In today’s world, all age groups in society find self-validation through the number of likes and comments on a tiny black screen. TikTok, a social media platform with the concept of swiping to watch the next video, has brought this concept to a whole other level.
Going “TikTok viral” is seen as a big deal among all ages, and the thing is, you don’t know what can become “viral” or not. You could post a video and think that is “trendy worthy,” or could post content for fun and have a “celebrity accident.” The energy put towards the views and numbers is greater than the social interaction happening in real life.
TikTok is designed to “watch and swipe.” As you finish one video, viewing another video is as easy as swiping your finger across a screen. This design allows users to be consumed by the app, showing different content on their “for you page” (FYP), a page that generates videos on the app to match what the user likes to watch.
Each video you view can have a positive or negative impact on yourself. For instance, on my FYP, self-defense and self-care videos impact my life in a positive direction, but videos that body-shame and direct genders do not boost my morale. Of course, there is an option to click the “not interested option,” but those genres will always pop up.
As opposed to online, saying negative comments to people in real life is more challenging. The struggle is seeing their pure reaction, afraid to damage their emotions. However, comments do the same damage, but it’s easier to express your opinion online behind a digital identity.
Other apps, such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc., are also based on the “self-validation” theory. The amount of likes and views is brought across all social media platforms, strengthening this statement.
Social media is used as a method of oppressing an individual or whole but covers it up by the glitz and glamor of “self-validation” through numbers. Realizing that you need to find self-validation in yourself is the first step to breaking this heinous chain.