Disassembling the Truth

Get the scoop on one of the world’s most popular social media apps


Melissa Krainer

There’s a dark side to TikTok that doesn’t at first meet the eye.

It started in 2016.

The Chinese technology company ByteDance launched TikTok, known in China as Douyin. In 2017, ByteDance acquired Musical.ly and transformed the app into what it is today. Then, according to the article “What is TikTok?” from Investopedia, in 2021, TikTok was available in almost 150 different markets.

And then the Magnet Challenge was born.

According to the New York Post article, “Boy, 9, nearly dies after swallowing magnets during TikTok challenge,”

“Videos have swirled on the app in which kids feign having a pierced tongue by placing round Magneto balls on the tops and bottoms of their lickers.”

But after Jack McGeoch, a 9-year-old participant in the challenge, had six magnets removed from his stomach, this TikTok Challenge proved to be anything but safe.

And that’s not even mentioning the Dry Scooping Challenge, where teens eat pre-workout protein powder without water. Or the Blackout Challenge, where participants hold their breath until they pass out.

But what impacted our school the most was undoubtedly the Bathroom Challenge, where students disassemble or steal items in bathrooms to gain fame on TikTok.

Let me put this in context: students are destroying things in bathrooms and then “posting” it on social media for the world to see! That’s like a kidnapper filming the kidnapping and posting it on Facebook.

But no, authorities (totally) won’t know who unhinged that bathroom door. Not at all.

Now, ask yourselves this: what is being accomplished other than destruction? Is popularity so important that destruction must occur? 

Apparently it is.

What a sick thought.

J. Hamel, the school building supervisor, commented on the items frequently stolen in bathrooms.

He said, “Well, in our restrooms, there seems to be a lot of taking the soap out of the soap dispensers. I’m sure you’ve noticed, you go into your restrooms [and] there are supposed to be four soap dispensers. Several of them have nothing in there right now because [students are] taking the soap out of the soap dispensers.”

Did TikTokers stop to think about how it would be for other students when they went on their bathroom disassembling spree? Because I’m sure that other students, like me, have wanted to wash their hands, only to realize that THERE’S NO SOAP!!!

Or the fact that now, in order to leave the classroom, you need to sign out and sign in three billion times!

Or that only one person is allowed in the restrooms at a time?!

Or how your friends have to suffer because of some stupid TikTok trend?!

Or how the restrooms on the first floor were closed when there was no lunch period?

One day, I hope that those of you who participated in the challenge won’t be able to use the bathroom because those restrooms are closed.

Yup. Think about that.

I’m sure the disassembling was worth ALL of this.

In July 2021,69 percent of TikTok users were between the ages of 13 and 24, according to “What is TikTok?” from Investopedia. Teenagers are highly influenced by social media. (Melissa Krainer)

When asked about her opinion on this topic, eighth-grade English teacher Autumn Barry-Kyle said, “Unfortunately, this age group in particular is highly influenced by social media. I have found that, yes, a couple of kids took advantage of the bathroom TikTok, but, in talking to my students and monitoring the bathroom, I heard a lot more kids saying that they can’t believe that kids were being that disruptive and that it was pointless.”

If you’re one of those that participated in the challenge, I hope you’re happy.

If you’re one of those that have experienced the same frustrations that I have, you can thank those that unhinged the bathroom doors.

In summary: the Bathroom Challenge is pointless, stupid and most of all, frustrating.

So, dear TikTokers: before you take the soap out of that soap dispenser, think again.