Tiktok is one of the newest trendy apps taking the world by surprise, creating the new wave of social media influencers; (like we didn’t have enough already). An app to create and have fun but has a dark side.
I attended a Vogue web event called «The Future of Fashion Runways.» Olivier Rousteing, Creative Director of Balmain, said: «TikTok created an ambiance of intimacy and closeness for their customers and that the app has been a great platform to reinforce Balmain’s presence in social media.
According to Vogue, fashion brands took their showcasing to the internet during the pandemic, and they brought impressive rhetoric to the TikTok app.
After hearing that, I decided to go on a fashion content quest, but oh my word, what did I find!
Tiktok helped us survive the pandemic.
Tik Tok is an app that has been around since 2016. TikTok was famous mainly in Asia and some Eastern European countries. It was during the COVID-19 that users from America and Western Europe joined. By September 2020, the app gained 75% more users than the previous year.
The app TikTok is available in over 150 countries and has over 1 billion users. It has been downloaded over 200 million times in the United States alone. The age of the creators ranges between 13 and 25 years old. Also, the app’s top 40 influencers are between 16 and 27 years old.
King of short video content: TikTok
TikTok is THE app for short video content, 15 to 60-second videos. It also caters to proven high-demand content like humor, hobbies, fitness, travel, music, photography, and dance. Unlike Youtube, the quality of the videos is not relevant to stand out on TikTok.
Most users create content from their phone, using filters, effects. The use of trendy music help creators gains a larger following.
Who are the leading brands on the platform?
It is all about entertaining, from NBA to Gymshark, The Washington Post, MAC Cosmetics, Chipotle, Calvin Klein, BMW, and Crocs. Brands stick to their products but give every short a twist.
For example, The NBA specializes in slow musical motions, MAC has a strong inclusion statement, and Crocs is creative. All these ring leaders have one word: «emotions» Watching their videos makes something resonate in the soul.
If Tik Tok is such a fresh and friendly app, why am I even writing this article? Well, here is the catch.
Why the algorithm affects your children?
Before the algorithm starts figuring out your interests, it will expose you to much over-sexualized content. Based on at least 20 hours of experience on TikTok, I noticed that cosplay creators choreograph songs wearing extremely short skirts and deep cleavages to flaunt their assets.
Childish and innocent looks highlighted most videos. Also, content that featured hip-hop music challenges tended to be more sexual than those that involved pop or RnB music.
As mentioned before, one of the most viral contents is dances. While we could all assume that dancing to a popular song is the most innocent thing on the face of the earth, scrolling through the infinite content in the app proved me wrong.
Most Tiktokers are underage children
Unfortunately, no social media has been able to secure that users are above a certain age. What the algorithm has managed to achieve is to cater to people’s «likes.» So, if sexualized content is in Vogue, that is what you are going to get.
The Business Insider showcased that 40 of the most influential Tiktokers are between 13 and 30. The number one influencer CharliD’Amelioo is just 16 years old.
Compared to Facebook, Instagram, or any other platform, TikTok makes certain songs popular. Influencers create the choreographies, and other users emulate them.
So picture your three-year-old dancing to «Savage Lov» Cute, right?. Now, imagine your six-year-old dancing to an anime song in her tiny little skirt with a cropped top, hiding from her parents, not cute.
Tiktok is dehumanizing beauty
Plastic surgery has been around since 1400 B.C, but since the 90s, it’s related to a sort of social status. The Kardashians have set a trend of the hourglass African-like shape and lips on western bodies.
The introduction of filters to improve facial features and skin complexion has also influenced kids to create an alternative reality. They can have access to their best version of themselves to feel beautiful, accepted, and confident.
In the long run, that could dissociate who users are in real life and what they portray in social media.
Young generations look up to the influencer wave as a professional career
Who wouldn’t want to travel the world with friends, dine in the best restaurants, enjoy endless luxury shopping, and be known all around the world just by pressing records and adding some cute filters?
Those are a few perks that influencers enjoy, but there are many work and emotions behind the scenes. Social media has sold the idea that anybody with a smartphone can become an overnight influencer.
Tiktok is a platform that improves the chances of any creator to build an audience reasonably fast, still having to do the work, and jump on whatever type of content is currently ruling.
Things to be clarified about Social Media
The complexity of social media is quite profound. Although there have been studies that try to understand the psychology behind them; here are certain things we need to get very clear:
- Social media should be monitored by parents when it comes to underage users. There has been a massive backlash surrounding TikTok’s doubtable “will » to filter content and create a secure place for minors. The actions that TikTok has done, like deleting accounts for children under 13, seem to be a very innocent attempt for content regulation.
- We need to get off the influencer culture mentality. In 2021, we are well aware that influencers are ordinary people who got famous by entertaining. By no means should they become a role model or set the moral standards that the youth should follow.
- We are going through challenging times because of the pandemic. We are only one scroll away to find something that will take our minds off it; indulging in social media can deprive us of living and experiencing reality.