TikTok Is A Waste of Your Time

Simon Braun, Staff Writer

There are few things in life more useless than a philosophy major. One of those things is TikTok. TikTok, the incredibly popular social media website, has taken the internet by storm. Walking around the halls of Pinewood, I have seen people making videos for TikTok. Rarely have I been more sick. The site reminds me of wasted time, and disappointing futures. “Tiktok is a huge energy wasting and time wasting social media platform that does not have a positive impact on its users” said history teacher Sam Jezak. Mr. Jezak, frequent hater of TikTok, and thus is well versed in social media.

It is clear that when it comes to social media, TikTok is the king of the hill, a king that needs to be dethroned.

The first major issue of TikTok is its virulent security issues. According to the New York Times TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company. And Chinese companies are required to follow the demands of the Chinese government. The Chinese government has been cracking down on the tech sector over the last year, destroying many of the beloved security features built into products, in favor of surveillance. This behavior indicates that TikTok may be under the same influence. Currently, the United States does not allow members of their Army or Navy to download Tik Tok on government issued devices, precisely because the security issues are so prevalent. TikTok is most likely utilizing the data collected from its platform.

Another issue with TikTok is the social and political implications of it. 

“Many of my students say they get their news from Tiktok,” Pinewood history teacher Sam Jezak said.

While traditional news sources have their own problems, short form content sites like TikTok present particular difficulties, especially because videos are short and snappy. Context is removed, and having a nuanced conversation is thrown out the window. Essentially, this site removes the important part of politics, and strips it down to primal emotions, like anger, sadness, and happiness. This is done to appeal to wide audiences, and to keep people watching

TikTok, however, has its benefits. Many students say they have learned useful tips and tricks from it. But the true reason I am frustrated with TikTok is the amount of time students spend on the site. While playing video games has often been met with criticism, TikTok is specifically designed to capture the attention of teens, making sure to feed them easy-to-digest content. This allows people to spend hours on the site without realizing it. 

“[TikTok is] astonishingly good at revealing people’s desires even to themselves,” Ben Smith for the New York Times wrote. TikTok knows what it is doing. The motivation behind this abomination is to attract users and keep them. If you want to do something with your life, avoid it like the plague.