TikTok Challenges

This challenge just shows the power of social media and how one can turn a harmless prank into a national problem in the matter of a couple of days.

Brian Yeboah, Photographer

“Musically,” launched in July of 2014, was founded by Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang, and would later be known as a “cringy” social media app; this would later be rebranded as TikTok in Sept. 2016. In Oct. 2018, TikTok was the most downloaded photo and video app and it was the most downloaded in the year 2020, presumably due to people being inside and in need of entertainment as result of quarantine. TikTok hit one billion users this year in 2021 and is one of the top social media platforms on the planet. TikTok was rumored to be banned numerous times by 45th President, Donald Trump, and it was banned in China and in India, which are the two most populous country in the world.

TikTok is known for many challenges, including dancing challenges, public challenges, and school challenges. Dancing challenges were most popular during the fall of 2019 and summer of 2020. Many dance challenges are still being done in 2021, but they aren’t as prominent as the ones during that short period. Charli D’amelio is a sixteen-year-old who got famous off a famous dance trend called the “Renegade” challenge. She would gain a massive following of over 100 million followers on TikTok and 40 million on Instagram just because of that one TikTok that she made. She has more followers on TikTok than the population of the United Kingdom, Greece, Sweden, and Portugal combined. She has a net worth of over 9 million and she isn’t even an adult yet.

While on the topic of TikTok challenges, many of them have been a lot more dangerous and illegal. One example is the “devious licks” challenge, which was a challenge that started in Sept. 2021 and involved soliciting, stealing, and obstructing school property. The challenge started off with people taking soap dispensers from their school’s bathroom, but then people started taking golf carts, stall walls, and mirrors. Even Rocky Mountain High School had to encourage people to tell them who the culprits were with a reward. The boys’ bathrooms were even shut down at Rocky for a period of time because of this trend.

This challenge was viewed as “idiotic and childish” by many people, including people who initially partook in the beginning stages of the challenge. Rocky Mountain High School sophomore, Robby Odenbrett, said of the challenge: “Janitors have to clean up after kids, and they don’t really think about it when they do it.”

This challenge just shows the power of social media and how one can turn a harmless prank into a national problem in the matter of a couple of days. Odenbrett also said, “People see other people doing it, so they will hop on the trend.” Social media influence has changed the way the world is being lived today.

On the other hand, another Rocky Mountain High School student, senior Austin Alvi, said of the devious licks challenge: “I think it is kind of funny.” Ten years ago, challenges like this wouldn’t be possible because of how little people were using social media.

Follow The Rocky Roar Newspaper Instagram @rockyroarnewspaper to see a positive TikTok challenge that promotes community at our school.