Recently, a Tamil Nadu lawmaker publicly called for the ban of TikTok citing the spread of “culture degradation” among teens.
Even though it might appear as another attempt at lawmakers attempting to impose their version of morality, I actually agree with this guy.
Now, for those who don’t know what TikTok (known earlier as Musical.ly) is, stop reading this article. Go back to your happy place. The content ahead WILL scar you.
TikTok is a classic case of a good idea gone wrong. Much like Indians ruined Facebook and Instagram (eg: send bobs), we went ahead and did the same to this app as well.
Instead of using this platform to produce fresh and innovative content, we have done to it what we have done to the Ganges, pump it full of shit.
Now I am not brave enough to download and use TikTok myself, but looking through all the reposted content on IG and Facebook, I got a fair idea of what is on there. Basically, everyone either cries or does sing-alongs. That’s it.
I am not kidding! People actually upload videos of them crying with fake (or are they real? :o) tears. The put on eye make-up to redden their eyes and then bawl like a frickin baby. Sometimes two of them do it together.
There is a page on Facebook called “Boys who cry passionately on Musically India” dedicated exclusively to these wonder-kids. Here is one post from that page.
Now I don’t want to seem like the moral police telling everyone what is “cultural” and “not cultural”. I mean I’m not that head of the Hindu Mahasabha, am I? (wink wink)
But this does seem troubling. Not just the crying videos, all of it. Social media has also rendered our generation into a group of crybabies who feel the need to be applauded every time they fart. I feel TikTok just encourages this indulgent and self-destructive behavior.
I mean, something that incentivises you to to cry can’t be good, can it? One could say that, ‘they are just actors’. First of all, NO! Secondly, even actors have trouble pulling themselves out of a character. And these are untrained teens who might or might not have a support system.
Add to that how toxic social media generally is and you have a deadly combination. There have already been reports of cyber-bullying on the platform, not to forget the news about a 24-yr-old who committed suicide after being bullied for dressing up as a woman.
We need better regulation for the 20 million active Indian users on the app. It cannot go years without regulation as was the case with early social media apps.
Even though I don’t personally like the content that Indians have polluted TikTok with, I cannot ask them not to post it. Just that no one should get harmed in the process.
If you’re posting stuff about crying, make sure you’re not crying in real life. Even if you are, talk to someone. If you’re posting anything and someone trolls you, don’t feel bad.
If I could shut down TikTok, I would. But we do not live in North Korea and as far as I know, the Emergency has not been applied again. So, I guess people are free to do whatever they want, even if it means posting cringeworthy content for a living.
Reach the blogger at: @tanmaymay_
Image Credits: Google Images
You would also like to read: