Does TikTok have a more positive or negative impact?


“Social Media Phone” by light up! News is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Yelnur Abdushev

Tiktok is a Chinese sharing social networking app owned by ByteDance. The social media platform is used to make a variety of short-form videos, from genres like comedy, education, and dance, that have a duration from 15 seconds to 1 minute. Tiktok started to gain popularity in 2019 and has grown ever since. The app is very addicting, with users spending an average of 46 minutes a day,  because of its short videos that are easy to consume by users . Tiktok has both negative and positive effects on our brain.


One of the positive effects of TikTok is gain of knowledge. People share their knowledge about daily-life, such as  cooking, creating art and music. Many of the knowledge is unique and can be applied in real life. Another positive effect of TikTok is advice from your age group. Similar age groups tend to understand each other better, thus can give good advice that people will follow. Finally, a positive effect of TikTok is the spread of positivity. Many users on tiktok tend to spread positivity and awareness about important topics, such as self-love.

One of the negative effects of TikTok is how time consuming the app is. Users may spend hours scrolling through the “for you page”, forgetting about real life. Another  effect of TikTok is the tendency to self-isolation. People feel more comfortable to communicate through social media than real life. Finally, TikTok creates a toxic environment. People tend to cancel users for misdeeds, instead of conveying to them that it’s wrong. 


I interviewed several  WESS students about how they think TikTok affects us, negatively or positively. Their opinion is quite interesting. 


Junior Daisy Koffler thinks that tiktok affects us in both ways.“I think TikTok affects us positively and negatively in so many ways. For me, I was negatively impacted because I would intend to go on the app for five minutes and it would turn into forty five minutes very quickly. Some effects that were positive was when I learned something or saw videos that made me laugh!”

Sophomore Simone thinks that Tiktok can be good in moderation. “ I think that overall, TikTok is like any other social media platform that can be good in moderation, but it can also become a negative if people overuse the app. I think that our generation especially has been able to use TikToK as a platform to advocate about important issues which is a positive, and it gives people a place to express themselves.”

Junior Catherine thinks that TikTok  “can impact us positively in many ways; I have learned many new recipes and songs through TikTok, and often just find it really entertaining to scroll through. However, I do think because the algorithm is curated specifically towards ourselves, TikTok can bolster any negative thoughts or feelings we’re experiencing (for example, TikTok may learn a user struggles with anxiety and start to send more anxiety-related TikTok videos their way, which may help or worsen the situation). TikTok can be a distraction from work sometimes, but I think when used in moderation, like any other app, it can be a lot of fun! “


Personally, I think TikTok is neither bad nor good. It depends on how a person uses it. TikTok is a diverse social media platform with something for everyone, from entertainment to even educational purposes. However, the user might want to limit their time on the app to connect to real life.  I believe that there are more benefits from tiktok than harm if you use it in a correct way for a set amount of time a day.