Treacherous TikTok Trends

Breanna Laureti, Staffer

“We are human too, and to feel threatened going to work is a problem,” says Cathedral Catholic High School’s English teacher Ms. Sara DeSantis.

On September 1, 2021 a challenge known as the ‘devious lick’ began on the popular social media platform, TikTok. The idea behind the challenge consisted of students stealing bizarre objects from their school such as soap dispensers, printers, ect.

It originated from a video of a TikTok user stealing a box of disposable masks and captioning it “ A month into school and already got this absolute devious lick.” 

Aside from this absurd challenge came another causing the same amount of concern. ‘Slap a Teacher’, which is exactly what it sounds like, initiated aggressive behavior from students towards teachers.

Although we have not seen this specific issue arise in our community, it most certainly exists. An 18-year-old student in Louisiana was arrested and is facing charges after allegedly attacking a 64-year-old disabled teacher as part of the challenge. 

So how do these challenges impact our community?

As the trend ignited, so did the concern of our teachers and staff. After Principal Conroy released an email bringing it to the attention of our community in hopes of avoiding it, opinions on the situation were quickly formed.

“It’s easy to say that something like that is funny, but when we are coming out of the time where people have really been struggling with the pandemic which impacted a lot of people emotionally, financially, and in terms of having security of possessions and education, there is an issue,” says DeSantis.

Students held a similar perspective.

“It’s a serious problem within all the high schools and it is a growing trend. It was good to address it now before it was too late and serious damage to the school was done,” says fellow student and senior football player Tano Letuli. 

“The school did a good job at addressing it to everybody and making sure that students know the consequences that were being made,” said Junior Gavin Stafford.

With all these issues stemming from TikTok, the question of whether or not it has more of a positive or negative impact on people’s lives and behavior was brought up.

“Yes I have a TikTok, and I like TikTok because I can watch all the cat videos to balance out my stress and I believe in book- tok. TikTok is great when used correctly!” DeSantis explains.

“If there is no harm being done I actually get a good form of entertainment from it, but it is not to the point where it is seriously distracting me from getting what I need done.” adds Letuli.

With mutual concerns about TikTok, also comes mutual agreement that it obtains useful purposes, including students feeling like they learn something significant that would not be touched upon in school. It is evident that the app itself is not the issue but the people using it are.  

“The question is more like how can the responsible people silence the minority of wrong-doers,” says DeSantis.

Getting TikTok in the hands of supportive and respectful influencers allows viewers to mimic those actions. 

“It has an impact on our culture, the way we talk, the dances that we do, and the things we do to try and feel cool,” says Letuli. 

As a community we must come together to promote awareness towards the persuasion TikTok has on our actions. As well rekindle our respect towards one another. 

“I think Covid lets us be a bit more isolationist because people are having a problem remembering what it is like to be connected.”

Steering away from our dependency on TikTok for fame by carrying out specific trends and finding it’s entertainment in a healthier and more educational manner is a great starting point in eliminating rising concerns. 

It is time to regroup and regrow.