Impact of TikTok on college students

Ben Biswas is a content creator on TikTok with 27,000 followers.

Ashley Blood Reporter

If you’re on a college campus and have access to the internet, you probably have an idea of what TikTok is. 

The social media app that took the world by storm, TikTok, was created in 2016 after it was rebranding the former app Musical.ly. However, it didn’t gain mass popularity until early 2019. 

Over the last year, TikTok users have skyrocketed and the amount of content on the site is in the millions. 

Ben Biswas, a senior fashion design student, has learned this firsthand by becoming a TikTok creator. 

He started creating TikToks in January 2019 and has been growing his platform ever since. As of today, his TikTok profile has 27,000 followers and over six million likes. 

“I started just by doing the silly dance videos that everyone else was doing,” Biswas said. “I just loved doing the Renegade Dance and thought it was funny to share; I never expected to gain this much attention from it.”

After realizing his TikToks were starting to gain some traction, he decided to take his content in a different direction, rather than just copying fun dance routines. 

“I realized that I wanted to take more of the comedy and pop culture route with my content,” Biswas said. “I want to create content that matches with my passions and things that I like, so I can find more like-minded people.”

“It gives me a platform where if I have something I want to say, I’m able to share it to the world and people who will like it, even if my friends and family don’t necessarily understand it,” Biswas said. “I feel like I’ve become a better, more well-rounded person through TikTok by putting out content, learning how to be professional in this space, and learning new things from the app itself.”

The app also offers a large variety of content such as life hacks, things you should buy from Amazon and even tips or advice from people who are in the same, or similar, situation as you.

Sophie Stasiak, a senior art education major, said that she gained most of her inspiration for her room decor from TikTok. 

“I find so many cute things to buy on TikTok,” Stasiak said. “I recently revamped my entire bedroom because of the ‘room tour’ type videos I saw on my ‘For You’ page.”

Stasiak’s room is decorated with posters of David Bowie and Harry Styles on the walls, vines hanging from the ceiling and some vinyl records hanging up to pay homage to her favorite artists.

“I just feel so at peace when I walk into my room. Before I redid it, it just felt like my room lacked personality and fun,” Stasiak said. “I have the people on TikTok who gave me the inspiration to switch up my room to thank.”

In addition to the room decor side of TikTok, Stasiak has also gained some valuable college and life advice from the app.

“I have seen so many TikToks of people in college who are struggling with their work and just as stressed as I am,” Stasiak said. “I love being able to see how they overcame their stress and what tools they used to get where they are. I’ve been able to gain some inspiration for my art projects in school, which I feel has made me a better artist.”

While there are many positives to TikTok, there are negatives as well. 

Zach Zdanowicz, a senior public relations major, said that even though he uses the app on a daily basis, he feels like he hasn’t seen anything or learned anything that has deeply impacted his life.

“I feel like TikTok can be easy to get lost in,” Zdanowicz said. “I think my attention span has shrunk down to almost nothing due to the amount of time I spend on the app.”

He also goes on to say that while there are some negatives, there are still things he deeply enjoys and appreciates on the app.

“I always see TikToks about vinyl collecting on my ‘For You’ page and it gives me inspiration for what I want to collect and how to find more rare editions of some of my favorite albums,” Zdanowicz said. “The algorithm is really good at honing in on the things I’m passionate about, and it makes me want to dive deeper and continue pursuing more of those passions.”

Ashley Blood is a student life reporter. Contact her at [email protected]