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TikTok: Boon to or Bane of Gen Z’s Existence?

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CHRIS SAAVEDRA ’26
The social media platform TikTok has reached the peak of its popularity; however, like everything else in the world, this fame has many flaws.

Everyone knows the infamous social media platform, TikTok, has greatly impacted our world, but is it beneficial or detrimental? Does TikTok help people become more aware of ongoing issues? Does TikTok give us cancer like our moms claim it does?

The social media platform TikTok has become quite popular in recent years. With its short videos, diverse content, and intense drama, TikTok has captivated the attention of the infamously “distracted” Generation Z. The app offers an unlimited mixture of content ranging from cooking, baking, books, fandoms, beauty content, and of course, influencers. 

Influencers are a large part of TikTok as they target many users to purchase items they view on this app. However, influencers on this platform mainly target teenage girls. Upon seeing the “hype” about a certain product on TikTok, the viewers too want to own the item. 

“TikTok absolutely impacts my money-spending habits because it is easy to be persuaded to purchase something I see on TikTok,” said Shelsy Avila ‘26.

These influencers mainly and most successfully target teenage girls. The majority of the products targeted include skincare, makeup, and clothing. While these products may sound essential at first, in many cases, they are not the products these pre-teens and teenagers need. Popular skincare products marketed on TikTok, for example, include a small bottle of $74 Drunk Elephant retinol, an acid that increases cell production to prevent aging and wrinkles—a product which should be used by women with mature skin and is instead purchased by 8 to 13-year-old pre-teens. These same pre-teens also wear Lululemon leggings retailing for $128, also popular on TikTok.

Recently, a large number of Sephora employees have come forward on TikTok with their stories about the rude and derogatory behavior of the pre-teens they encounter within the store, some even claiming they have gotten hit and received belittling looks. 

The wave of tweens at Sephora is also a disadvantage considering news reports and video footage of customers who have gotten products snatched out of their hands by young girls. 

Influencers receive public relations packages from brands, leaving them with an excessive amount of products that the viewers often admire and make it their goal to own as much as their favorite influencers do. 

While the luxury of owning many expensive makeup and skincare products seems very appealing, it also causes overconsumption. Overconsumption is inevitable in a capitalist country; however, it is still a concerning issue for humans and their environment. TikTok only makes people want to buy more. 

TikTok has also influenced many teenage girls and young women to purchase Stanley tumblers for water. These tumblers retail for $45 and come in many colors. Upon the collaboration of Target and Stanley, consumers were camping outside Target in the cold to get their hands on this cup, and there were even clips of grown women fighting over who gets the last one. 

With its short videos, diverse content, and intense drama, TikTok has captivated the attention of the infamously “distracted” Generation Z.

To get everyone obsessed with purchasing more, influencers simply have to show the products in their videos or just talk about how great of a purchase the product is. 

Making purchases in order to be happy or feel better regarding issues in life can lead to a lot of financial damage along with more mental issues caused by the false sense of happiness and relief the purchase gives. Buying products to feel happier causes more damage in the long run as shopping becomes a poor coping mechanism. 

The excessive buying may cause a short-lived euphoria, but it also causes buyer’s remorse for many because of the high price points for items not necessarily needed. 

Aside from the excessive marketing in the app, the majority of Tik Tok users claim the app can be addictive, causing them to spend an unreasonable amount of time on the app which is a disadvantage for many students.

“I wouldn’t say I’m satisfied with how much I use it because it’s something that distracts me from doing other things such as reading, spending time with family, and TikTok also causes me to waste free time,” Sindi Mahmutaj ‘25 said.  

The unreasonable amount of time wasted on TikTok impacts a lot of student’s academic performance since it gives them less time to complete their assignments and to study for assessments. The addiction also causes students to use the app in class rather than paying attention, which inevitably leads to a lack of understanding in classes. 

“Too often, students are focused on making videos for social media platforms and engaging in a popularity contest rather than being focused on their schooling and academics,” English Teacher Ms. Aimee Baer said. “It’s great to harness the power of media for prosocial purposes, but it’s important to maintain balance and to be mindful of the amount of time and energy one is devoting to TikTok.” 

Despite TikTok’s clear disadvantages, the platform also creates conversations among users, increasing social interaction and making it simpler to start conversations. 

“TikTok drives a lot of the social aspect of our community,  and what we talk about. For example, if there’s a viral video or a trend on TikTok, I feel like I hear about it a lot in school” said Risha Bhardwaj ‘26.  

Just like many teen trends these days, TikTok has its advantages and disadvantages. It is important to ensure self-aware usage of the app rather than excessive and mindless usage because, just like a rollercoaster ride, TikTok has its ups and downs, so don’t let the thrill get you to waste precious time or money.

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About the Contributors
ZEYNEP KACAN '26, Staff Writer
Zeynep Kacan is a sophomore at Edison High School and aside from writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, and listening to her favorite artist, Lana Del Rey. She is fluent in Turkish and loves visiting Türkiye over the summer. Her goal for the future is to make use of her speaking skills and pursue being an attorney.
CHRIS SAAVEDRA ’26, Staff Writer
Chris Saavedra is a staff writer for the Eagle's Eye and is in his sophomore year. He is an intense movie buff and has a deep admiration and interests in movies and cinema, and is a member of the Paranormal Society. He loves to spend time and play with his dog. Whenever he has his free time, he loves to watch action, comedy, and crime films. He is also a major fan of the Backstreet Boys and OneRepublic.
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