Is TikTok Paving the way for Social Media?

By Jolie Prins 

Whether you wake up in the morning to look at social media platforms or look at news in general, mostly everyone is in the habit of opening some form of social media application. 

Today, the most popular social media platforms, especially for students at The University of Tampa, would be Instagram, Snapchat, and now TikTok.

When the pandemic started, everyone’s lives changed. TikTok became way more popular as everyone had to be in their own space socially distanced. Controlling your mind with something else and getting into a safe place for your head helped with this new app.

“In my opinion, most social media platforms are toxic and unrealistic. It also allows others to criticize, belittle, bully, and berate others on such a big scale that it sometimes leads to depression. I also compare myself to others, and that will mess with your self-esteem,” said Brittany Berins, a senior nursing major. 

TikTok is extremely addictive because the content displayed is based on an algorithm that matches your interests, personality traits, aspirations, etc. This made being alone a lot less lonely after having this app. 

It all started from my little cousin to my older cousin married with 3 kids. Even my mom at one point downloaded TikTok. It truly helped during the months of this pandemic.

“To be completely honest, my morning goes a little something like this: wake up, go on TikTok. Brush teeth go on TikTok. Eat breakfast, go on TikTok. Get distracted on TikTok and realize class started 5 minutes ago. Log on to class, turn off the camera, go on TikTok,” said Yianni Hronis, junior accounting major. 

For me, on the TikTok app, there was no need to look your best like Instagram or to prove to the world that you had the best day ever like Snapchat.

There would be things that catch your interest such as, food videos, places to see, at-home activities, short dances to keep you active, and much more.

Nowadays, everyone on TikTok has the mentality that tearing others down will somehow bring themselves up. 

It is just sad, in my opinion, that a single social media platform that brought so many people joy is now said to be toxic. 

If someone they don’t like posts something, the comments say they are “fishing” for compliments. If someone who doesn’t have the ideal body type posts something, the comments will call them a whale or something hurtful. It is hard to just be yourself, with cancel couture being extremely real. 

“Every time I go on TikTok, I probably see a toxic video every two minutes,” said Sam Baizan, freshman undecided major. “I always just scroll past them, but they never stop coming up.” 

Even though there are some great qualities to TikTok, such as providing entertainment during the pandemic and giving us, whether that be older or Gen Z, something to universally relate to, it causes more harm than good. 

The toxicity is inescapable, and to anyone who finds they feel worse about themselves after going on the app, I would suggest doing what I did and deleting it, even for just a little while. 

Being off social media for a bit of time makes your days more productive and happier when you don’t have to worry about being consumed by a harmful platform.

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