Turmoil on TikTok: Teens Take Things Too Far


Sara Roman

Causing more harm than good: TikTok has taken over the social media scene, but some students are contemplating the impacts of it on their mental health.

TikTok, without a doubt, is the track to becoming the most used app of the century. People are drawn to it due to its intoxicating nature, spending hours at a time scrolling through dances, trends, fashion, and advice. Gen Z does not hold back on hot topics, but sometimes we need to learn which boundaries should be left uncrossed.

Today, more than ever, the discussion about mental health is wide open, consuming much of the TikTok platform. From positive affirmations and validation to triggering, overwhelming content, there is no saying what videos may pop up on your feed. At some dire times, TikTok provides the polar opposite of the needed distraction. “It definitely makes me feel unworthy sometimes,” said sophomore Maggie Andreski. “Seeing people with certain body types being the face of the app is difficult for me as I often feel as if I don’t look like what society’s standards are.”

TikTok users encounter topics from all across the spectrum. Social media can be give-or-take. It can give content to make you laugh, or feel valued or motivated and, not to be misunderstood, many creators achieve this content. Humor is a large component of TikTok, however, it’s common to stumble into a rabbit hole of toxic humor incorporating self-depreciation and comparison. “TikTok has made me feel like my struggles are less when compared to others,” said sophomore Grace Nyberg.

  No matter what “side” of TikTok you are on, it is inevitable to see videos of famous stars, models, and dancers who arrange a mosaic of features and fame that make them look faultless. Perception can be twisted and distorted, and still takes a toll on how you view yourself. One minute can not capture a lifetime of experiences or insecurities. It rarely captures reality, and yet, a couple of seconds is all it takes to influence someone’s mindset. “It’s rare to come across a 15-second video that is genuine and true,” said senior Ben Carnahan. “Overall, I think TikTok can be silly and entertaining, but it is crucial to recognize its superficiality.” 

North Atlanta students have battled unthinkable things, especially throughout quarantine. Fellow classmates have fought eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and other countless mental illnesses. TikTok’s environment can be detrimental to those who are in a stage of recovery where will can be fragile. A quick reminder– flaws are normal, they’re human. It’s important to use experiences to inspire rather than bring others down with you. “I miss when TikTok was Musical.ly,” Said senior Charli Brooks, and I’m sure many would agree.