Social media has intoxicating hold on young people

Bella Lee, Staff writer

Before TikTok there was, and before, there was Vine.

For the past ten or so years, we have had some form of social media service that has delighted using the form of short videos.
Vine, which brought us an onslaught of celebrities including King Bach and Nash Grier, made millions laugh in a barrage of six second videos., the direct predecessor of TikTok, had videos that would range between 15 seconds and one minute.

However, TikTok has made it known to all just how strong their grip is on social media. Recently, they increased the maximum length of their videos to three minutes. This allows for users to spend countless hours watching comedy sketches, commentary videos and much more.

This raises the important question of whether people, especially younger folks, are addicted to TikTok. I say yes.

I have a TikTok account, but I do not post any videos nor do I follow anyone. I only use it to send videos to and receive videos from my boyfriend. Whenever he and I hang out, we will spend hours watching and laughing at TikTok videos, but it is only every so often that it happens, since we are long distance at the moment.

However, seeing the types of videos that are out there on TikTok leads to a variety of concerns being raised.

Andrew Tate, the infamous kickboxer turned media personality, used TikTok as a way to spread his message of being an “alpha male,” which included virulent misogynistic messages.

Due to younger people, such as middle and high schoolers, having access to TikTok, a disturbingly large amount of younger boys are being exposed to, and subsequently being poisoned by, views and beliefs that women deserve to be taken advantage of by men in every sense.

Additionally, there are a plentiful amount of TikTok creators who spread false information, usually anti-LGBTQ+ or racist content, that users will eat up because, apparently, they never heard the phrase “do not believe everything on the Internet.”

In fact, I would even go as far as to say that young people are too addicted to all social media, not just TikTok.

The acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk of course does not make things great, since people are using that to their advantage in the form of spreading misinformation and extremely offensive material.

Also, the use of social media apps such as Instagram and Snapchat leads to self-esteem issues in young people, especially girls, since those two apps heavily rely on filters.

Overall, social media is prone to being toxic to younger generations. I may be young, but I have already determined that when I have kids, they will not have a cell phone (as in a mobile phone) until they are 13 and they will not have access to social media until they are at least in high school.

TikTok and other social media have the tendency to become extremely toxic, and I do not want to subject them to that at a young age.