The social media app TikTok has recently been consistently in the news due to the government’s conversations surrounding banning the app. The app is run by the Chinese company ByteDance, and there have been recent investigations launched into the possibility of the Chinese government collecting user data. Now, the House of Representatives is threatening to ban TikTok if ByteDance doesn’t make some ethical changes for its users.

For college students, TikTok is one of the most popular apps for the age group. Here at “The Outlook,” all of the editors have used TikTok at one point in their lives. A majority of editors reported using the app for an hour to an hour and a half a day, two reported using it for two hours, and one editor did admit to using the app for six to eight hours a day. In contrast, one editor reported, “I don’t use TikTok anymore. I used to use it, but when the whole spyware TikTok allegations happened, I’d rather be safe than sorry.”

Long before these allegations, people have advocated for the removal of TikTok due to its addictive tendencies for the younger, more impressionable generations.

“I definitely think the TikTok algorithm is very addictive,” one editor said. “It’s so individually tailored to the user that it’s hard to pull yourself away from the screen when every video is perfectly selected for your interests…Doom scrolling has been a thing since the start of social media. I remember doing the exact same thing when Instagram was first introduced, so I’m not sure this argument really stands as one that can justify banning the app when Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter do the same thing.”

“I think TikTok is definitely addictive,” explained another editor. “The algorithm is curated to your personal preferences, so it keeps you entertained for hours.”

At “The Outlook,” editors are tied on whether the app would be better off gone. One editor argued, “I don’t support the ban at all and think it’s a waste of time. This ban shows just how effective the government can be when it actually wants to accomplish something; something pointless, at that. There are children dying in schools, unnecessary wars being supported, and restrictions on women’s reproductive healthcare nationwide. That’s just scratching the surface. Yet, those in charge think TikTok is the biggest threat right now? Give me a break.”

In opposition, another editor states, “The removal of the app will probably benefit multiple generations. I think it would be better to see it go before everyone’s brains start deteriorating and no one can hold an attention span longer than 15 seconds.”

Opinions and personal preferences aside, none of the editors believe that the government will actually ban TikTok from the app store.

“I don’t think TikTok will be banned. If they do, they know the general public will cause such an uproar that they wish they hadn’t,” said one editor.

Another agreed, “Ultimately [I don’t believe there will be a ban] because I have seen people protest and take to news outlets on how it’s a way of income for them.”

Even if officials were to get rid of TikTok, citizens would just divert their attention to another addicting app. If this were the case, the editors all agreed that they would go over to Instagram Reels, a section of Instagram that implements videos in the same design and layout as TikTok. In this way, the effects of TikTok will almost never be discontinued, but rather changed.