I have to admit, I heard about TikTok loooooong before I downloaded the app. It didn’t seem like anything I needed in my life, and quite honestly, after interacting with it for about a month, I don’t foresee myself opening the app much more now that I am done with my “research”.
My curiosity was piqued last year when many of my students were talking about it. I teach 6th graders and anymore it seems like my classroom has turned into their rehearsal space for TikTok videos.
My kids aren’t on social media. I honestly don’t know how I will react if/when the time comes that they are ready for that. My oldest is almost 15 and couldn’t care less (yay!) and my soon-to-be 11 year old is stuck with a flip phone until he’s in 7th grade. Even when he’s old enough, I’m going to limit him to only one social media app. And it won’t be TikTok or Snapchat.
In my limited time on TikTok, a group of single momma friends made a video and it actually went fairly viral. As of today, it has 71.9K views, 1625 likes, and 33 comments. It’s my first, and most likely my last, TikTok video.
It can be Addictive!
I also heard from several friends that they are slightly addicted and can spend hours watching these videos. So I decided (against my better judgment) I would set aside a half-hour to just watch and see what popped up.
A lot of what I saw was either one or two teenaged girls performing some sort of dance. There were quite a few songs that seemed to be trending and I heard multiple times. A dance called the renegade (the one I see being rehearsed at school) was another one I saw on repeat sometimes two or three times in a row. Some of the videos I saw were hilarious, some were super sketchy, others were meticulously filmed and seemed professionally edited.
There were many times I heard mature language and topics. Although there was no real nudity, I saw a lot of skin and suggestive moves. This middle-aged, sexually conservative woman got a bit embarrassed. I wondered if the families of these TikTok “stars” even knew these videos exist.
A mom’s opinion
All in all, my review of TikTok is that it’s just one more thing. I would not recommend it for kids – of any age. Gaining likes seems to be the driving force behind the app’s popularity and I can see the draw for those that use it. However, I think there are way too many things kids could be exposed to, coupled with the declining mental health state of the kids who are using this type of social media, it just doesn’t seem worth it.
Want more information? Check out what Common Sense Media has to say about it.