TikTok is a place for a lot of different content: from sharing your favorite book to twerking in a somewhat inappropriate piece of undergarments. With people sharing more and more of their lives on social media, we learn that social media can also have negative effects. Because of social media, a lot of people are struggling with their mental health and their self-image.
Social media platforms are slowly starting to make changes because of this. Instagram has started with removing the ability to see how many likes a post is getting (depending on which country you are in) or the ability to not leave comments. TikTok is taking this to the new level.
On September 14th, TikTok director of policy in the US, Tara Wadhwa announced that they will be providing tools to cope with mental health issues:
While we don’t allow content that promotes, glorifies or normalizes suicide, self-harm or eating disorders, we do support people who choose to share their experiences to raise awareness, help others who might be struggling and find support among our community.
To help our community do this safely, we've rolled out new well-being guides to support people who choose to share their personal experiences on our platform, developed with the guidance of the International Association for Suicide Prevention, Crisis Text Line, Live For Tomorrow, Samaritans of Singapore and Samaritans (UK). The guides, which are available on our Safety Center for informational purposes only, also offer tips to help our community members responsibly engage with someone who may be struggling or in distress.
In addition, we're featuring curated content from our partner organizations to learn about and explore important well-being issues. This in-app programming is currently live, having started September 10 and running through September 16.
This is of course a major step forward. There have been multiple studies showing the vast negative side effects of social media. Social media tends to be a place where people only showing the best moments of life all the time. Saving that photo from vacation to be able to share it a few months later so people think you are on vacation again or showing how amazing your time was back then - the reality is that what you see on social media is most of the time not how that person is living his real life. However, this does create insecurities with the younger audiences on the platform and in the long run, a feeling of not being good enough and not having a good enough life.
There is a lot more to be said about the whole mental health aspect on social media. You can read more about that on our blog: How to turn the negative side of social media into a positive side. But for now, it is super exciting that TikTok is paying serious attention towards mental health issues.
Learn more here: