TikTok is an almost universal app for teens, guiding pop culture, trends and ultimately the teenage experience. (Lily McAlister)
TikTok is an almost universal app for teens, guiding pop culture, trends and ultimately the teenage experience.

Lily McAlister

Is Time Ticking for TikTok?

March 7, 2023

Most people in the world either use or know about the viral app, “TikTok.” TikTok was originally known as Musically when it came out in August 2014. During this time its dominant users were children and young adults and they would make lip-sync videos to popular, and trending songs.

About 4 years later Musically became TikTok in August of 2018 after it was acquired by ByteDance which is the company that to this day still owns TikTok. The variety of videos changed into more valuable content which then grabbed the attention of adults and even senior citizens. The categories of videos include life hacks, beauty/makeup tutorials, dances, sports, cars, shopping, etc. Essentially anything you want to know or see you can easily find a video about on TikTok.

Since TikTok started it now officially has over 1 billion monthly active users and continues to grow its platform and popularity every day. But there have been many speculations regarding the app throughout the years. Former President of the United States, Donald Trump, issued executive orders to ban TikTok in 2020. But the order was stopped in court and current President Joe Biden revoked this order in June of 2021.

As of March 1st, 2023 the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee made a vote along party lines which gave President Biden the power and approval to once and for all ban TikTok. This would be the most far-reaching United States restriction on any social media app. Also on March 1st, TikTok announced that any users under the age of 18 will now automatically have a 60-minute time limit daily on the app. They are able to avoid this by entering a passcode, but they want it to encourage users to make a decision on whether or not they should extend that time limit.

TikTok is also now sending every teen user a weekly report of their screen time on the app, hoping to inspire teens the message will also prompt users that have spent more than 100 minutes daily on the app to set themselves a daily limit. For Sophomore Student Trestin Moriva, these new rules aren’t bothering him. “I don’t use TikTok, I hate it. I think it’s brainwashing people and it’s probably best if they’re adding a time limit.” Said Moriva.

But not all students have the same or even a similar opinion to Morvia. For many kids, TikTok is a fun way to communicate with their friends and family by sharing funny, and relatable videos with each other. For Senior Nila Burroughs, TikTok is close to her heart. “I have always wanted to be an influencer, if they ban TikTok I will be devastated, I don’t know how I will ever grow a following before it’s too late,” Burroughs said. Many kids have dreams and for them to be disrupted by the government is hurtful for some.

Many people all over the world have become influencers on social media platforms which then helps them gain more followers on other platforms. When you have a certain amount of followers you can apply to start earning money for your videos/photos on social media. For younger influencers, this is or is a part of their source of income and banning TikTok could hurt their bank account.

English teacher at TWHS Paul Pflieger says, “They would be less consumed in other people, and more consumed with themselves.” Social media has a huge impact on the world and TikTok has been building mostly off of young adults and teens. As their platform continues to grow more people will have an opinion on this decision.

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