TikTok’s teens want to be famous. But at what cost?

“Chasing Status” is the primary episode of a brand new CBS Studies documentary collection “Are the Children All Proper?” which explores the transformational shifts confronted through lately’s adolescence, in their very own phrases. Watch it within the video participant above, or move it at the CBS Information app or Paramount+.

Jiggy Turner is probably the most well-known particular person in West Virginia. Or a minimum of, he thinks he’s.

“I imply social media-wise, I am probably the most well-known,” he stated. “However there is Steve Harvey. He is lovely well-known too.”

At 16, Turner accumulated over 600,000 fans at the social media platform TikTok. And that is the reason simply within the closing two years. His surprising recognition at the app has ended in profitable logo offers and alternatives to behave on display. Through all counts, Turner resides the dream.

“Each child needs to be well-known,” he joked. “Who needs to paintings a 9-to-5?”

Jiggy Turner
Jiggy Turner

CBS Information

Turner is a part of a rising wave of youth influencers eschewing conventional profession paths in desire of an opportunity at famous person. In a fresh survey, 54% of Era Z stated they would love to grow to be an influencer, and 86% expressed passion in posting social media content material for cash. 

However lawmakers around the nation are involved that common social media apps may well be making a psychological well being disaster for The usa’s adolescence. In his State of the Union, President Biden referred to Large Tech’s “nationwide experiment” on kids.  In March, a bipartisan team of state lawyers common introduced an investigation into TikTok’s affect on children and youths as a part of a client coverage initiative. It is the most recent growth of efforts to enact better coverage for children on-line. 

“As kids and youths already grapple with problems of tension, social power, and despair, we can not permit social media to additional hurt their bodily well being and psychological well-being,” stated Massachusetts Lawyer Common Maura Healey, one of the most AGs main the investigation. 

In September 2021, leaked paperwork from Fb published knowledge on destructive results of the corporate’s Instagram app on younger customers, with teenager women bearing the brunt. (Fb’s mum or dad corporate, which has since been renamed Meta, stated Instagram “is helping many teenagers who’re suffering with probably the most toughest problems they enjoy.”) One results of the whistleblower’s revelations was once the creation of the Children On-line Protection Act, a invoice that will require the corporations to create options that give protection to children from the worst of social media. 

Layla Ann VanHooser has firsthand wisdom of the darker facet of social media. The 13-year-old received more or less 100,000 fans at the app Musical.ly, which predated TikTok. In the beginning, the app was once a large number of a laugh. However as soon as Musical.ly was once bought through TikTok, VanHooser’s fan base shifted, and he or she struggled to discover a new target market that may attach along with her content material. 

The vast majority of her lovers left certain feedback. “I’d listen, oh my gosh, this woman’s so humorous,” she recalled. However a lot of her new fans had lower than type issues to mention, calling her “recoil” or insulting her look. On the time, she was once handiest 11 years outdated, and the feedback stung. “My folks advised me I wasn’t allowed to take a look at the feedback,” she stated. (Not like TikTok, Musical.ly didn’t prohibit content material for customers beneath 13.)

Layla Ann VanHooser

CBS Information

VanHooser has used humor to snicker off the bullies, one way that has resonated along with her lovers. “As soon as, I were given “no eyebrows,” stated VanHooser. So she made a TikTok with Sharpie-drawn eyebrows taped onto her fance. “It was once like, now my eyebrows are right here,” she joked. “It was once actually humorous. Plus, I do have eyebrows! The ones feedback made no sense.”

Now that VanHooser is 13, the minimal age for posting movies on TikTok, she is the usage of her comedy and dance to broadcast her anti-bullying message. “TikTok is for everybody,” she beamed. “That is the message I’ve for different women.”

Even with the nasty feedback, when requested if she want to be well-known, VanHooser does not pass over a beat. 

“I need to be well-known. I’d be so excited if I were given the blue mark,” she stated, relating to the tiny image of verification that the app bestows on its maximum outstanding customers.

Layla appears at a TikTok video

CBS Information

Scaling again social media use amongst teenagers may turn out to be a herculean job. More or less 37.3 million American teenagers use TikTok. The typical TikTok person spends over 24 hours staring at content material at the app each and every month. 

“I can’t sit down via a film for the lifetime of me,” stated VanHooser.  However she stated she will be able to simply spend 4 hours at the app in one sitting. “I simply  sit down there and scroll.” Even with the occasional bully, the app, she stated, merely cannot be beat.

A setback — and a brand new starting

After two years of establishing up his follower base, Jiggy’s account was once banned, reputedly in a single day. A self-described “hacker” focused him with a bot assault, ceaselessly flagging Jiggy’s account for violations till in the end TikTok merely closed the account. Then the hacker began a brand new account. 

“He mainly stole my footage, my movies,” Jiggy stated. “After which he began taking cash for promos.”  

Jiggy’s inbox was once quickly flooded with indignant emails from would-be shoppers, perplexed that they hadn’t observed the promised promo on Jiggy’s account. The hacker, he stated, had stolen their cash. “I think love it’s actually broken my recognition.”

However Jiggy continues to be positive. He is notified TikTok of the incident and is attempting to get better his account. Within the period in-between, he is began a brand new account. To this point it is simply 50,000 fans, however it is selecting up steam speedy. Jiggy says it is been crucial lesson. 

“In a large number of tactics, beginning over has been releasing. Like, I will be able to submit no matter I need. I do not simply wish to stay my outdated lovers glad.” 

His new lovers relate to the brand new Jiggy, who is older and wiser than when he first began out on TikTok two years in the past. 

“It is been laborious, however it is a possibility too,” he stated. He is nonetheless assured he’ll make it. 

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