What does it take to be famous?

PASADENA, California– We all know Tik Tok with its variety of comedy, cooking, singing, dancing and so much more. Likes, comments, followers and verification is what a huge number of users on tik tok strive for on their way to being “Tik Tok famous”.

 The most common and effective way to gain fame is by doing challenges. Challenges can be simple and fun, but some have led kids of all ages to harm themselves and others, commit crime, and in some cases even die. 

Tik Tok users under the age of 18 can be easily convinced to recreate viral videos on their “for you page”. Two young girls died after allegedly taking part in the “blackout challenge” on TikTok. The trend that encourages you to choke yourself until you pass out with the promise of a “rapturous” or euphoric feeling has been connected to numerous deaths and severe injuries. 

Tik Tok subsequently banned the blackout hashtags and video uploads though fears that it will return with different hashtags and continue to encourage participation . 

This is not the only challenge that has endangered a minor’s life. One involves Orbeez which are superabsorbent polymers that grow to 100 times their original size when submerged in water. The “orbeez challenge” involves filling a toy gun with frozen orbeez that can be dangerous upon impact.  . 

In June 2022, two teenagers were arrested for shooting at civilians with an Orbeez gun which was inspired by their “For You Page” on Tik Tok. Pointing any firearm at civilians, even a toy plastic gun, is a felony and has dangerous consequences.  

Social media trends aren’t the only thing that are making kids harm themselves. There have been reports of children and teens suffering from extreme depression and cyberbullying. As a result users have  filmed themselves committing suicide for views.

TikTok has acknowledged the dangerous trend and has adjusted their policies in response: Their community guidelines state:  

“Content that encourages or promotes suicide or self-harm hoaxes are also not allowed. This includes alarming warnings that could cause panic and widespread harm. We will remove such warnings, while allowing content that seeks to dispel panic and promote accurate information about such hoaxes.”

Suicide is one of the largest causes of death from kids to young adults. If you know anybody who is suffering from suicde attempts or depression, and want help, call 988, the recently instituted mental health hotline. This number is a national suicide prevention hot line. Another number is the Crisis Hotline: Text HOME to 741741.


Here are some ways to stay safe while you are scrolling through social media.