation of what is going on in people’s lives, so I don’t want to compare myself to those experiences.

3. Avolition. My relationship with TikTok was always a negative one. When I just wanted a brain escape, I could easily drain two hours of my day, and the scariest part, I could not remember anything that I had watched during that time. Putting down my phone afterward, I would typically feel worse than I did to begin. I particularly remember feeling unmotivated and attached to my phone constantly because of the short, addictive videos I consumed.

At the end of the day, the choice is down to preference. I won’t sit here and tell you that TikTok is evil and taking over your lives. In fact, for those who love TikTok, I applaud you and encourage you to keep doing so. But to the people who are like me and only keep TikTok just because their friends have it or that it’s popular, I highly recommend deleting the app. Yes, right now. Maybe, like me, you’ll see positive change in your life, making it more productive, healthy, and fulfilling.

I <3 TikTok

Opinion of: Eve Slemp

I heart TikTok.

At first I was extremely opposed to downloading the app back in 2016, but after being convinced by my friends to get it, I fell into the hole of never-ending swipes of TikTok videos.

Yes, hours can be wasted on this app without a notice, yet TikTok can be extremely beneficial for certain topics.

No, those Charlie D’Amelio dances are not on my list. But what I’ve taken away from TikTok are the tips I’ve received on how to get into college, how to study for the SAT, gym routines, healthy eating habits, a look into what life is like as a “corporate girly” (which excites my inner business major), song and book recommendations, breaking news, and how to live with a positive mindset.

On my TikTok, I’ve seen videos from Lexi Hidalgo, Ava Jules, Matilda Djerf, spencewuah, and so, so many more. (I listed these users, so PLEASE check them out!). All of these users promote mental health, a healthy lifestyle, and even some comedic relief.

May it be just watching their daily routines, funny “day in my life” stories, or even just their morning routine, it motivates me.

I’ve gained an understanding of what I’d like my life to look like based off of inspiration from others. I understand that people post on social media only what they want people to see, but it creates a motivation to obtain that lifestyle that they so graciously romanticize.

Though, TikTok does come with some negatives, such as “trigger warning” content which can be harmful to teen minds. As the platform is centered around teens, I have found myself engulfed in videos about eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and overall unhealthy habits which add unnecessary stress and concerns.

Despite this, TikTok brings awareness to people about these problems in our world, such as the struggles of teen mental health. But instead of shoving these problems aside, some users do try to provide the support and awareness other people lack in.

TikTok does use an “algorithm” to display content they believe you would enjoy, therefore, that “For You Page” is really for you!

TikTok also allows for an insider view of our world.

Before social media and technology, a teenager in America would have absolutely no clue what a teenager is up to in South Korea…but now we do.

This sense of worldwide communication and connection allows us to see lives we never knew existed; it creates a more nuanced look on the world.

By seeing different perspectives of teens around the world, seeing accomplishments of others, and looking into a “day in the life” of other people, it gives me that motivation to work hard to reach my goals.