TikTok takes over teens

Navya Charmiraju, Section Manager

TikTok has become an obsessive new trend, draining teens’ time with an endless supply of content from dance trends to funny skits. Some students at South including Bobby Conlan, Katie Alltop and Gabriela Moncivais, all ’20 all agree TikTok has taken the current generation by storm and has become a staple in many teens’ lives.
TikTok is a popular social media app where teens can create short videos up to 60 seconds for people to watch and share with friends, according to Moncivais. People can create their own material or follow a trend for likes and followers and is a platform to share their thoughts with the world.
“I think the creativity that I see from kids my age is a really attractive feature,” Moncivais said. “There are some really funny and creative videos on the app that make me laugh, and I know I can open up TikTok when I’m feeling down to bring a smile to my face. It’s a great way to find people who like the things you do and see things catered to your interests.”
Conlan, Alltop and Moncivais agree that TikTok is addictive because of the way it is formatted and presented to its audience.
“The format of TikTok can make it addicting to people because the short videos cause time to be broken up into shorter segments making it feel like you’re not on the app as long as you really are,” Alltop said.
Conlan also brings up the fact that the For You page, a feature where the audience can explore the content of TikTok through recommendations from the app, is an endless abyss.
“TikTok is so addictive because the For You page is an endless scroll,” Conlan said. “There is no end to the videos where you have to refresh and start over. Nothing is stopping you from scrolling for hours on end. Whenever you close out of the app, you worry that the next video would have been the best one you’ve ever seen.”
Alltop believes TikTok comedy is a good way to relieve stress and feel happier, but Moncivais thinks with the current pandemic, it just does not have its same uplifting effects.
“I go on TikTok to laugh and these videos just remind me of the bad things happening in our world right now,” Moncivais said.
Conlan has a TikTok account he uses frequently for fun and to help relieve stress.
“I try to make mostly funny TikToks but sometimes I’ll do a dance or something else,” Conlan said. “I make TikToks depending on how motivated I am. Sometimes, I make three a night, and sometimes, I make one a month and my views vary from some with over one million views and some with just over 1000.”
Alltop believes TikTok is fun and can be very addictive, but the intentions of the audience for this addiction might be justified.
“Right now it’s a blurry line because comedy can help some people feel better and cope in the face of the reality of our time,” Alltop said.