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TikTok Concerned Me

by Dr Mehmet Yildiz 2 years ago in social media
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After this sad incident in Italy

TikTok Concerned Me
Photo by Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash

Reading a sad story made me re-think about TikTok, reassess my social media engagements, and raise awareness for my beloved ones.

Social media sometimes wastes my time and turns me off with meaningless conversations and spam. Digital fasting may be necessary to lower stress caused by the event of social media.

Many of us are overwhelmed by the frenetic pace of social media. It clearly has a societal effect.

I read many success stories from those who stopped using social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, YouTube, and TikTok. I use all these platforms except for TikTok. It is obviously a popular and lively platform, but it did not serve my goals.

Why not TikTok?

My interest to use TikTok diminished.

TikTok is a platform and a tool, and like any other tool, we can use it for good and bad purposes. My aim is not to criticize TikTok but to create awareness on risks for children.

In this story, I want to highlight one important aspect of TikTok concerned me yesterday.

I read a heart-breaking article on The Guardian titled “Italy blocks TikTok users for certain users after the death of a girl allegedly playing ‘choking’ game”.

The girl was ten years old. I felt awful for losing the girl and sad for her parents.

Italy took immediate action and temporarily blocked access to users whose ages cannot be verified.

TikTok requires a minimum of 13 years of age for participation. My understanding of the Italian government now endorses this rule in TikTok terms of use.

My experience with TikTok is not inspiring.

I heard and read a lot about TikTok recently but never had a chance to engage with this platform meaningfully. I tried it a few times, couldn’t make a sense and gave it up.

I enjoy digital media and use them for productive purposes.

Social media is a serendipity machine for me. I met interesting people. My profiles gained followers from social media. I engaged with many readers. Some even ended up being good friends.

My technology background, information management skills, and studies on digital intelligence help me cope with social media pressure.

However, I had the challenge to learn about TikTok. It may be a useful platform for some, but I had difficulty finding relevant use cases.

Apart from social media's business aspect, it has also been a concern for my beloved ones.

For example, after reading about this sad incident that concerned me as a parent, I wanted to make sure my son knew the risks and this particular situation.

My son is very much into social media. He introduced me to several other platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, which I fall behind. He helped me to create an Instagram account, but I had little to do with Instagram. I couldn't figure out Snapchat. It was beyond me.

As he takes part a lot in TikTok activities, I wanted to chat with him about TikTok. Some of his clips went viral on TikTok several times. He converts his interesting social events with his friends to digital format and shares them in TikTok.

Today I mentioned him this sad event that I read in an article. He was aware of it. He said he was alright. He knew how to protect himself from harmful incidents. It was a bit of relief for me. I am still concerned about whether some unknown aspect of TikTok may harm him.

As a concerned parent, I will continue monitoring his online behaviour.

As adults, social media create substantial stress for some of us. It causes safety and security risks for the elderly.

However, social media also establishes considerable risks for children. I heard horror stories of teenagers committing suicide due to online bullying. Some children develop anxiety and even online phobias after experiencing unpleasant incidents.

I am glad governments are taking precautions. In some countries, law enforcement is in place. Italy was an excellent example in the article I mentioned.

It will be excellent by the TikTok to create educative programs for a safe and secure way of using the platform for children.

As parents, we have an essential role in keeping our children safe from social media's harmful effects.

While social media pose risks for all of us, children and the elderly have the highest stakes.

I am determined to perform social media fasting and recommending it to my beloved ones.

Thank you for reading my perspectives.

The original version of this story was published on another platform.

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About the author

Dr Mehmet Yildiz

I'm a writer and published author with four decades of content development experience in business, technology, leadership, and health. I work as a postdoctoral researcher and consultant. My background is at https://digitalmehmet.com.

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