One of the biggest problems with social media is users posting unrealistic descriptions of their lives. People tend to post representations of the positive side of their lives rather than showing the negatives. This problem often leads to socially toxic interactions; it also has very negative psychological effects. When we get an unrealistically positive view of the lives of other people, it can be hard to feel good about ourselves and the lives we have. TikTok has provided ways to combat this problem, helping them to compete with the Facebook owned service Instagram.
TikTok, a video app launched in 2017, has certain features to counter this problem. Certain Instagram users called “influencers” heavily edit the photos they post in order to create unrealistically positive descriptions of their lives. Many social media users are getting sick of this tendency. In contrast, TikTok, a Chinese owned social media service, has a page that a user can follow that filters out unrealistic images and shows posts that reflect ordinary lives as they actually are. TikTok has a page called the “For You Page” which shows images of un-glorified middle-class life.
One TikTok user, who is often referred to as “the Queen of TikTok” in comments, has a very popular profile where she shares posts about her ordinary life which often show up on the “For You Page.” In her posts she often shows herself in her MacDonald’s employee uniform while on break. Her profile is known for being authentic and funny. Despite the alternatives to the status quo, TikTok still has “influencer” profiles which show dishonest life descriptions.
TikTok is big competition to Facebook. TikTok is multilingual and has a huge user base in India. It remains to be seen how far TikTok can take its challenge against Facebook’s dominance in the social media industry.