Move over Instagram, TikTok is the coolest kid on the block. It is so easy to spend hours scrolling through the app, watching video after video of great choreography, humourous pranks or really creative editing skills. If you enjoy using video-editing tools, it’s really hard not to love being on the app. With stay-home notices being issued all across the globe to combat the spread of Covid-19, TikTok seems to be the most popular entertainment of choice. So, is Tik Tok good or bad?
Generally, the popular videos are enjoyable (Think dalgona coffee). A good dance here; a funny prank there. However, since anyone can upload whatever they like, there will always be creators that post videos that venture into dangerous themes such as depression, addiction and sadism, which take pleasure in harming or humiliating someone. If we’re unaware, we might not even realise that we’re on dangerous ground. Unfortunately, many popular dances have swearing and sexualised lyrics, and it is common to see revealing clothes and suggestive dancing. Most of us don’t really understand how what we watch can impact our psychology and emotional wellbeing but trust me, or rather, research, what we watch can impact us more than we think. Enjoy the creative energy on TikTok! However, if you find yourself lingering on a video type or trend that you suspect may not be good, be quick to ask your parents or church leaders about it. Stay open to wise counsel, and be quick to flee from even a hint of danger.
Another dark side of Tik Tok is that it has been used to prey on young women who post lip-synching, dancing videos. “Creepy Tik Toks” have been outed by young women who have been preyed upon by older men with fake identities, sexualised messages or videos, but users still report that security measures like reporting inappropriate content are not enough. Practise cybersafety by taking advantage of the privacy controls, and determine if your account is private, set who can watch certain videos and duet with you, and turn on comment filters. If you receive an inappropriate message, do not hesitate to report it.
THE TIME SPENT
Time is SO precious! Now that I’m earning an income, I seriously consider how I want to spend the money I have. If I spent it all away on expensive coffee everyday, I wouldn’t be able to afford anything else! It will do us good to consider our time in the same way. If we spent all our time away on TikTok, we wouldn’t be able to afford anything else! Is there something more valuable that we’re giving up? If you feel like you just can’t delete the app from your phone, perhaps it’s the clearest signal to delete the app now and save some time for things that truly matter.
In itself, the app is not bad. It’s like … a knife. What’s important is how we use it! We can use it for bad, but it can also be used for good. There are so many content creators on social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram that choose to put up positive, thoughtful and kind content, and believe it or not, they may go a long way in someone’s life. You’ll never know what God can do with it to impact someone’s life! Before you think TikTok is something irrelevant to your Christian faith, remember – God has used a donkey before.