New study: TikTok is far from being just a social media app


TikTok
FOMO is the acronym for “fear of missing out”, which means “fear of missing out on something”. It is a social anxiety that faces many people when they feel that they can be left out of knowing things that are shared on social networks. This causes many to spend more time online. And spend more on technology and feel the need to be aware of all trends. We are talking especially about Generation Z and young users that use TikTok.

This mental affectation that was born by the grace of large technology companies is what they themselves are now suffering with the change in the rules of the game imposed by generation Z and the Chinese social network TikTok. What was born as a short video platform has become a revolutionary space that encompasses more than just entertainment!

Everything is on TikTok

TikTok

For those who do not know it, TikTok is a short video platform that the user scrolls by sliding their finger up on the smartphone screen. Its content concentrates humor, dance, fashion and reviews but also tutorials, life stories and fiction.

This variety of content seduced the world, but especially generation Z, better known as centennials, who are those born between the mid-90s and the early 2000s. They are the ones who, with a smartphone in hand almost from birth, decided leave the spaces where the old people are and create their own place in the techno world.

Thus, the giant Google is no longer the ideal search engine for them and they prefer TikTok’s audiovisual response to find what they are looking for.

Search Engine

A study carried out by NewsGuard, a site dedicated to verifying news and information circulating on networks, revealed that on TikTok almost 20% of the videos that appeared in search results contained erroneous information.

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The investigation revealed that it’s not just the content that’s the problem, but the way TikTok displays it. They noted that TikTok’s own search engine suggested more controversial search terms when more neutral ones were entered. For example, if you searched for “climate change”, TikTok would suggest “climate change debunked” or “climate change does not exist”. The same thing happened with topics such as vaccines against Covid.

The danger lies not only in misinformation but in the limited ability to search for other, more reliable sources of information. Why is this happening? In the first place, because thinking tires; instead, seeing the images no. It is much easier to move towards a consuming society than to move towards a society of reflection and thought.

Bad effects

TikTok US China Microsoft

So, TikTok has come under fire from U.S. federals for practices and content promotion. They claim that this can harm young users’ physical and mental health. The social media is particularly popular among teenagers and younger children, and it has about 1.5 billion monthly users. Texas launched an investigation recently into claims that TikTok violates children’s privacy and helps human trafficking.

Also, Attorney General of California Rob Bonta stated in a news release that “our children are growing up in the age of social media — and we should filter what they see on their screens.” We are aware of the bad effects this has on children’s mental health and well-being.

In addition, according to Bonta, the investigation’s goal is to check whether TikTok is breaking the law. By encouraging young people to use its platform.

Additionally, TikTok’s computer algorithms that push video content to users according to government officials and child safety specialists can encourage eating disorders, self-harm, and even suicide among young viewers.

Negative Effects of TikTok on Mental Health

  1. Encourages Negative Comparison
  2. Showcases Disordered Eating
  3. Can Be a Platform for Bullying
  4. Wastes Time
  5. Appeals to a Short Attention Span
  6. Spreads Misinformation
  7. Divides people
  8. Breeds ‘Cancel Culture’
  9. Contains Inappropriate Content
  10. Unequally Censors Creators

5 Positive Effects of TikTok

  1. Can Be Educational
  2. Entertaining
  3. Builds Connections
  4. A Platform for Important Voices
  5. Inspires Creativity
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