What started as a video-making platform for would-be influencers and bored tweens has evolved beyond cheeky dances and snippets of pop songs.
It has grown in thousands of directions, meeting users at the intersections of their niche interests.
The app then creates algorithms for the “For You Page” that serve each user the content they’ll find most relevant and engaging.
I was more hesitant than most to download the popular app. But my For You Page soon delivered something unexpected—a community resource and discussion forum for highly personal and little-talked-about topics in the realm of mental health.
Tik Tok creators can demystify and unpack almost any subject in an accessible way, something that peer-reviewed articles and psychological journals typically fail to do.
Tik Tok users post videos and resources on anything from attachment style to emotional intelligence to medication comparisons and mental health diagnoses.
In the past two years, more than a few friends have shared that Tik Tok, along with therapy, helped them clarify and begin destigmatizing their mental illness.
The American education system seems to teach health classes from the shoulders down; there are few resources on mental health diagnoses and treatment, how to speak with friends experiencing suicidal ideation, or dealing with increasing anxiety.
However, these are situations that today’s teens face regularly—how can they fill this gap and prepare for the challenges ahead? Calculus surely won’t help.