Tik Tok has gained a lot of popularity and is becoming one of the fastest-growing social media platforms. Unlike the other social media sites, Tik Tok has been standing out not only because of the difference in the medium of expression, which is specifically video-based. But also, the target audience.
The usual social media platforms have a tacit policy that involves a certain level of literacy, and so isolates a large population of the public which is not literate, especially in English. On the contrary, Tik Tok includes people from all tax brackets, from all over the world. This has thus made it accessible to a larger audience.
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The Tik Tok controversy
However, alongside the popularity, the site is becoming extremely controversial as well. Not only has it been banned in India –albeit due to political reasons—the American president is not all too happy with it either.
Many celebrities and high-profile individuals have aired their low opinion of the platform. A lot of the people are becoming too fixated on it, bordering on a healthy obsession. Others have sustained injuries and have even died in the pursuit of making the perfect Tik Tok.
But the criticism on Tik Tok is not entirely fair
Despite the critique, to completely invalidate the platform is an incorrect approach. There are always extreme cases that result from the abuse of the platform. All the social media platforms carry this complaint and stigma with them; the mainstream sites have been known to cause depression, anxiety, dissatisfaction, promote hate speech, etc.
Unlike these sites, Tik Tok has been shown to have a rather positive impact on the mental health of the users.
People get to share their experiences
Tik Tok is an open community on which people can easily share their opinions without censure. This then forges a strong community; people realize that everyone has struggles and each one gets the much-needed support. Moreover, these experiences inspire others of doing the same.
The platform is also known as an outlet for teenagers and young adults to talk about their mental health, their sexuality, and other such otherwise taboo topics. They are more vulnerable to Tik Tok, unlike the shiny world of similar photo-sharing sites, which, ironically, are known for breeding insecurities.
It, therefore, won’t be wrong to say that Tik Tok is more real, and therein lies the beauty of it. Rather than building on illusions, people build themselves with the good and the ugly.
People can forge a comradery with others
We might not realize it, but so many people around us battle with different demons; wealth, status, social capital are all things that might make them insecure, but they don’t air these grievances. Most of the social media sites make people cultivate a certain type of perfect image in front of others.
However, Tik Tok stands out in the sense that people openly acknowledge their shortcomings and issues, cloaked in self-deprecating videos. But their messages resonate with others, who reach out and support those in a similar mental state. Therefore, the impact of Tik Tok on mental health is better, as it ensures catharsis and consequent healing.
People feel less isolated, they have virtual friends that they can reach out to. The journeys of others inspire people into the following suite and making efforts to come to terms with their struggles, similarly as others did.
People can have their own space without the intrusion of family and friends
Most of the social media sites have become ubiquitous. Everyone knows everyone else, and then the family is also added to the friend’s list. All in all, these sites involve a level of supervision that makes people less comfortable about sharing their experiences.
Tik Tok is still in its budding phase, so it feels less suffocating and judgmental to a lot of people who need the security of relative anonymity to talk about their issues.
Others can be alerted if someone is having a mental issue
Another important, positive impact of Tik Tok on mental health has been reared through its promotional campaigns. It has held successful streaks of awareness drives on mental health in India, a country where talking about mental diseases it considered anomalous.
In such societies where mental health is stigmatized, Tik Tok not just normalized it by talking about it but also gave the people an alternative space where they can talk about their issues, away from the shunning eyes.
Moreover, it also has special videos to help people struggling with depression and are suicidal; when one looks up these terms, they are provided with helpful content and suicide watch helplines they can get aid from.
It uses humor and creativity as a form of healing
Another rather important impact of Tik Tok on mental health has been by helping people channel their energies into creativity. This ensures that people’s minds don’t keep wandering over the negative side. Moreover, creativity also helps keep stress at bay, as people do not have time or energy to invest in pondering over their crisis.
This alternate reality brings hope into the lives of the people. The appreciation of others with regards to their efforts also gives a surge of positivity.
As most of the videos are humor-based, therefore, Tik Tok conveniently allows people to use humor for healing.
There will always be pros and cons to any such platform but considering the positive impact of Tik Tok on young adults, it is not a stretch to say that it is in fact very good for the mental health of its users.
If you or a loved one are suffering from a mental health issue, you should consult with a psychologist at your earliest. You can book an appointment with a psychologist in Islamabad, Karachi or Lahore via oladoc.com or by calling at 042-38900939.