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A Teens’ Guide to TikTok

The well-known app was replaced by the social media site TikTok after it went offline in 2017. TikTok allows users to watch and make videos and has since been downloaded three billion times. As of 2020, 24% of 15-25 year olds are using the platform to create and consume videos. 

TikTok is a great way to stay connected with friends, discover new content and express yourself creatively, but it can also be dangerous if not used properly. That’s why we've put together this guide for teenage TikTok users so you can use the app safely while still having fun and connecting with others. We'll cover topics such as understanding privacy settings, distinguishing fact from fiction and more! Read on to find out how you can make sure you're using TikTok responsibly and staying safe online.

Why it’s important to stay safe online

Distinguishing between fact and fiction on TikTok can be a tricky task. With the fast-paced nature of the app, it can be easy to get caught up in trending topics and stories that may not be true. As such, you must understand how to verify the accuracy of what you see and hear on the app. 

One way to tell if something is real or not is by looking at who has posted it. Are they a verified user? Have they provided any sources or links that prove their claims? Do these sources have reliable reputations? When in doubt, cross-check any information with other sources before believing it. It’s also important to remember that just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s true – make sure you do your research first! 

Another way to determine if a post is real or not is by reading through comments from other users. If people are questioning the accuracy of the post, this might be a red flag that it isn’t true. Additionally, if an account has been blocked or flagged for “false information”, then you should take extra caution when engaging with its posts and researching its claims further. 

By understanding how TikTok works and taking steps to verify information before believing it, you can avoid falling into traps set by fake accounts or malicious actors looking to spread false information. Remember: if something sounds too good (or bad) to be true, then it likely isn't - stay vigilant and stay safe online!

What to do if you are struggling

It is important to create a safe space for yourself online. The rise of social media has created many opportunities for people to connect and share content, but it also presents a unique set of challenges. For many people, engaging with social media can be stressful and overwhelming. One of the biggest issues is the lack of self-confidence that can come along with comparing yourself to others online. If you're struggling with self-confidence because of social media, there are steps you can take to manage your feelings and protect your mental health. 

First, be mindful of what types of content you follow or engage with. Social media platforms are full of curated images and videos that often give an unrealistic portrayal of reality. To combat this, make sure to follow accounts that prioritise inspiring and uplifting content over those that may trigger negative emotions, such as insecurity or envy. Additionally, try to limit the amount of time you spend on social media each day by setting boundaries for yourself. 

It can also be helpful to remember that everyone experiences moments where they don't feel confident about themselves — no matter how perfect someone's life may seem from the outside looking in. Instead of focusing on what you think other people have or how perfect their lives appear, concentrate on cultivating a positive mindset around yourself by celebrating your own successes, recognising your strengths and investing in activities or hobbies that bring joy into your life. 

It's important to remember that your mental health should always come first. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or feeling down about yourself because of social media, reach out for support from friends or family members who can offer an understanding ear.

Why should you be careful with TikTok?

Common types of content include dancing, singing, lip-syncing, performing comedy sketches and popular challenges. However, not all of these trends are fun or safe. It’s important to know that some trends on TikTok should not be taken part in to get views. 

Some of the most popular problematic challenges to have been featured on TikTok are:

  • The silhouette challenge - users create images or videos of themselves that are edited to make them appear as a silhouette. Many users have used this trend to sexualise themselves - which is clearly inappropriate for the many young users that have access to the platform. As filters can be reverse-engineered, it is vital that users are careful about what they are wearing behind the filter, as there are people out there who have ways to see through it.
  • Back-cracking challenge - users have been seen to crack the backs of their friend without any medical training. This can cause severe long-term nerve and spinal injury when carried out by a non-professional. 
  • Full-face wax trend - presented as a skincare routine, users cover their entire face with wax as an alternative to professional waxing or laser hair removal. With this, there is a risk of suffocation if the wax enters the airways. 
  • Before and after a nose job - popular transformation videos have recently become popular on TikTok, with users demonstrating what they looked like pre- and post-rhinoplasty. 

We know how important it is to make sure you feel safe and have a positive experience while using the internet. If you have any further questions about body image, take a look at some of our useful blog posts: 

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Mike Saul


Michael Saul is a partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, where he brings his extensive specialist legal expertise and passion for helping people to the forefront of his work. With a proven track record of success in cosmetic surgery negligence cases, Michael has dedicated his career to providing clients with the highest level of representation and achieving favourable outcomes.

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