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TikTok might get banned, is that a bad thing?

Evan Mulligan
The addictive nature of TikTok, paired with both its affects on mental health and potential information gathering capabilities, make it a hot topic in Congress as users decide to keep or delete it.

The debate over the app known as TikTok, both in terms of teen mental health and internet security, has made its way to Congress because of security concerns over the app potentially spreading misinformation and being used by the the Chinese government as spyware. 

House representatives took action first with a bill recently passed  proposing that it will be banned if the tech giant ByteDance does not sell it to an American owner.

The Senate is still to act.

Since this bill gives TikTok’s Chinese-controlled parent company, ByteDance, only six months to sell the app, TikTok will likely suffer a ban, which means it will not be available in the United States anymore.  

A sale could potentially cost a hundred billion dollars and require completely rebuilding the technological backbone of the app. 

But is banning TikTok a bad thing?

It is no secret that TikTok is wildly addictive and very much can damage teen’s social relationships and mental health.

Brown Undergraduate Journal of Public Health shows that TikTok is uniquely addicting, even compared to other social media apps.

It is more addictive than other apps because of the specific optimization of endless scrolling, making it significantly easier to be drawn into watching the app for hours on end. 

Along with this, the variable reward setup of TikTok encourages users to engage in endless scrolling to look for a “high.” This makes it even more addictive than usual because, on the main feed, there is no meaningful way to pick what you see.

On top of all this information, TikTok has similar effects on the brain to slot machines but for social media by creating an easy way for people to feed their addictions.

Many congresspeople are also concerned that China may use TikTok to manipulate Americans. While that is a valid concern, it is not nearly as much as addiction and its effects. 

While TikTok is very much a part of Modern Gen-Z culture, it may be better for our mental health if it goes away.

And as it appears that TikTok is very likely to get banned, especially as President Biden and the US Senate are both likely to approve legislation, a conversation about the effects of social media addiction may just be getting started.

I deleted the app because of these things and because of the sort of brain-rotting content that it pushes on the median user.

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About the Contributor
Evan Mulligan
Evan Mulligan, News Editor. Staff Writer.

Evan Mulligan is a sophomore who is starting his second year both at CSD and in journalism. During his free time, Evan enjoys reading and working out. Evan is a “politics junkie” who also participates in Model UN and aspires to be a diplomat. Evan joined journalism because he wants to make a positive impact on the world through sharing his opinions.

‘’If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be” - Maya Angelou

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