At the beginning of quarantine, I scrolled aimlessly through Tik Tok one night for a few minutes and it seemed harmless. I mean, what could be so bad about cute animals and funny jokes and cute little dances? Then, I found it. I found the problem. The problem was with me.
In a desensitized world, it’s easy to be blind to what is so blatantly wrong. After time away from social media, I came back…horrified. I found myself scrolling and thinking:
“How on Earth could a mother be okay with her daughter wearing that?”
“Did she really just flip off the camera?”
“She’s a child..dancing to WAP”
“He just disrespected his mother to get over 250k likes…”
“They are 16 years old…and their parents are allowing them to live together?”
“Why are 12-16 year olds feeding the public scripted propaganda?”
These are the people your children are spending hours of their time watching and worshipping. And yes, worshipping. In fact, one of the sweet girls I knew cut her hair to look just like a Tik Tok influencer. So, I won’t pass a vibe check. Go ahead, cringe away. I don’t want to be cool in a tik Tok world. And you shouldn’t want your child to be either. As a dance director for 4 years, I have watched sweet, innocent girls turn to disrespect their mothers, use language they didn’t even understand, and post inappropriate content on their own personal pages that are not being monitored.
It’s sickening and it breaks my heart that parents are more concerned with a popularity contest rather than guarding their innocence and watching their every move.
This app, alongside many others, is exploiting and manipulating children for the gain of sick and evil people…and it’s all under the guise of innocent fun. I thought it was so cute at first and was all in…and then, I saw the writing on the wall.
My college pastor told us a story one time and I will share it with you:
“When I was a young boy, I loved chocolate chip cookies. Every day, after school, my mom would have some warm chocolate chip cookies sitting out on a plate. As I got older, she only made cookies occasionally and so it was a real treat. One day, a bunch of buddies and I wanted to go see this new movie. It was rated R…and my mom, being conservative, was not FOR IT. I explained that it was rated R because it had violence and just a little bit of profanity. So, she said she would think about while she made cookies. “Man,” I thought, “she must be in a good mood to make me cookies. I bet she will cave and let me go.” I disappeared to play video games and she came in to tell me she had her answer, but to follow her into the kitchen to talk about over cookies. I followed her quickly, anxiously waiting to hear that I could go and smelling delicious cookies just pulled from the oven. I hurried to reach for one and she said…”ah ah ah…careful. These were made a little different. I made them with a special ingredient.” “Ok, great. Can’t wait to try,” I said, hastily. She said, “Don’t you want to know what it is?” “Sure, mom…what is it?” She started with a grin, “Well..I went outside to gather it from the backyard. I threw in rabbit pellets with the chocolate chips…but only a little bit. You probably won’t even taste it.” My jaw dropped in shock and I threw the cookie sitting in my hand over to the side. “Mom, why would you do it?” “Son, it’s only a little bit; how could it hurt you?” It clicked. I would not be going to that movie and now I understood why.”
Trafficking of humans, specifically children is a global issue. And it starts with pedophiles right around you. Your children posting cute innocent videos in crop tops and messy buns entices every sick pedophile on dark websites, without you ever even realizing it. So, while Tik Tok is packaged in innocence, you will find bullying, suicide, pedophilia, propaganda, trafficking, plus…uncensored language, dancing, and music on there. Before you know it, your 13-year-old has now been exposed to sex, drugs, biased politics, and had their innocence stolen without them ever even realizing it.
I have a Tik Tok and you can find good on there. But at what cost? With Instagram’s new “Reels”…there is almost no necessity for the app. What price must you pay to see innocence, fun, and age appropriate content? Let me tell you…it’s not worth it for any young person still finding their identity, with a brain still developing to be anywhere near it. At almost 30, I set a timer so I don’t fall down the rabbit hole on the enemy’s app. I’ve watched it change personalities, confidence, and innocence within weeks and while I may find catchy trends and cool remixes I can use in my business, the cost far outweighs the value and replacements of higher quality are already being made. I guess we should expect that with it being another thing made in China.
Let’s learn to walk away from popular things that are only ripping apart the fabric of innocence. Let your children be children for a little while longer. Guidance and boundaries are a fundamental part of development. As a dance director of over 4 years, you can trust me when I say…”This app has no good intentions.”