It happened. I downloaded Tik Tok.
I wouldn’t say I caved. I was definitely close to downloading this app in the past. But, I tried to keep it off my phone because I knew I would spend way too much time mindlessly watching these short videos. However, my homework for this week was to pick a social media account I had never used before. Given its popularity these days, I knew it had to be Tik Tok.
To start, I wanted to keep an open mind about this app. I heard some good things about this platform but also some… not very good things. I scroll Instagram quite a bit and have seen a fair few Tik Toks on there, as well as being sent many videos to watch from friends and family. So I went in with unbiased thoughts. Here I go!
After downloading the app, I watched a few videos, but only spent about 5 minutes testing it out. I didn’t open the app again until I could really take some time to experiment. It wasn’t until the weekend that I tried it out. And… I fell down that Tik Tok rabbit hole so fast when I found the teacher videos. And the animal videos. And the cooking videos. Some Tik Toks were funny while others were helpful and informative. Of course, I did see some very questionable videos as well.
The Positives and the Negatives
- Tik Tok allows you to step away from reality: From my own experience scrolling through Tik Tok, I can say it is a fun way to pass time. It has allowed me to watch videos that calmed me and that made me laugh.
- Tik Tok has already taught me many new things: I found myself wanting to try out recipes, learning life hacks, as well as finding ideas for my classroom. I also looked at some accounts to help me with my major learning project which is fitness and healthy habits.
- Tik Tok allows users to show their creative side and their many talents: Watching videos of people dancing, singing, among many other amazing abilities makes me happy that they have a platform to show their talents to the world.
- Tik Tok sucks you into another reality, where time passes fast: Tik Tok is an app that passes time when you are bored which can be good. But, sometimes, it makes the time pass too quickly. I realized when I found the teacher Tik Toks, that I spent half an hour watching them. How do short videos add up to so much time? They are quick, easy to listen to, and you don’t get bored watching them. Those addictive elements add up to wanting to watch the next video, and the next, and the next, until you wake up from the Tik Tok trance and realize you spent way too much of your day on this app without really remembering any of the videos you watched.
- Inappropriate content: I’m not sure if it was only because I had to put my birth year while signing up, but I was exposed to many inappropriate videos that contained profanities and adult content. I only had to search the word ” inappropriate” in the search bar to find content that was very unsuitable for anyone under the age of 18. It was that simple. I know kids who are just hitting double digits use this app. I didn’t dive deeper, but does anyone know if there’s a way to make Tik Tok more safe for kids to use?
- Those awful challenges: Tik Tok is known for the challenges and many are dangerous or can cause harm to others. Challenges such as the “Milk Crate Challenge” puts users in the hospital. Recently, a hack about removing your own IUD at home went viral. Challenges like ” Devious Licks” make young people put themselves into dangerous or problematic situations just to go viral. This part of Tik Tok is my least favourite. As a teacher, it makes me wonder what my students have tried only because they saw it on Tik Tok.
Tik Tok In The classroom
For teachers: I am not someone that likes taking videos of myself so I would probably never actually make one for Tik Tok, but I did really enjoy the ones made by other teachers. I found them to be funny and easy to relate to when I needed to laugh or to destress. I also found many great classroom and lesson ideas
For students: Any social media that is used in the classroom must be done correctly. I am not a teacher who uses social media in my classroom But some teachers are and they have great ideas! Check out this article! And this one! For older students, Tik Tok could perhaps be used to create videos for an assignment, connect with students, increase participation by making videos of lessons, or even grow the connection between staff, students and parents by making a school account. Personally, I think my students are still a bit too young to be using this app in my classroom (or even in their lives outside of school). I teach a class of 5th and 6th grade students, so they are still at the age of just getting into social media. For now, I will not be trying Tik Tok in my classroom as I don’t see any way it would be beneficial, but maybe one day if I teach older students or if I find any lessons plans that would profit from this platform.
Will I keep using Tik Tok?
I think this app will stay on my phone, but I don’t see it becoming one of my routine social media apps like Instagram , Snapchat, or Facebook. Tik Tok seems like an app that you can’t just scroll for a couple minutes without falling into a time loop. I know I need to be careful with this app and I find myself already on my phone way too much.
As a teacher, I will only be using this app to relax and watch funny teacher memes for now. I will also use it to get ideas or hacks of other teacher’s classroom and lessons. But I do not find myself wanting to use this app in my class due to the age of my students and the lack of ideas I have on how to use in an educational way. I also get a negative vibe from this app at times due to the inappropriate and unsafe content. At this time, I don’t want to have my students believe this app is suitable for them. Maybe in the future I will test it out!
Have you caved and downloaded Tik Tok yet? Let me know what you think about this social media platform!
3 thoughts on “Tik Tok: Is It Worth All The Hype?”
Megan, I really like how you laid out your post as it made it really easy to follow, and smooth to read. Although I am not a TikTok user myself, I do like how you put your top three pros and cons. This made it manageable for me to understand and I felt a lot less overwhelmed. I’m glad that you have already learned a lot from this social media platform and can use it as an escape from everyday life. I do have to say that those challenges are annoying to me, especially because many of them either put people in harm’s way or cost other people a ton of money for stupid trends. I do see merit in keeping it on your phone as a way to escape for a short period of time.
Thanks! I’m hoping to keep my posts organized into parts so it’s easier to read. I think any social media can be beneficial if used properly.