Lockdown Diary Of A Teenager: India goes TikTok in quarantine
With baseless rumours doing the rounds on TikTok, we all have a responsibility to follow ‘netiquettes’ and be law-abiding and respectful netizens.
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I wish I could say that everyone and everything is facing the wrath of the coronavirus equally. But alas! There still remains a tyrant that stands untouched. It is of course, social media. While people all over the world are confined to the four walls of their homes, social media traverses vast lengths and regions of the world, hypnotising everyone with its appeal that gives a high, similar to that of alcohol. However, within social media, there exist several categories of socially entertaining platforms and the platform that has recently become popular with netizens is TikTok.
TikTok is a Beijing-based app that allows people to create short dance, lip-sync, comedy and talent videos. TikTok is most popular with the youth, and its users are almost equally divided between males and females. Since it is available in 39 languages and provides music and content in several other languages as well, it has done well in capturing audiences from around the globe. In the lockdown period, TikTok has given many teens and adults a platform to explore their talents related to dancing and mimicking. In fact, users spend nearly an hour perfecting and polishing a single video! Imagine the work that goes behind a video, just a few seconds long!
It has also emerged as a trendsetter in the digital world. Ever tried making cloud coffee or a microwavable cake with just milk and Oreos? TikTok is the way to go! Finding difficulty in household chores like folding clothes? TikTok has the solution! Just want to fool around with your buddies and put on a dumb show? TikTok is the name-o!
A trendsetter in the digital world. (Photo: Reuters)
However, if we flip the coin, we are exposed to TikTok’s flaws and significant loopholes in the app, which have made it a topic of great discussion and debate. In the past few weeks, TikTok users have been responsible for spreading a lot of false information on and 'cures' for the novel coronavirus. This included about 3,00,000 posts by people dressed up as Muslims and claiming that the virus does not affect them. They went to the extent of propagating that Muslims need not take precautions against the coronavirus and saying that ‘the Coronavirus is Allah’s NRC’. In another case, two families were rushed to the hospital in Andhra Pradesh after drinking Ummetha juice, which was advised as a remedy for the disease on a TikTok video.
To combat this, a link has been put on TikTok as well as other social media platforms that direct users to the WHO guidelines so they can follow reliable information. Though the platform has been responsible for a few undesirable outcomes, the grace of social media has helped spread messages like those of washing hands and wearing masks to different parts of the world. TikTok has provided many videos, encouraging users to take precaution and stay safe and healthy in their homes, sometimes also providing humorous videos on life in quarantine.
It should be our inherent nature to refrain from spreading fake rumours about such a sensitive topic that may cause harm to many, and instead focus on creating a clean, harmonious platform to showcase talent. With power comes responsibility, and social media is inarguably one of the biggest powers possessed by mankind. It is our duty to follow etiquettes and appropriate conduct on the net, also known as ‘netiquettes’ and fulfil our part as law-abiding and respectful netizens.