TikTok: Does It Have a Positive or Negative Effect on Students?

TikTok: Does It Have a Positive or Negative Effect on Students?

Layla Mauk, Senior Staff Writer

Is TikTok creating a healthy environment for highschool students? Some would say that it is, while others would disagree. TikTok is a social media app that went viral very quickly with around 750 million users on the app, one of the most recent apps to have the quickest increase in popularity since Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. People can make short videos and edit them to create entertainment on the app. The real question is whether or not it is creating a good and safe environment for students to be on.

Many argue over whether TikTok is an overall bad or good influence, but it’s important to take a look at both types of affects. Starting with the positive, Mr. Bosheff, a teacher at Hubbard High, states that, “It may be able to connect students to a lesson, or it could do some enrichment in finding out about something they may not have known before.” It’s also shown that students can use TikTok to learn how to do new things, because one of the biggest trends people tend to post are tutorials on how to do certain things. According to a student quote in an article on The Daily Universe, they said, “‘What I love about TikTok is that it is sort of a creative outlet. I am able to try new dance trends, new cooking ideas, and make relatable content. I have learned so many new skills because of TikTok.’” These are positive effects of the social media app, it can be proven that students may learn new things, discover more about what they are into, and also find out more information in general.

Moving on to the more negative affects it can have on students, starting with a quote from Sierra Roy, a senior at Hubbard High, who stated that, “It negatively affects our attention spans. I think it also makes us dependent on dopamine rushes, which is part of what makes us addicted to the app.” This is a strongly researched fact, where researchers have found out that TikTok is almost guaranteed to decrease a child or student’s attention span. Another big negative affect is that the app can very easily become a distraction, causing students to fall behind in their schoolwork or just not want to socialize with other people as much. Students, especially younger teenage girls, can tend to view unrealistic beauty standards while on the app, which can take a big toll on how they feel about themselves. An article on Deseret News states that, “Some experts believe that TikTok’s algorithm can promote content related to depression, anxiety and eating disorders, according to CBS News.” TikTok can become a dark place for students if they view the wrong content and it can create bad mindsets without them even noticing it.

It’s been shown through many studies that TikTok has both positive and negative affects. It’s important for parents to learn about both kinds of effects it can create on younger children as well as teenage students before assuming it’s a completely safe app. Another important factor to remember with all social media is that there is always the possibility of cyber bullies who create anonymous accounts and can try to target younger audiences, such as students. TikTok can be a positive affect on students if they are mindful of what they are watching and are learning things, but can also transition into a negative affect if the wrong video shows up on their “For You” page.