Definitely Not Interested
This was my first thought on Tik Tok, assuming for one I was too old for the social media video making app. I thought it was geared towards my daughter’s age group of teens to college/early 20s. I would watch her creating videos and doing take after take to get that dance just right, listen to her “On Tik Tok the other day, I saw,” we tried some recipes (hail the whipped coffee), and she learned some life hacks and got some inspiration for her room makeover. I still didn’t really understand the draw to the app.
The First Step
I downloaded the app during quarantine. My daughter asked me to make a recipe she saw on the app, and in order to do so, the app needed to be downloaded. I searched the recipe, found it, made it, it was amazing and has hit our recipe rotation. After finding the recipe, I went to find my daughter’s account and watched her videos–they were good and entertaining. I ventured on to the For You Page (FYP) and fell into the videos. During a time when we were isolated, it was so good to see how other people were spending their days and a little glimpse into their lives and their creativity. And there are so many over 30, over 40, and over 50s on Tik Tok, I follow some ladies that are well into their 70s and beyond.
It’s Good, But It’s A Time Suck
Don’t get me wrong, I love Instagram. It is everything I missed about Facebook, seeing pictures of my friends, their kids, their pets, a funny meme, you know before it became the rancid pool of negativity. I am still on Facebook and there are still friends and pages I follow that I enjoy, but a lot of people and pages I have had to unfollow because I just could not handle the political posts, the conspiracy theories, the COVID talk, it was just too much during the past few months. I needed things that reminded me of life pre-quarantine, things that made me laugh, things that warmed my heart, and to be honest mindless entertainment and that and more is what I found on Tik Tok.
I will admit that it is a major time suck, so set aside some designated Tik Tok time. There have been nights when I tell myself that I am just going to watch a few until I fall asleep and then I look up and HOURS, yes hours, have passed. Y’all, I am not kidding. People are so creative, so funny, informative (yes there is more than just funny dances and voice-overs). I follow several moms, some celebrities, a fox rescue (do you know what noise a fox makes?!), home chefs, teens that play pranks on their moms, but most of my time is spent on the FYP the videos that Tik Tok picks for you. And then I made one or two, I joined my daughter for a few, it isn’t as easy as it looks, but it was fun.
Please Don’t Take Tik Tok Away
A few days ago I saw a news story saying the government was looking into Tik Tok and contemplating banning the app because there was talk about it being a way for other countries to gain information about us. Well if the other countries are looking for American dance trends or how to order off Starbucks secret menu, this is where they’ll find it, but I am not sure there is much hard-hitting information on there. I think it has more to do with a certain rally that some users reserved seats to and of course didn’t show up to, making the speaker angry and this is his way of using his power to get even.
This #tiktokmom Approves
For the most part, Tik Tok is harmless. Yes absolutely use internet safety, use your judgment to whether your kids are mature enough to be on there. My kids are both allowed to have the app, we have set limits and rules, use the privacy controls, don’t answer any DMs that are from people that you don’t know in real life, don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want your future boss/spouse/mother-in-law to see. Yes, there are creepers on there, but there are creepers at Target, be aware, report, and block anyone that harasses you or solicits you. We have not had any issues with any of the social media my kids have, I follow them on each one, and have access to all passwords and accounts.