Since its inception, TikTok has been under scrutiny for a variety of reasons. The app has been accused of being addictive and harmful to privacy, as well as manipulating its users into using the app more and more. Despite these concerns, TikTok continues to witness extraordinary growth, with no sign that usage is slowing down.
What is it about TikTok that makes it so addictive? And why are users so willing to sacrifice their privacy to use the app?
One possible explanation is that TikTok is specifically designed to be addictive. The app incorporates several features that are known to be addictive, such as social media notifications, gamification, and instant feedback. By incorporating these features, TikTok can keep users engaged and coming back for more.
Another possible explanation is that users are unaware of the risks involved in using the app. They may not realize that their data is being collected and shared with third-party companies. See this clip from Joe Rogan’s podcast where he reads out aloud the TikTok’s ToS.
Or they may not be aware of the potential risks associated with using the app, such as cyberbullying or exposure to inappropriate content.
Ultimately, TikTok’s success can be attributed to its ability to manipulate its users into using the app more and more. And while it may be fun at first, there are many risks associated with using the app. So if you’re thinking about downloading TikTok, be sure to weigh the risks and benefits before making a decision.
Dopamine shots from likes and subscribers
TikTok heavily relies on social comparisons to keep users engaged. For example, the app lets you constantly swipe up to the latest videos with the most likes and shares aka in your “For you” section. This encourages users to compare their content against others, in the hopes of gaining more likes and shares. Additionally, TikTok also prominently features user profiles which show how many followers and likes a person has. This encourages users to compete for likes and followers, as they want to have as impressive a profile as possible.
Everything is impressive and intermittent reinforcement
TikTok also regularly uses intermittent reinforcement to keep users hooked. This means that things are constantly being updated or changed so that users never know what to expect next. This keeps users engaged as they are always curious about what will happen next. Additionally, TikTok makes sure that all content is very impressive, as this will encourage users to share it with their friends. This combination of factors leads to compulsive behaviors in users as they are constantly trying to keep up with others and gain more likes and shares.
In recent months, there has been a lot of scrutiny around TikTok – and for good reason. The app has been accused of having a deceptive design in data protection, which can harm the user. Additionally, there are concerns about surveillance, spying and censorship from China, as well as children and teenagers’ privacy. Let’s take a closer look at each of these points.
How does TikTok’s deceptive design harm the user?
TikTok has been criticized for requesting more permissions than necessary to make the app work. For example, the app asks for access to the microphone and camera even when users aren’t using those features. This is because TikTok uses the data it collects to identify and track users across the web. This can be very harmful to users because it gives TikTok access to a lot of personal data that it can use for advertising purposes.
What dangers lurk for children and teenagers on TikTok?
One of the biggest dangers for children and teenagers on TikTok is that the app is newer and much less scrutinized than Facebook or Google. As a result, there is less protection for kids on this platform. Additionally, there are concerns about malicious individuals/online predators who could take advantage of kids on TikTok. Cyberbullying is also a concern on this platform, as it can be very harmful to kids’ emotional health.
What can adults do to protect their kids and safeguard their privacy on the platform?
There are several things that adults can do to protect their kids and safeguard their privacy on TikTok:
- Talk to your kids about safe online behavior, including not sharing personal information with strangers online and reporting any suspicious behavior to you or another trusted adult.
- Set parental controls on your child’s account, which will help restrict who they can chat with and what type of content they can see.
- Be aware of what your child is watching on TikTok, and talk to them about any videos or accounts that make you uncomfortable.
- Monitor your child’s phone usage, and set time limits if necessary.
- Encourage your child to use other social media platforms besides TikTok, such as Instagram or Snapchat, which have more mature audiences.
- If you are concerned about data harvesting by TikTok, consider deleting the app from your child’s phone altogether.
Do you have an opinion on TikTok? I know I do. I don’t think it’s good. I think it’s dangerous. And I’m not alone. There are a lot of people who are concerned about the app and what it does to our brains, especially kids and teenagers. But that doesn’t seem to be stopping people from using it. The app is growing more and more popular every day. So what do you think? Is TikTok a force for good or evil? Let me know in the comments section below.