COLUMN: How much of an influence does TikTok have on us?


Rob Le Cates

Kyla Moton is a junior English major and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

Kyla Moton, Columnist

Overall, how much time do you think you spend on your phone? How about specific apps, such as Instagram or Facebook? Well, how about TikTok?

TikTok is definitely one of the most used apps on the app store today. It is number one in the entertainment category on Apple’s App Store. I use TikTok and honestly if I went to the screen time setting in my phone it would probably say that TikTok was my most used app.

I usually just scroll through my “For You Page,” having not a care in the world. I sometimes scroll for so long that I get those ads from TikTok themselves that tells me to “take a break” from scrolling through my for you page.

Do I ever listen to these ads? Absolutely not.

But they sometimes make me think about why they are in place to begin with. I feel like it may not just be me, but I believe that TikTok has a huge influence on us and the decisions we make.

Some of these choices are completely harmless, like going to a restaurant to try their food after seeing Keith Lee review it on his page. It is a harmless action and it is helping out a business that could really use the attention.

But, what about when it comes to something that’s said that we do not like?

I see it on TikTok all the time: someone says something bad about an artist or an “influencer” and their fans come flocking to the comments to send hate to the creator for voicing an opinion.

It does not have to be a disrespectful thing. Some people may simply say, “this person’s music is not that good to me” and their fan base floods the comment section with all kinds of nasty words to the creator of the video.

It happens all too often. Some “influencers” will even send their fans to that person’s comment section to bully people on the platform.

Now, I do understand that there are other social media platforms that have this issue going on. I know that for a fact because I see it with my own two eyes.

The reason why I am only choosing TikTok because it is the most popular app for smart devices in most parts of the country. It has drawn up so much controversy in multiple avenues and it has received criticism regarding community guidelines and what they do with their user’s information.

But, to me, I think that it is all up to the user. So, what can we do to hold people accountable for bullying on the app?

Lots of TikTok creators call out people in their comment sections for their negative behavior and words. This catches the attention of their employers or school to reprimand them, seeing as they would not like to have a student or an employee who goes on the internet to bully people.

It makes you think before you do something because the consequences may not outweigh the laugh that you got from making fun of someone else.


Kyla Moton is a junior English/creative writing major. She can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.