Tik Tok is Toxic to Our Children

By Louis Najarian, MD, child and adolescent psychiatrist and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine

There is no social or educational merit to the social media application Tik Tok. Developed in China, where it is available as an educational tool, it has been introduced to our children and adolescents (and young adults) in the United States as a contaminating toxic form of entertainment.

Serious medical complications occur when subjects post themselves participating in stunts such as overeating, daredevil stunts such as climbing on a pyramid of boxed crates, ingesting over-the-counter drugs such as Benadryl, or excessive show of ingesting alcohol using pipes/funnels.

Why does an individual need to video themself with such dangerous behaviors for others to see? Recently a 14-year-old girl showed me some Tik Tok videos and indicated they are entertaining. Watching peers demonstrate foolish, dangerous, sexually explicit behaviors has become a form of entertainment for our children.

The lonely, isolated individual may develop quite a following depending on how bizarre they act, how many tattoos they display, how many body piercings they demonstrate, and how many shades of purple they may dye their hair. What a sad way to get attention. Then they compete for the most sensational. They do not compete with chess or backgammon, or participate in the school drama class with supervised productions of dance and singing. Tik Tok is their stage.

Unfortunately, Tik Tok has become the therapeutic forum for the lonely, isolated individual — with a poor outcome.

If the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not ban Tik Tok, then the Parental Communications Commission (PCC) should ban it from their homes and their children’s devices because Tik Tok is toxic to our children and teenagers.

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