Image: Tik Tok app taking over our lives

Is TikTok dominating our lives with it’s juxtaposing toxicity yet educational stances? Kirsty Massey delves into how the platform is slowly becoming a source for all things news, hobbies, gossip and advice.

TikTok hit the social media world by storm as it became the most downloaded app of 2020. If you’ve been living under a rock (or maybe making more sensible decisions depending on how you look at it), then I’ll give you the low-down.

Anyone is free to make videos and edits, which cover absolutely everything you can imagine from recipes for your next meal, to dealing with emotional trauma from the licensed therapists of TikTok, to how to invest in stocks.

But with a combination of the algorithm which tailors the videos to your tastes, and the fact that these videos are only between 15-60 seconds, you can find yourself easily scrolling for hours on end.

I’m aware of this personally (cue embarrassment) because myself and others have sat in a room together not even socialising with one another, but have found ourselves laughing at our phone screens. Then before you know it the day has passed, no work has been done, I haven’t managed to make dinner yet and it’s 11pm. What am I doing with my life?

“The adrenaline of trying to become tik tok famous is controlling us”

You’d think that this would be a platform that only the younger generations would use for a bit of fun, but you’re so wrong. Marketers and business owners have taken to the app to promote products and services; it’s every working man, woman and organisations’ heaven.

Once you generate just a little bit of traction to your product with the appropriate reviews, it has the ability to sell out – which has worked for hundreds of items and small businesses before. It only means that people are constantly using this for work as well as play.

The fact that this app is just so good makes it just so bad. Society is becoming addicted to it in ways that are unimaginable; I saw a girl discussing how she went to a whole different country to visit a place that she had seen on TikTok, purely to film her experience there in hope of going viral. When she shared that story I thought to myself, how amazing? The adrenaline of trying to become ‘TikTok famous’ is controlling us.

Evidently, there’s a significant amount of toxicity that derives from receiving hate comments, comparing yourself to others and the incessant need to gain views, however there are also a lot of positive attributes.

@alexsedlakstocks on Tik Tok

A hot topic that’s circulating the platform is the stock market. There’s been a plethora of guides which have explained what shares you want to be looking at to become successful. Experts have given tips on which stocks are going to become more valuable, and given run-downs on the best way to invest your money- welcome to ‘stocktok’.

There’s also a trending hashtag ‘#mybigidea’ where people from all over the world are expressing innovative inventions and ideas. One Tik-Tokker shared how she wished to create a female-only gym which was a safe environment for women to work out with an ‘instagrammable’ lunch court for your post-workout snacks, which to no surprise, went viral.

Honestly, TikTok is both a scary but amazing place that has changed the way in which the majority of people live. Astounding accomplishments can be made and it holds the power to change people’s lives. But just check that you’re not spending all of your time on it and remember that there’s a whole world outside as well, not just on your phone screen.