TikTok has become more than just viral dances and lip syncs. It serves as a driver for Social Activism.
TikTok is known to be one of the biggest sources of entertainment especially during this time of pandemic. People do not get to spend their time outside or with their loved ones. This is then making it more difficult to find things that interests them. And TikTok has become one of your go to places online.
However, TikTok’s content has transitioned dramatically from viral dances to a platform to make people more aware of social issues. It helps awaken the consciousness of users of the social issues being experienced by many. And one of those viral-worthy trends include “#PutAFingerDown”.
An article by Reach3 explains how Tiktok has now emerged as a channel for people, especially, Gen Z (born from 1995 to 2010), to give political opinions and which serves as a driver of social activism. As a proof of that, a movement that started since 2017 gave birth to trends like #putafingerdown.
Young women are using social media to share their experiences. They use it to tell the world that these harassments, and abuse are happening in reality most often than you think. These teenagers are also using TikTok to reach out help from nonjudgmental users online.
“Put a finger down: Sexual harassment edition”
As part of the movement that started since 2017, a TikTok video has become viral. This video shows a young woman giving different inappropriate situations and experiences being felt by a lot of women. With each situation, she puts her finger down to show that she have experienced that before. Among those include unsolicited dick pics, catcalled, forced to do something sexual when they didn’t want to, begged for nudes, and repeatedly asked out after already saying no. This used the #putafingerdown.
This video was originally posted last March but still viral and liked by half a million users already. Also, teenage users still use this trend to share their own stories about harassment. This is showing how common and evident harassment is in everyday situations.
As explained by The Next Web, studies have shown that 25% of middle school and high school girls experience sexual harassment as early as fifth grade. It then increases in a bothering way to 50% as they enter 8th grade. Lastly, it gives them a figure of 90% of girls that have experienced sexual harassment at least once by the end of high school. This means that 9 out of 10 girls will put a finger down in this trend.
This social issue doesn’t limit to touching or physical harassment, the use of technology to harass girls is also becoming evident. And the more these girls experience being unsafe and harassed, the more they experience emotional distress, fear, lowered self-esteem. It also affects their academic state having experienced these harassments mostly at school.
With the sexual harassment and violence being experienced by women and men of all colors and ages, TikTok is becoming a channel to seek help and be aware. It has parents becoming more careful, it has girls becoming more open to their experiences, and showing people that harassment is never just a joke for others. These short TikTok videos create more impact and can make the world safer.