Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter – we just can’t get enough of our social media intake these days. But the new kid on the block (and has been for a while) is TikTok. The app focuses on video sharing as a form of social networking and has short videos ranging from dance to makeup. It is especially famous for its never ending ‘trends’. Unfortunately, with TikTok’s virtues, comes its vices. As the app has gained popularity around the world, it has also caught on to some very problematic trends.
Baby Slapping Challenge
A recent trend that has been sweeping our feeds involves slapping minors, specifically babies or toddlers. For many, this trend seems funny or harmless when in fact it should have been called out and reported immediately by the TikTok community. Such videos have received millions of views, encouraging others to try it, resulting in harming and possibly scarring, young children.
Kylie Lips Challenge
This famous trend has been around for quite some time. As social media continues to construct and define beauty standards, both younger and older generations become heavily influenced by certain physical characteristics – most famously “full lips”. Kylie Jenner, famously known for her lips (among other things) inspired the trend to mimic her lips, but by using items such as glasses or bottles against your lips and creating a vacuum by sucking out the air. The result of this DIY plumping trend is not so glamorous. Besides bruising and swelling, there is a risk for permanent damage with repeated attempts.
According to Newsweek, this challenge began circulating in March last year, resulting in people licking public surfaces with the #coronaviruschallenge hashtag reaching over 3 billion views to this day. This is not only completely senseless, but can result in several other harmful infections/viruses besides COVID-19.
As the name itself suggests, this challenge is in no way harmless. This challenge, particularly popular with children, involved two people tripping a third person as they jump, from behind. This resulted in severe falls and related injuries, with many requiring stitches and hospitalisation.
Full facial waxing is another trend that has taken the TikTok community by storm. When we say full face, we mean actually a person’s entire face, including the eyes and nostrils – basically forming a mould of wax. This is extremely dangerous. As the wax hardens, it can cause suffocation alongside detrimental effects such as the pulling of sensitive areas of the skin.
What I Eat In A Day Challenge
As bloggers and influencers began sharing their daily food intake, what seemed to be an informative and interesting trend, was actually more harmful than beneficial. Most videos summed up to a calorie count of 900 calories versus a regular 2000/2500 regular intake. This kind of promotion encourages an unhealthy lifestyle, fantasising a slimmer waist and ‘ideal’ body type through unrealistic demands.
Unfortunately, the six disastrous challenges above do not conclude the list of problematic trends TikTok has produced. This list goes on and on, and new ones are added before previous ones have subsided. While many trends look ‘fun’ in the moment, it is extremely important to think twice before trying them out, and weighing the possible consequences. More importantly, when you see a disturbing video, report it and spread awareness so others can be warned as well.