• November 22, 2019
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Critical thinking skills, such as creativity and problem solving, are talents that teachers attempt to implement in students’ minds throughout their school career. From building macaroni necklaces in kindergarten to solving calculus problems in twelfth grade, being able to use these complex cognitive skills is vital. 

Traditionally, common belief was that thinking skills developed while students were at school. Nowadays, this is anything but the case.

 It’s not hard to find a high school student with access to social media, as almost every teenager has a cell phone. Many teens now have TikTok, a video application used to create short comedy, talent, and lip-sync clips. TikTok is a remodeled, newer version of Musical.ly, an app with the same concept. 

Older generations often vilify the youth for being phone addicts, spending lots of time on pointless apps. However, TikTok and similar platforms put this idea to test. Simply pressing the button to create a 15-second video opens a massive potential for teens to communicate.

Whether it be for comic relief or relay of information, TikTok keeps young adults in touch with each other. The app has simultaneously become an outlet for creativity developing in teens. Creating TikToks requires imagination and the use of critical thinking skills, even though the app seems rather mindless.

When someone opens the app, immediately they will find videos of people dancing to popular songs, cats falling off of tables, and young people telling stories about their day. Nonetheless, people rarely consider how much effort is put into developing said videos. Teens use creativity and innovation to develop new trends and create their own take on already popular ones. 

TikTok has also designed a new sense of belonging for many young adults. It is extremely common for teens to feel a bit out of place among their peers at school. This app opens a new universe of people that might feel the same way. 

Building self-confidence takes more work than one can imagine. Walking the halls at school, attempting to fit in and finding people with similar interests, becomes rather difficult quickly. TikTok, instead, allows teens to make online friends and develops an escape from the complications of life otherwise. The app enables young adults to share their opinions and ideas with the world, letting them locate commonalities and experience difference of opinions. 

On Instagram and Twitter, likes and comments are the conventional method of engaging with other people’s content. TikTok, on the other hand, incorporates new unique features that further this engagement. A “duet” allows a user to split the screen and create a video of their own that plays simultaneously with the one to the right. A “react” allows a user to utilize a superimposed screen to illustrate their reaction to someone else’s video. Generally, the duets and reacts result in positive encouragement or expansion of an idea. Furthering the ability of interacting with other user’s content can help teens to feel closer to their friends on TikTok. 

TikTok has also presented another platform to encourage the freedom of speech for the younger generations. While the content is monitored to prevent anything inappropriate, the app allows users to speak on whatever topic they prefer. Teens now have lots of wiggle room to speak their mind and spread the word about their beliefs. 

Stumbling upon a religiously or politically influenced video happens every so often on people’s feed. Because TikTok lightly regulates what users are allowed to post, they can now make themselves heard. The app also lets users disable the comments from others on the post. Although some may enjoy discussion, others prefer to say what they have to say and let it be said. In either case, TikTok gives young adults the power to utilize their freedom of speech.

From using imagination to developing new bonds to expressing oneself, TikTok is a new platform with a plethora of advantages for young adults. Usage continues to increase as more and more teens are understanding that the app provides them with many benefits.

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