Experts Worry That TikTok Will Cause a Mental Health Crisis Among Teens


Nicole Hasler

Over 1.5 billion people use the entertainment app TikTok each month

Gabriela Gomez, Jr. Editor

Experts are concerned about the effects of Tiktok, an app with more than 1.5 billion active monthly users, on teen mental health. On any mobile device they may own, this app allows users to create, watch, and share 15 second to 3 minute videos. This app could appear to be the safest and most effective way to spend your free time, but it also has a lot of drawbacks that you might not be aware of. 

The TikTok algorithm may boost material about eating disorders, anxiety, and depression, causing many to worry for their friends and family members.The Black-Out Challenge, which encourages participants to hold their breath until they pass out from lack of oxygen, the Tide Pod Challenge, which challenges participants to intentionally eat tide pods, the Nyquil Chicken Challenge, which encourages participants to consume chicken marinated in Nyquil, and the Milk Crate Challenge, in which participants must arrange milk crates into a pyramid-like structure that resembles steps, are just a few examples of the unsuitable TikTok challenges that have resulted in a horrifying number of victims having life-threatening injuries in hospitals. As a result, Tiktok is being sued by the state of Indiana for allegedly breaking the state’s consumer protection laws and failing to protect children and their privacy. 

Bullying among young kids is a common occurrence according to this well-known app. Because it is so simple to put one comment on a video or even to troll one another by leaving numerous harsh words, cyberbullying is a significant contributing element to the detrimental impacts on mental health. Anna Tang, a 17-year-old tiktok user with approximately 11 thousand followers, claims to have been the victim of online harassment. In an effort to have fun, Anna began to share dancing videos online, but as unpleasant comments from random people appeared on the videos, her pleasure gradually turned into harassment. She became aware that the unpleasant comments being left under her videos were considered cyberbullying. Cyberbullying may result in someone feeling awful about themselves, which can induce sadness and anxiety. 

This app may be helpful for activities like discovering new recipes, viewing intriguing movies, trying out popular tiktok hacks, competing in fun tiktok challenges, or streaming live, but it also compromises teens’ privacy and may even worsen trauma. Our mental health has an effect on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Remember that gaining mental health is a journey, not a finish line.