OPINION: Does TikTok Sway Your Thinking?


Photo Credit: BBC News

Raquel Melendez, OwlFeed Opinion Columnist

I really enjoy being on TikTok, but sometimes I wonder, would my opinion on certain things be different if TikTok didn’t exist?

I believe collectively it would be 50/50. Some trends, like the “the devious lick challenge,” that have popped up on TikTok are the absolute worst thing I have seen, but the comments will be full of people encouraging them to do it. I never really found that trend funny, just extremely destructive.

But it shifts. If a video were to go viral talking about that same series of trends, expressing that they don’t like it either, and next time that same trend pops up, all of the comments suddenly are full of people who don’t like it.

I have seen this happen a lot with fashion, politics, and music. At one point, communism was seen as the worst thing on that app, but one person expressed that it was actually good for our country and suddenly everyone was now an expert in politics. I admit I gave in, and for some time I believed everything that involved politics on TikTok.

For example, in the 2020 elections, when Trump was close to being re-elected, TikTok was going crazy. There were videos talking about getting put under martial law, which is when the military has complete rule over civilians. For some time, I was even scared that this was going to become true, but it never happened.

With fashion, it seems like it changes every day. There’s this new type of fashion where it consists of layering a lot of clothes and wearing clothing with a lot of holes. While I’ve only seen this trend show up on TikTok, it might get different feedback from other apps.

Every so often two types of videos will show up on my For You page. One claiming it is the absolute worst thing you can call fashion and, of course, everyone agreeing with them. Then someone styles their clothes like that, and everyone in the comments saying they like it.

And with music, it’s seen with plenty of albums, like Kanye’s most recent album ‘Donda’ and ‘Champagne Poetry’ by Drake. I saw a viral video of ‘Donda’ criticizing it. After that, all the opinions were the same.

Overall, my opinion would differ a lot without the opinions of others, especially with those on TikTok, for some things, but not all.