Tik Tok’s ‘Don’t Rush’ Challenge is Literally a Warning Sign

TikTok is not just an entertainment platform anymore, it has become a space to be openly racist and disseminate information that is unacceptable.

Photo Credit: Forbes

Human-kind’s biggest agenda is finding escapism. In a world that is smothering humanity with numerous complications, TikTok’s challenges become the temporary solace we seek. However, ignorance and immaturity on TikTok, in the name of humour, is dismantling the already degrading society we live in today.

Photo Credit: IndiaToday

As of May 2020, TikTok’s rating on Google Play store went up to 4.4 stars and became the most downloaded non-game app world-wide. Despite a mega-influence as this, TikTok became the hub for promoting disinformation. One such awful incident occurred when few Indian Muslims spread misinformation that Covid-19 cannot stop them if they are faithful to god. The videos that circulated in India were meant to degrade social-distancing and government restrictions.

Not just religious propaganda, TikTok has become the face of racism. From just ‘Posting for fun and goofing around’, it is inappropriately targeting marginalised groups and demeaning race in the form of trending challenges on the app. TikTok’s ‘Black to White skin’ transformation videos are insulting the decorum of protesters who are fighting their heart and soul to bring justice to Geroge Floyd and many others. And TikTok fails to understand that ‘Racism is not a trend’.

Credits: Inews

In an era, where the meaning of an ‘Influencer’ is accounted to the number of followers you have on Instagram and TikTok, it is that essential to be politically and socially right. A ‘TikTok Influencer’ becomes the spokesperson for those million followers who seem to invest blind-trust in them. This makes TikTok, the flag-bearer of deception. Popularity comes with a cost.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, TikTok users connected the 5G wireless technology as the primary reason for the spread of Covid-19. To this, Mark Andrejevic, a professor at the School of Media, Film & Journalism at Monash University stated on Bloomberg:

 “It’s a platform to watch out for in the circulation of conspiracy theories and attention should be paid to that, not least because of its popularity among young people.”

Beyond just misinformation, TikTok is continuing to be viral and masking the reality to many people out there.

TikTok is Gen Z’s social media sensation. It is frightening to even ponder upon what it is doing to kids these days. For starters, TikTok has a predetermined restriction on age and anyone at 13 can become a TikTok user. The irony being, even an infant can access this app with no filters. At 13, these kids are exposed to immense toxicity in the form of fake news, it is impossible to rectify their mindset at their adolescences. This is when the parents must pitch in to discipline their children on the ‘DOs and DON’Ts of TikTok.’ 

Photo Credit: IndiaTimes

A clueless parent is equivalent to being irresponsible. And unfortunately, some parents are being oblivious to this mind-mongrel app these days. Though TikTok guidelines allow parents to set limitations on their child’s usage, at times it goes beyond control. For instance, the #Eyebleachchallenge that went viral instructs people to grab “jelly, hand sanitiser, bleach and shaving cream’ and then watch the magic befall. The challenge results in a change in the eye colour. It is as unlikely and ridiculous as it sounds. Though the user did this challenge as a means to boast off his editing skills, kids at such a tender age will remain naive and attempt it, unaware of the danger. Parents must realise the dark side to TikTok and break from the delusion that, ‘TikTok is all about the fun.’

It brings me back to a horrific incident that occurred in India, back in April 2019 when a child accidentally shot his friend while recording a TikTok video. This reminds me of the time selfies were in trend. The level of insanity people were willing to participate, in order to get the ‘Perfect Selfie’ was traumatising. It feels like, ‘Trends come and go but habits are forever.’

The scandal does not end here. TikTok has a predator problem where anonymous accounts abuse young girls across the world though hate or sexual comments. Sexual harassment, in the recent years has become an open discussion and people are shouting back at the abusers with bravery. However, social media has become the face of the faceless, that anyone with a smartphone is in power to threaten the personality of another. A popular activity TikTok stars do is to ‘Duet’ each other, where 2 TikTok-ers  collaborate online and create videos. One such video that was simply appalling to watch was promoting rape and sexual abuse. It goes on to promote animal abuse and acid-attack as well.

Credits: YourStory

There were multiple TikTok videos that circulated during the time, a popular Indian movie, Chhapaak was released that actively discussed the violence of acid-attack and the emotional turmoil of the victims. It showcased the real-life story of Laxmi Agarwal who at the age of 15 became a victim of acid-attack and since then has been a strong force in omitting the sale of acid in the world.

A TikTok star having 13 million followers uploaded a video where he is seen throwing a bottle full of water on a woman and disfiguring her face. In a conversation with News18, Laxmi broke her silence on this video and stated, “We are working day and night to stop the acid attacks, violence against women. This cringe activity is not called influencing but promoting crime. Such persons are a curse to our society. So it is important to ban such videos and accounts from the social media. Come forward-we urge you to stop acid violence-Stop Sale Acid.(sic)”.

Credits: YahooFinance

It is imperative to understand that apps are meant to boost our principles and not deplete our sentiments. In a race to get more likes or even achieve fame, shortcuts are never the solution. TikTok in itself is not the real harm, the users and their immature attempts to gain followers is the real horror today. How illogical have we become that anything inconsiderate is also content these days? Are we this desperate to be entertained that we forget the morals of creativity?

TikTok started off as a medium that lets you be silly and make 15 second videos to bring a smile on a stranger’s face but it is turning us into emotionless pricks that seek comfort in wickedness. Don’t blindly put your faith in TikTok without understanding the gravity of it. If you enter the world of TikTok, remember you have two choices: Be dragged into the whirlpool of negativity or be the real you. The kind that is genuine and morally correct in this wretched world.

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