TikTok: the impact it has on our society

By Alyson Moncur-Beer

TikTok is a video-sharing, social-networking platform that is used to create lip-synching, comedy, dance and talent videos that range in length from three seconds to a minute. Many of you most likely have the app or have at least heard of it. TikTok is one of the world’s most popular apps, with more than 850 million active users.

With this many people on one network, information and trends can spread incredibly fast. This can have a great impact on the world and on where people source their information. Last June, Donald Trump organized a rally for his presidential campaign. TikTok teens caught wind of this and reserved thousands of seats at the rally, only to not show up. This shook the political world and inspired Trump to attempt to enforce a ban on TikTok. In the days leading up to the election, every user’s for-you page was filled with thousands of videos asking them to go out to vote and make a difference. The voter turnout in 2020 was the highest in 120 years! There are entire U.S. accounts on TikTok dedicated to being a conservative or a liberal, such as @conservativehypehouse and @liberalhypehouse. The app has slowly become more and more integrated into society and peoples’ lives, and now it has even begun to affect politics.

There are also countless ways that TikTok has an impact on the economy. Firstly, having a social-media presence and platform has now become a full-time job for some teens and young adults. The most talked-about example is a 16-year-old girl from Connecticut named Charli Dámelio. She began to blow up on TikTok towards the end of 2019, gaining traction on the app quickly. Damelio now has more than 100 million followers on her account. It has been said that she makes over four million dollars, not bad for a teenager.

Secondly, TikTok also has a huge, unprecedented impact on the music industry. Most TikToks are accompanied by a song in the background. Many artists have been named one-hit wonders because their song was put in a TikTok, and they were only known for that one song. Some examples of artists who have had their careers impacted by Tiktok are PPCocaine (“3 Musketeers”), Lil Nas X (“Old Town Road”) and Ashnikko (“Stupid”).

Lastly, businesses are greatly impacted by TikTok because of its heavy influence on consumerism. For example, a recent clothing trend on TikTok has been the Aerie Crossover Leggings. After a girl filmed a TikTok in these leggings, they sold out in less than 24 hours across the U.S. and Canada.

TikTok has a massive impact on how we function as a society today. With a never-ending stream of videos, there is seemingly no way to get bored on the app. It has affected politics, the economy, the music industry, the definition of celebrity and so much more. It will be extremely interesting to see how Tiktok will continue to change and grow and how its users will do the same.

Alyson Moncur-Beer is a student at Glebe Collegiate Institute who writes for the school newspaper, the Glebe Gazette.

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