The Hidden Toxicity Behind Getting Viral in TikTok

If I said you can gain more than 100,000 followers by tomorrow simply by posting a TikTok would you do it? 

Most of us have wanted to become famous at least once in our lifetime, but now that it’s possible, society has completely shifted perspectives. Now, TikTok followers are racked up faster than any other platform, so having thousands of them is relatively normal for anyone who’s had a minor hit on the for you page. They have created a celebrity manufacturing machine that turns average teenagers into stars in less than a day. For many people who experienced fame, it’s a long awaited dream… until it turns into your biggest nightmare.

Once you are in public sight, strangers can dig into the smallest aspects of your life including pictures of when you were tagged, your comments, and likes. If you don’t think that is creepy enough, search your full name in google to see what comes up. I may sound like a controlling mother figure but the information found online can significantly affect your future from university choices to job opportunities. In 2021, Harvard college rescinded admissions of 10 students over obscure messages on social media which involved sexist and racist jokes that went viral. (Kamentez A., 2017) 

Moreover, the fact that anyone can comment on what you’ve done and share their opinions is terrifying, potentially leading to cyberbullying. People tend to pick on you for the smallest inconveniences, therefore putting you at a vulnerable position for getting cancelled. 

Having to see what people think of all your flaws is truly heartbreaking, which can be seen in a well-known creator called Bella Poarch. One of her videos of lip-syncing went viral during August 2020 and gained over 60 million likes, becoming one of TikTok’s most famous videos of all time (Thomas E., 2022). However, just like every aspect of life, all good things must come to an end. Bella Poarch got cancelled about a week later for not having true talent, therefore not deserving to gain a public platform. These accusations ranged from calling her talentless to sending death threats due to her race, gender, and personality. 

As a result, next time, whenever you are about to hit the red post button or write #foryoupage on Tik Tok to just be aware about the possible self-destruction you are inviting.