TikTok challenges give platform bad name, promote vandalism

TikTok is a social media platform that is popular among teens, but the influence of the app is not always innocent. Many students at WHS use TikTok for entertainment and to post their own entertaining content, but some of this content has a negative influence.
From last year’s trend “The Tide Pod Challenge’’ to the September 2021 challenge, “Devious Licks,” kids are doing these harmful challenges based on these influences. The Tide Pod challenge became a popular trend on TikTok in 2018. The trend included kids sticking liquid laundry detergent packets in their mouth or cooking them in frying pans beforehand. The Devious Licks challenge encouraged kids to damage school restrooms. Students have participated in the Devious Licks trend and things are being stolen from WHS, including vape detectors and many other things from classrooms.
“I know that we had a few incidents in the bathroom with soap dispensers and vape detectors being taken and someone spreading liquid Kool-Aid all over the walls,” resource officer David Fajen said.
Now, TikTok is encouraging students to do the October trend “Slap a Teacher.” This month’s November trend is to kiss your best friend’s girlfriend at school.
“The Devious Licks trend is probably the most popular because it happened in our school,” sophomore Ariana Langton said.
According to Fajen, bigger schools have had to take bigger precautions because of the “Devious Licks” trend, students have stolen soap dispensers, computers,and bathroom mirrors in all different schools. This is causing staff members to escort students to restrooms and even take bathroom breaks away.
“I can’t speak for other schools but I know that there have been a lot of incidents at bigger schools,” Fajen said.
Some students don’t agree with these trends, they believe that things have been taken too far, and that TikTok is not a healthy app for young minds, others say that it is a popularity contest and if one person does it so will everyone else.
“It’s a really viral app and almost everyone has it,” sophomore Hannah Wooldridge said. “There are a lot of trends that can really influence people to do bad things.”
“If kids do the trend, then they think it’s cool if they do what everyone else is doing,” senior Dakota Steinhoff said.
Everyone’s TikTok is different and some question if the app itself is to blame, or the people who participate in the app. TikTok is able to take the videos users like and give them a “For You Page,” of videos with similar hashtags, people, and content.
“I definitely think that students take the trends way too far,” Steinhoff said.
TikTok holds some of the worst bullying on the internet through comments. People are very opinionated on others’ videos and express what they feel through the comment section.
“TikTok is an unhealthy app because of bullying. You shouldn’t bully, even if it’s over the weekend,” Langton said
Some students see the positive side of TikTok, it consumes time, and the clips users see daily are entirely based on videos they like.
“It’s a real time killer, and it’s teenagers so there’s basically everything on it and you can always find something to relate to,” sophomore David Hughes said.
“The app is hypnotizing and almost controlling,” Steinhoff said.
“People can make friends on it and it can make them happy,” Wooldridge said.
“It can be wholesome and you can get help with anxiety and depression,” sophomore Riley Haidusek said.