BENGALURU: TikTok has brought cheers and concerns aplenty for people. Doctors say this is a new kind of addiction in the city, affecting the youth and children alike.“The issue with apps like TikTok is that they have various categories of challenges or trends, which urge users to take videos in inappropriate ways. For example, removing layers of clothing or make-up,” Dr Megha Mahajan, child and adolescent psychiatrist at Fortis Hospital, said, talking about how children as young as 13-15 years old are falling prey to it.
“These lewd videos could fall into the hands of sexual predators. The adolescent keeps count of the number of virtual friends they have on it, over friends they have in the real world,” Mahajan added. It’s no wonder then that many parents want TikTok to be banned in India. “My son is so involved in it that his mind is not on studies. It is impossible to ground children these days,” Sri Vidya, mother of Shruthi, a college student, told CE.
Experts, however, say banning TikTok may not be the solution, as another app with similar effects could spring up. “To begin with, parents should be aware of the apps that kids download. They must use it themselves to know what it contains, and explain to the child about the dangers of using it,” Mahajan said.
Parents should also activate a child lock on their phone, and children should not be exposed to online platforms at an early age, said Dr Manoj Sharma, professor, clinical psychology, Services for Healthy Use of Technology clinic, NIMHANS.