By: Abbie Millman
Hi! Do me a favor. Take out your phone, and delete TikTok right now. Trust me: Your grades and mental health will thank you.
Sometime during May I made the decision to break up with TikTok (which I will forever be grateful for). After creating a somewhat successful account with hundreds of followers, and hundreds of thousands of views, it was time to cut the cord. Don’t believe I’m happy with my decision? I’ll give you some reasons as to why you yourself should leave TikTok in the dirt.
Your Grades Will Go Up - I’m not sure I even need to explain this one. Less time looking at stupid bursts of entertainment = more time to study, more time to sleep, and less distraction.
TikTok Puts Your Information EVERYWHERE - I have an overwhelming amount of pictures of me posted on the internet from my TikTok account (many of which are NOT very flattering). Yes, I am aware that by signing up for TikTok, when you post something, it’s out forever, but I never expected the large amount of screenshots from my TikToks put online, considering I had never had that in all my years of Instagram and Snapchat.
Mental Health Issues Will Increase - Although I myself have never had serious (or any significant) mental health issues, I know plenty of fellow peers who pull all nighters due to this stupid app. One of which, has admitted to falling into depression along with having suicidal thoughts. In my personal opinion, I would also push to say that TikTok has made mental health issues “trendy”, where the aesthetic of a depressed high schooler is associated with LED lights, self-recorded videos of crying, and dark and/or oversized clothing.
Stop Wasting Your Time Mindlessly Scrolling - If you take a second and just think about how much time you have spent on TikTok in the last year, things won’t look too good. By deleting TikTok, I was able to use that time I would spend swiping screens, for time spent with family, or even just going outside. Get out. Play with sticks or something. Say “hi” to a neighbor. It really pays off. Even though I felt connected to an entire world on TikTok, it was nothing compared to exchanging emails with a neighbor I met at the mailbox, who tells fantastic stories of his 35 years spent working for ABC Television, 40 years spent working for Disney, and 4 incredibly accomplished sons that are spread across the world from UC Berkeley, to Shenzhen, China, to Scotland.
Bias - From tearing down political opponents or verbal advocates on a plethora of topics, anyone with a twelfth of a brain would be able to notice the lack of tolerance towards opposing views, regardless of liberal or conservative. Is this surprising? Not at all. The “for you page” is dominated with political issues that can quickly become toxic. The issue on my end was not so much seeing an opinion that I didn’t agree with, but more so being strongly pushed into certain content and feeling unwelcome to share my own opinion out of fear of being “attacked”. Much of our generation, largely through the platform of TikTok, has become so consumed by our own views that we often disregard that of others. Taking a break from the hostility of content biases is honestly so relieving.
The Influencers Aren’t Great- By no means do I have anything against Charlie herself. Having grown up in a town less than five minutes from where she lives, I watched my childhood friends back on the East Coast go crazy for the D’Amelio's (many becoming friends with her). My quarrel lies in the fact that most TikTok influencers aren’t great role models. From partying during the time of lockdowns to renting an entire mansion to film TikToks at, the goals that young children and fellow teens will set as a result of risky and dangerous behaviors are not often the most realistic or beneficial of aspirations.
Although TikTok may be a nice tool to fill your time or give you a few laughs, I’m sure there are plenty of other activities to occupy yourself that would serve as more beneficial. I can bet you right now that someday you will be looking back on the amount of time you spent on TikTok and find it even more silly than the amount of selfies you took with the snapchat dog filter, so please, just delete TikTok.