Column: Bullying on TikTok a real problem

Kyara Morales-Rodriguez

I, along with millions of other people in the world, downloaded TikTok once I saw how popular the video-sharing app was becoming. Though hesitant to use TikTok at first because the type of content produced there didn’t really catch my eye, I have come to love the app.

Since TikTok found a home in my phone, I have found content and creators that match my interests. Some would say that maybe I enjoy using TikTok a little too much, since I could probably spend hours scrolling through the thousands of videos the app has to offer.

My addiction to TikTok, which I am working on by the way, means that I have also unfortunately seen a lot of the bad.

TikTok, like every other social media application, is full of trolls and cyberbullies. Too often, I have seen a video of somebody that maybe doesn’t fit societal standards. Maybe they’re not conventionally attractive, wealthy, able-bodied, etc.

Whatever the case, the video will have thousands of comments and before I even open the comment section, I know it’s flooded with hate and judgment.

I’ve learned that if people on TikTok decide you are weird, unattractive or unlikeable, they will gang up on you. They will ridicule you just to make people laugh and get likes.

They’re not thinking about the way they are hurting the person behind the screen. They’re not thinking about the way that they are making a joke at the expense of a real person with real feelings.

It’s so sad to see people act without any kindness or compassion toward one another.

And the most disheartening thing is that I often see this coming from the very people who claim to be nonjudgmental and inclusive. The people who claim they are going to be the generation who puts an end to all the hate in the world.

I think they don’t realize that just because they’re not violently bad people, doesn’t mean they can’t be mean.

Now, I’m not going to pretend like I’m perfect. I can be as rude and judgmental as anybody else. It’s something I need to work on. We all do.

Remember that you may forget that you made that little comment 15 minutes after posting it, but that person will remember it forever. There’s already so much pain in the world. We should do what we can to create some kindness in it too.

 

Kyara Morales-Rodriguez is a junior English major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]