TikTok has surpassed Instagram and Snapchat in popularity among American high school students. According to Forrester Research, the video-sharing site has eclipsed all other social media networks save for YouTube.
Instagram is becoming cheugy for Gen Z youth. Forrester just got data back from its Forrester Analytics Consumer Technographics® US Youth Survey, 2021, which shows a 13-point year-over-year increase in weekly usage of TikTok (from 50% to 63%) among US Gen Z youth (ages 12–17). For that same audience base, Instagram weekly usage declined 4 points year over year from 61% in 2020 to 57% in 2021, while Snapchat remained flat at 54%.
Although TikTok overtook Instagram in 2021, it’s still not the top “social media” app among Gen Z. According to Forrester’s 2021 Consumer Technographics US Youth Survey, 72% of US youth (ages 12–17) use YouTube at least weekly — representing a 3-point increase from 2020.
President Trump pondered banning TikTok, which is owned by the Beijing-based internet giant ByteDance, last year because of national security concerns. President Biden revoked his predecessor’s decree in June.
Biden’s executive order instructs the federal government to “evaluate these threats through rigorous, evidence-based analysis and should address any unacceptable or undue risks consistent with overall national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives, including the preservation and demonstration of America’s core values,” referring to China as a “foreign adversary” that “continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”
Some experts has lately blamed TikTok for an increase in physical tics among adolescent females. According to medical journal articles, doctors discovered the girls had been watching videos of TikTok influencers who claimed to have Tourette syndrome. According to Charlotte Pence Bond of The Daily Wire, the phenomena “seemed to correspond with the start of the epidemic, and pediatric movement-disorder centers throughout the United States have also reported they’ve witnessed a stream of adolescent females with identical symptoms.”
When Forrester sought to understand why teenagers prefer TikTok, the most popular answers included:
Entertainment value. Respondents frequently used the word “fun” and “funny” when relaying their kids’ preference for TikTok. As one respondent said: “It has funnier videos.”
Short-form variety. TikTok is seen among US youth as an entertaining way to pass the time. The platform’s endless scroll of a random variety of short video clips keeps them engaged.
Positive self-expression. The “positivity of TikTok” was cited by several respondents emphasizing their ability to freely express themselves (i.e., dancing) — some of whom are motivated by the potential of fame.
“Some kids watch social media and acquire tics, whereas others don’t have access to social media and develop tics,” Dr. Joseph McGuire told The Wall Street Journal. “I believe there are several contributing elements, such as anxiety, sadness, and stress.”
According to a TikTok spokesperson, “the safety and well-being of our community is our top concern, and we’re engaging with industry professionals to better understand this unique experience.”
My take? Social media has always been trash. New generations use the trash 24/7 what do you think would happen. It is pretty much an addictive activity where pretending is mainstream, which seems to make sense since all these dopey kids believe just saying I am a woman or man or insert random object actually defend the belief.
But, to win people, you have to be willing to learn then and speak to them on their level and pushing them away is not the answer.
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