Trend or Trouble?

The death of Musically was the birth of TikTok, thus beginning the long, influential reign of one of the most popular social media apps amongst the youth. 

TikTok and Pinterest, along with other social media apps such as Snapchat and Instagram, provide hours of entertainment while enabling anyone to create and share content. 

These apps are often described as temporary escapes from reality, feeding personalized content to users through algorithms designed to keep them entertained and hooked.

For decades, billboards, magazines, and commercials were responsible for popularizing fashion and material trends, reassuring companies that these advertising methods were worthy investments. 

Similarly, social media is a platform for immense advertisement and exposure, but digital. 

Through online trends, companies are able to market their own brands and capitalize. 

Social media has the overwhelming power to influence not just merchandise, but also the behaviors and lifestyles of students and young adults who are still developing their identities.

Trends cycle through social media apps constantly, almost always containing some sort of clothing style, recipe or recreational activity. 

However, some newly emerging trends contain malevolent themes that cause trouble for those involved. 

Last year, in high schools across the country, a short but destructive trend called “devious licks” was put in action in the bathrooms. 

Olivia Carrasquillo, one of PVHS’s campus supervisors, explained, “[Students] tried to take a toilet, they broke off the hand soap dispensers, the paper towel dispensers, they even flipped the trash can into the toilet”. 

This two-week phenomenon had Carrasquillo and other school officials confused and disappointed, as this was the most profound occasion of vandalism they had ever seen on campus. 

“I had only seen it last year, never had I seen it happen before,” Carrasquillo said.

Though negativity is always present on social media, occasionally there are positive trends that are seen amongst students in school. 

Pinterest and TikTok are hubs for fashion advice, and contain trends that flourish and create specific niches and styles that teen girls can take inspiration from.  

Junior Anna Peti-Peterdi explained the influence Pinterest and TikTok have on her style. 

“Seeing how other girls express themselves through clothes [on Pinterest] helps me find a way to express myself as well. The basic pieces of my clothes stay constant, but then every once in a while there’s a clothing trend that I like and will implement into my style,” Peti-Peterdi said. 

Peti-Peterdi sees social media as a positive and helpful resource for fashion, as well as for other aspects of lifestyle like cooking. 

“I get all sorts of recipes from TikTok. My favorite ones are the desserts, and TikTok is super useful for showing me quick, easy ways to expand on simple recipes,” said Peti-Peterdi.

Using social media can prove to be a positive and negative resource, depending on the user the type of videos they let influence them. 

It is important that teens use social media apps consciously in order to ensure the well-being of themselves and of others.