Devious or angelic: TikTok continues to influence teens


Jude Erasmus, Staff

TikTok continues to influence many and spark global trends, with its infamous status growing at a steady pace. This quick and easy form of entertainment currently governs the minds of almost 700 million active users worldwide, therefore, it is bound to have a significant impact on students here at MV.

Claire Heinzman, ‘22, stated, “I have had the app [since] 2015,” making an emphasis on her active status on TikTok’s predecessor, Musically.

“I do not have [TikTok] installed…I do not really see a need for it, personally,” said Charlie Houle, ‘23. These contrasting viewpoints indicate the different standpoints students have regarding their usage of the popular app.

Although Houle did not have access to the immediate content, he further elaborated that he had seen TikTok videos on other forms of social media.

“Despite the fact that I don’t have TikTok, every [social media platform] has been infected with its content. It has been interesting to see the car community grow on the platform [and beyond],” said Houle.

Many trends and communities have developed largely as a result of the spike of users over the last couple of years, adding on to Houle’s example of the “car community.”

Along with this one example, many other trends have developed, seemingly on a consistent basis – each of which making its way into the lives of MV students.

“I really enjoy [watching all of the dancing videos] that come up on my ‘For You’ page,” Ali Benson, ‘23, stated, reflecting on her favorite trends on the app.

TikTok’s “For You” page highlights all of the videos that have been specifically catered for users and their interests. It allows students here at MV to view what they find humorous, exhilarating, or even informative.

“[The videos I watch] are usually funny and bring me a lot of joy,” says Heinzman, in regard to her experience using TikTok’s ‘For You’ page.

Regardless of one’s status, many fall victim to online bullying. Students here at MV disregard these occurrences and enjoy the very essence of the app – thoughtless entertainment.

Heinzman elaborated, “I think my experience [on the app] has been positive overall. I have experienced online bullying, but it has not ruined my outlook on TikTok – I still enjoy the app. The videos that I see are usually more funny and bring more joy than the [bad experiences].”

Bad experiences on the app have now translated over to real world problems – especially with emerging trends that endanger many.

“The idea of getting famous for very little contribution to society, [for instance], the ‘Devious Lick’ trend. Getting famous for what is [essentially] a crime seems like a very bad idea in general,” added Houle.

Several students disagreed with the current state of the app. More specifically the “Devious Lick” trend in which students rob schools and promote these actions on the platform.

“I would definitely not be opposed to [letting my children download TikTok] as long as I do not see them stealing soap [or following along with other ludicrous trends],” said Brenden Lowery, ‘23.

It is no surprise that so many students have had similar experiences with the app, with many having overall positive experiences on the platform.

More recently, we have been exposed to controversial trends, but that has not rendered the app unentertaining. Students at MV actively use TikTok in their downtime, with many sharing their takes on viral trends, or just simply for having the occasional laugh.