Is TikTok helping or hindering us?

Mary SeGall  , Opinion Editor

There are over one billion users on the social media platform TikTok. The media platform focuses on individuals from all over the world posting videos to gain followers and highlight events within their lives.  

Many individuals as young as five years old post and make videos. The videos can be anything from dance challenges like the “Neon Moon” challenge or the “Wednesday” dance challenge. There are jokes all over Tik-Tok; pranksters who prank their best friend or family members with most of them being harmless, but occasionally a few can be mean.  

There are very amusing dance videos of an elderly man dancing with his wife, swing dancing and those are adorable, and I think there should be more of those personally.  

There is a gentleman on there who goes out of his way to make people’s day by asking them “what can I do to make your day,” and then returns with said item. I have seen people ask for chocolate, a hug, coffee, makeup and more.  

I have seen education videos that I enjoy as well. People potentially being able to win money if they can name three countries that start with the letter “A” for example. Those can be educational and fun to watch to see if they can guess them correctly.  

Along with the playful jokes and pranks I see a darker side of TikTok as well. Some may remember the “Tide Pod Challenge” where kids were eating Tide detergent pods and getting dangerously sick. Sources say that 10 kids even ended up passing away from this senseless challenge.  

Another challenge involved cooking raw chicken with NyQuil instead of the traditional olive oil or canola oil. Individuals of all ages were trying this beyond bizarre challenge of mixing raw poultry with a cold medicine.  

The darkest part of TikTok I have heard of is a blue monster with red lips who goes by the name of Huggy Wuggy. This is a devastating story of how someone creates content to lure innocent children in with its childlike sounding songs about hugging and killing others. The video has offensive language, drugs, alcohol encouragement, references and Huggy Wuggy hugging someone until they pass out but with images with blood and gore and encouraging these actions. Please, never let any child ever watch these horrible and devastating videos.  

I feel like you can never get away from politics no matter where you go. Personally, I try to stay away from politics because they tend to be so extreme these days. But when you see riots and people destroying other people’s property because they are angry it does make me wonder: is there a better way to handle these issues without being so aggressive?  

There are good things about TikTok and not so good things. I do not personally have TikTok, but I feel like the bad outweighs the good in this case. I ask that we limit what our young children watch on these social media sites and limit ourselves to not trying senseless stunts like cooking chicken in cold medicine or eating detergent pods because they only hurt us in the end. I am not saying to not watch TikTok; in fact, I cannot tell you what to do. We need to limit and filter what content we are watching for ourselves and our children.