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Edison Insider

Edison Insider

Potential TikTok ban causes an uproar of both positive and negative feedback

Photo courtesy of Google
The current Tiktok debate asks whether a ban will be beneficial to social media users.

The potential TikTok ban has sent its users into a spiral, desperate for the bill prohibiting the app to be terminated. This ban, called Terminate TikTok on Campus Act of 2023, has not only stirred up conversations all over the country, but also caused individuals to reexamine the popular social media app that has been essential in the lives of millions. It may cause a complete outlaw of the algorithm causing the death of dance trends and funny memes. Many are starting to wonder if this ban will be as beneficial as it was made to be, or if the ban will lead to tragic outcomes. What everyone can agree on, though, is that this ban may affect almost everyone in the U.S., whether or not they use the platform.

TikTok was released in 2016 by Chinese company ByteDance and soon took the world by storm with the versatility of the app. Despite common belief, TikTok attracts people of all ages, not only social media obsessed teenagers, and it has become one of the most popular social media platforms in the industry. According to a Rolling Stones article, “…[there are] more than 150 million Americans who use TikTok” (Ramirez and Suebsaeng). 

Although TikTok is often used for entertainment purposes, many people have found unique ways to use the app. School Nurse Mrs. Martha Fico shared, “I used to use TikTok to watch and learn from people who cook.” 

After taking a closer look at how users feel about the controversy, it seems like a handful of teens believe a TikTok ban would change their lives negatively. Eighth grade student Juliana Farag claimed it would affect her mental health: “I would be devastated and depressed if TikTok is banned.” 

This ban could alter many teenagers’ moods when doing daily activities. Seventh grader Lucas Basta commented on his opinion of this ban, which was not far off from Juliana’s: “If TikTok gets banned, I would be pretty sad.” 

This could make many people wonder: Could this ban alter our adolescents’ mental health in a negative way? Is it worth going through with this ban at all?

On the contrary, other teens think that the ban will benefit us. Eighth grader Laia-Colet Rams expressed, “I don’t really care if it gets banned because it doesn’t affect me. I wouldn’t be disappointed because I think people are too connected to their phones.” 

Some teens are tired of the constant phone usage around them and want to have that special connection you gain when talking face to face. Yet another teen, sixth grader Cole Williams, felt the same way when he said, “I want TikTok and social media to be gone because people spend too much time on it.”

It would appear that several teens are opposed to all social media platforms because they feel that their closest friends and relatives are spending all of their time on a device.

However, some teens say the ban won’t cause major ramifications, but it also will not have a necessarily positive impact. Sixth grade student Carolina Ara, who has had TikTok for a month declared, “I don’t really care that it’s being banned.”  

Now, why do teens feel that TikTok is an unimportant factor in their lives? Eighth grade student Kamila El-Khoury, who has had TikTok for nine years, stated, “I would be pretty sad, I guess, but I have other things to do other than to use TikTok. So, I don’t really care.” 

Contrary to popular belief, teens are not just zombies addicted to their phones and do enjoy doing other things besides browsing social media.

Teens aren’t the only people who have a say on this topic. Many teachers have expressed their opinions on TikTok being banned. An Edison Intermediate School (EIS) Language Arts teacher Mrs. Jessica Ciampa claimed, “I don’t think that the TikTok ban will heavily affect students because I don’t really see my students trying to use it during class. I think that Snapchat affects students more. I’ve seen more students trying to use Snapchat during class.” 

Not all teachers share this point of view that the complete banning of TikTok will help student’s grades. Eighth grade science teacher Jessica Herrera believes that parents should set the amount of screentime on their children’s phones instead of a federal ban doing it for them. She professes: “I think that social media can be both good and bad, and in order to make sure students only experience the positives of social media, it has to be limited. This would help students’ grades and overall health.” 

One of the most upsetting impacts that this ban will have on the TikTok community is how it will affect small businesses. Many small business owners use TikTok, as it is one of the biggest platforms in this industry, to promote their products and companies. A Social Shepard article reports, “When factoring in the number of active users each social media platform has, TikTok ranks as the fifth most popular platform” (Shepherd). 

Small business owner and 12th grade Westfield High School (WHS) student Isabelle Shih is one of the many examples of how entrepreneurs have used social media to popularize their company both locally and internationally. Her cosmetics business strives to provide affordable and sensitive-skin friendly products, a rarity in makeup brands. Her business is on TikTok in addition to Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube. These social media platforms not only played a big role in the publicization of her company, but also allowed her to stay informed in the current trends. She remarked, “Without TikTok, it would be harder to edit videos and follow trends because they originate on TikTok.” 

Isabelle, and other small business owners, are not the only people who think that the ban will be more helpful than harmful when it comes to their companies. Mrs. Ciampa worried, “I feel bad for small businesses because their companies rely on TikTok. Many people buy things off the TikTok store and the small businesses who use TikTok for marketing purposes.”

History teacher Mr. Robert Maver claimed, “Even if TikTok is banned, I think that the world will be able to adapt and find another app to fill the vacuum.”

Even French teacher Mrs. Brittany Sapichino assured, “For the businesses on TikTok, there are many other social media platforms to use for business.”

Despite general users having the ability to easily transform their “TikTokless” lives if the ban is put into effect, this is not the case for business owners. With a business that relies so heavily on its ability to share information on social media, some say it’s almost unfair to take away this advantage that has been utilized for many years. For instance, Isabelle’s follower count adds up to about 35,000 followers over TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest with 6,000 of these users coming from TikTok. If the ban becomes active, this would mean that she would lose near 20% of her total followers over all social media platforms. 

In the end, although there are many different perspectives on the outcomes of the ban, there is no one answer as in the TikTok debate. The ban is not yet enacted, and no one can predict whether or not it will be put into effect. Many people are desperate to keep this app as a competitor in the social media industry, and some individuals are ready to kick it off the internet, they just have to wait and see what the government decides.


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About the Contributors
Mirabelle Duguid
Mirabelle is a writer for the Edison Insider. In her free time, she likes binge watching shows and reading. Her never ending list of favorite foods include ramen, hibachi, grilled cheese, dumplings, chicken caesar salad, and more. The Office is her top rewatch series, and she enjoys listening to Frank Sinatra or Pas De Deux by Tchaikovsky. Mirabelle also plays viola both in school and at the Juilliard weekend program.  She loves the summer for its weather and overall relaxed vibes. If she could travel anywhere in the world, Paris would be her first pick because of the amazing scenery. She is excited to write for this paper, and hopes that her work inspires all that read it!
Serena Shih
Serena Shih, Writer
Serena is a writer for the Edison Insider. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading romance novels and binge watching television shows. Outside of school,  Serena plays piano and the flute. She is amazing at sports and enjoys playing soccer. Her favorite season is summer because she likes hanging out at her friends' houses and not worrying about school (I think we can all agree). She loves Christmas and Thanksgiving because she gets to see her family and spend time with them. One of her favorite foods is sushi. Her current favorites are shrimp tempura and spicy tuna roll. She is excited to start writing.

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    Jessica CiampaApr 26, 2024 at 9:12 am

    This is a really well-written, well-researched, and informative article! I loved reading the interviews… it widened my own perspective on the topic! Awesome coverage and article, Serena and Mirabelle!