As social media grows more popular everyday, it is becoming impossible to ignore. TikTok is one of the many social media platforms that has grown tremendously since its launch in 2016.
As of 2022, TikTok has over one billion users and does not look to be slowing down. TikTok is an app where you can post videos up to three minutes long and share them with friends.
These videos can also end up on the “For You” page, where anyone around the world can see them and they have a chance to go “viral.”
Although the app is great for passing time and getting a daily dose of entertainment, its popularity is beginning to set trends that may be deemed as harmful.
Going back to 2018, there was the infamous Tide Pod challenge. This was a challenge where young children and teenagers would eat a laundry detergent pod to gain their 10 seconds of fame.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, they received 39 calls regarding the ingestion of a tide pod in the first two weeks of 2018.
So many calls specifically related to that internet trend is insane, especially considering it’s the same number of calls they received for the entirety of 2016.
Unfortunately, this trend landed many in the hospital due to chemical poisoning.
CEO of Procter and Gamble Co., David Taylor, urged teens and parents to understand the life threatening consequences of the consumption of detergent.
“The possible life-altering consequences of this act, seeking internet fame, can derail young people’s hopes and dreams and ultimately their health,” said Taylor.
It seems like an event such as this would bring awareness to these harmful trends, but it has not.
Older trends include the cinnamon challenge, Benadryl challenge, salt and ice challenge, outlet challenge and so many more. The names of these challenges speak for themselves.
One trend that is currently flooding TikTok is using the song “Lost” by Frank Ocean to detail gruesome actions that he or she would do to their partner on a date but write it off as a “joke.”
It starts off sweet, and then will take a turn for the worst. It is quite disturbing to see so many young adults and teenagers joking about domestic violence on TikTok where so many young kids can stumble upon it.
TikTok user @divergentredhead has taken it upon herself to take these gruesome videos and reply to them with real cases of domestic violence to show that these videos are only disguised as harmless jokes.
The majority of her captions say “DV is not a joke,” and she has gone on to create awareness of this harmful trend by making over 30 videos about it so far.
It is chilling to know so many people have been victims of some of the exact scenarios these users are “joking” about.
TikTok has yet to take these videos down and somehow they are still being overlooked.
Another trend that took off in 2021 was named “The Devious Lick” challenge. The term “lick” means to steal. To participate in this trend, teenagers would wreck public areas and steal items.
School bathrooms were among the most popular places kids would target, stealing paper towel dispensers, soap, stall doors and anything else they could get their hands on.
Not only would they steal, but to take it to the next level, they would vandalize the bathroom to the point where it would have to be closed down for maintenance.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s office, there were three students from the Tampa area who were arrested for vandalism at school after posting it online.
TikTok spoke out about the issue on the social media platform Twitter.
“We expect our community to create responsibly – online and IRL. We’re removing content and redirecting hashtags & search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior. Please be kind to your schools & teachers,” the post said.
What would make someone do this? Well, it comes down to kids wanting to be viral and gain a following. If they participate in something popular, the more likely they will earn their short-lived fame.
If these trends keep happening, why haven’t we learned how to stop them? Despite efforts from companies and police, we still have not seen any decrease in these awful trends.
This comes down to how short social media has been around in the grand scheme of things.
Parents did not have these social media platforms at young ages like kids do now.
Overall, there’s a lack of awareness and monitoring of content from not only parents, but companies too.