Instagram and TikTok connect teens around the world during quarantine

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Created by @blessthemessy

Many Instagram users create graphics to support and spread awareness on the Black Lives Matter movement. Others can repost graphics to spread the message.

Pamela Faller, Website Editor

For many teens, the value of social media on platforms like Instagram and TikTok has become significantly characterized by numbers: views on stories, likes on posts and followers on accounts. Rather than being a place of connection and positivity, social media is becoming an increasingly negative platform where problems such as body-shaming and harsh comments are common. However, in the past few months of quarantine due to the Coronavirus, social media has connected many teens through common interest, entertainment and social awareness.

Quarantine has given teens lots of free time. It’s not surprising that many are using this time scrolling through their endless Instagram and TikTok feeds or making and posting their own content.

After merging with musical.ly in Aug. 2018, TikTok has become a very popular social media platform in the past couple of years. The app apparently puts people in groups based on their interests and liked posts, which determines what they see on their “for you page.” Various social influencers have accounts on both platforms, which allows them more opportunities to interact with fans and friends.

TikTok creators learn dances and participate in challenges that others have created. 

In the beginning of quarantine, the media was used to spread awareness on social distancing and preventing increased spread of the virus. Many post photos and graphics that encourage people to take care of themselves by washing their hands, wearing a mask and keeping a six-foot-distance from others. 

However, after the murder of George Floyd, many have been using their platform to support and spread awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement. Numerous people have posted videos and photos to help get petitions signed and raise money for the cause. People are using many hashtags, such as #nojusticenopeace, #sayhisname, #justiceforgeorgefloyd and #blacklivesmatter.  

Of course, there will always be negativity on the internet, but Instagram and TikTok have helped us stay connected without really being together. These apps allow us to use our voices and platforms and be heard while also listening to others.