TikTok Trends Affecting Teens


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Erika Gulley, Staff Writer

On almost any teenager’s phone, the app TikTok is sure to be found. TikTok is a popular social media app that allows users to create, watch, and share 15-second to 3-minute long videos shot on cellphones. These videos can be viewed on phones, tablets, computers and even certain TVs. The app is notorious for starting trends, even marketing themselves with the phrase “Trends start here.”

Many trends have originated or been revived on this app, like studying astrology or just simple and catchy dances. But, not all of the trends are harmless. Some infamous trends from 2021 include devious licks, the blackout challenge, the milk crate challenge and the school shooting day. These are just some of the more harmful trends that have came about from TikTok.

The devious licks trend started on Sept. 3, 2021 after a TikTok user claimed to have stolen a box of disposable masks from his school. This trend has encouraged other users to damage and steal from their schools too, from classroom supplies to larger pieces of property. PHS was also affected by this trend, with bathrooms damaged by people taking things like soap dispensers; someone even painted the walls. The school and the county sent out several calls threatening legal action against participants in this destructive trend in order to put an end to it.

The blackout challenge encouraged users to see how long they can hold their breath until they pass out from the lack oxygen. This fatal trend caused over 80 deaths including four children under the age 12, according to the CDC.

The school shooting day took place on Dec. 17, and the “plan” was for people to call in bomb threats and shootings to every school across the country. This caused a lot of stress on parents and many wanted to keep their kids safe at home from school.

“It makes our jobs a lot tougher and it makes a heightened sense of fear amongst us and other people,” said Principal Kenny DeMoss. Many PHS students didn’t attend school that day.

These trends took over many peoples’ lives without them even realizing. Some may have participated and others just watched. Either way, these trends affected the lives of people in schools and communities across the country.