Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Social Sciences in the 21st Century
Impact of TikTok on Youths’ Social Behaviour
TikTok is a mobile app for creating and sharing short video clips. It started as Douyin in 2016 in China and was launched for the international markets in 2017. TikTok has since become one of the most popular social media platforms that social media users subscribe to. It was reported to have more than 1.39 billion active users in the first quarter of 2022. And the user number is projected to reach 1.8 billion by the end of this year.
Many celebrities and well-known public figures around the world have participated in TikTok culture. The increasing pervasiveness of TikTok raises the question of the potential impact it has on users, especially the youths. The process of social comparison is particularly pertinent in the digital age as social media platforms, such as TikTok, allow users to easily access the TikTok celebrities’ or their peers’ daily updates, inevitably creating a platform for social comparison. Buunk and Gibbons (2006) suggested that upward social comparisons tend to induce more negative feelings.
As TikTok is a relatively new social media app, little research has been done on its impact on the youths’ social behaviours. This paper is part of a preliminary study that attempts to discuss how TikTok usage affects youths’ social behaviour, especially on social comparison.