The disadvantages of using TikTok often supersede the advantages of its catchy tunes, viral trends, creative dance challenges, and endless stream of funny clips.
The main disadvantages of using TikTok are:
- Inappropriate content for kids.
- Videos encourage users to take part in dangerous viral challenges.
- Negative effects on mental and physical well-being.
- Chance of high addiction caused by the constant use of the app.
- Promotion of bias, discriminating, and exploiting videos.
- Suppressing local talent in a region, country, or culture.
- High probability of scamming through product marketing.
In this article, we’ll discuss the disadvantages of using TikTok in detail, highlighting the aspects you should be mindful of while using the platform or allowing your kids to take part in it.
What are the drawbacks of using TikTok?
Below are 9 drawbacks of using TikTok in detail for your clear understanding:
Although TikTok has a content moderation algorithm, it still sometimes shows sensitive, violent, explicit material and even dangerous challenges.
For instance, many teenagers in the UK and US followed the viral “Skull Breaker Challenge” on the platform, which led to severe injuries like broken bones.
In another instance, a man in a southern Indian state allegedly live-streamed his hate speech against the Dalits. He murdered a man from this caste afterward.
These types of videos play with the immature mind of a teen. Also, they are driven to react (without thinking) in a false way, which can result in inappropriate actions and dangerous outcomes.
NOTE: Many users also claim that TikTok spreads false information, which causes irrational mass behavior, like protests, etc.
The trend-driven nature of TikTok thrives on viral challenges, which are often fun and promote creativity. However, some of them may lead to harmful behavior, such as property damage and vandalism.
A few years back, the “Devious Licks” (also known as “Diabolical Licks” or “Dastardly Licks) went viral on the platform. It encouraged students to damage school equipment and post its footage on their accounts to get more engagement and followers.
Mental & Physical Wellbeing
The mostly unrealistic presentation of lifestyle and beauty on TikTok negatively impacts mental health, particularly of young users.
When you are constantly exposed to such content on the platform, it causes anxiety, dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, social comparison, and feelings of unequalness. You are always thinking that someone is better than you.
This may lead to copying wrong trends and posting the same kind of videos. Furthermore, the pressure to go viral can cause you to engage in risky or harmful behavior in pursuit of online fame and validation.
And it doesn’t stop there! TikTok algorithm shows you content based on how you interacted with the previous videos, causing an echo chamber effect. It’s where you expose yourself to content that reinforces negative behaviors and thoughts.
Moreover, if you use TikTok more and constantly upload videos, you may receive more negative comments than positive ones. This makes you feel worried and insecure.
Such comments have the tendency for self-harm and other issues in kids, such as bulimia and anorexia.
Besides its impact on mental health, TikTok has also proved to be harmful to your physical well-being. Keeping your eyes hooked for so long can contribute to health issues like cardiovascular problems, disruption in sleep cycles, and obesity.
High Addiction Level
TikTok’s personalized algorithm keeps users glued to their screens. That’s true because reports suggest that about 68% of young users spend more time watching videos on the platform than participating in other activities.
The constant stream of engaging content, coupled with the unpredictable nature of “For You” recommendations, often makes you lose track of hours while scrolling through these endless loops of videos.
Due to this, you neglect your responsibilities related to work, family, and study. Furthermore, you lose connection with the real world.
INFO: TikTok collects all your information, including your online behavior, name, email, and others. This has given rise to concerns about data breaches and unauthorized access to personal information.
Impact on Attention Span
TikTok is well known for its short-form videos, lasting about 15 seconds to 1 minute. The fast-paced nature of the content can reduce the viewer’s attention span.
It directly affects the cognitive abilities of the kids and makes it difficult for them to engage in activities that require prolonged focus.
Bias and Discrimination
Many people have concerns about the potential for TikTok’s algorithmic bias in content moderation and recommendation. The platform usually promotes content from minority creators and shows similar videos that lack perspectives and voices.
As a matter of fact, a study on social science research networks reveals that TikTok deliberately suppresses the voices of different groups of people within a culture.
As the older generations also use TikTok, teenagers are usually more vulnerable to online predators and cyberbullying. The platform’s audience base is mostly young kids who can be easily exploited through explicit content.
Also, the advertising model on TikTok further exploits them into buying products that may lead them to engage in highly inappropriate sexual encounters.
Homogenizing the Culture
Most of the time, TikTok promotes similar trends and formats to different cultures and ethnicities. This can contribute to a sense of conformity and a loss of unique cultural identities.
For instance, the widespread appeal of certain dances and music on TikTok overshadows the amazing performances of local artists and traditional culture!
Chances of Scam and Fake Accounts
As time goes by, TikTok is gaining more popularity and attracting more users. However, this also means that some individuals can misuse the platform and scam people easily.
Many people have reported about easy money offers, being redirected to adult sites, fake giveaways, and duplicate celebrities/influencers accounts on TikTok.
This is a special concern for young users who are more vulnerable to such activities.
In this article, we’ve explored the 9 potential disadvantages of using TikTok, from its highly addictive nature and inappropriate content to its effects on health.
We hope with these insights, you can now strike a balance between enjoying the content on TikTok and staying positive.