Effects of TikTok on adolescent mental health and wellbeing
Bahnweg, E. & Omar, H.
With over 1 billion active users monthly, TikTok is undoubtedly one of the most widely used social media platforms. The video-sharing app allows users to create, share and watch short videos, which range in content from singing and dancing to recipes and home renovations. TikTok uses an algorithm to track the content that users browse and interact with and then recommends similar content on the “For You Page.” TikTok is currently the most widely used social media app among young people aged 12 to 17, with more than one-quarter of daily users being under the age of 14 and nearly 50% being under the age of 29 (1). In 2021, the World Health Organization produced data showing that 1 in 7 adolescents between the ages 10 to 19, which accounts for a large portion of TikTok’s users, were struggling with mental health challenges, such as depression, anxiety, and behavioral disorders (2). The question arises as how much of the mental illness in young people is due to social media such as TikTok.