CAPE CORAL, Fla. — President Donald Trump is planning to ban popular social media app Tik Tok. The announcement was made Friday at a press conference.
Tik Tok is wildly popular here in the United States with over 100 million Americans using the platform daily. The creative video app, previously named Musicsal.ly, rose to fame in 2017 after Chinese media company ByteDance purchased Musical.ly from its creators.
The app is now at the center of a national security conversation as President Trump expressed his concerns that ByteDance is storing the data of millions of American users and sharing this information with the Chinese government. Currently, the app is blocked from all government employee phones.
Tik Tok is most popular with children and teens who love to post viral dance videos. But for one business owner, the app offers much more.
Kayleigh Carter is a hairstylist and a social media maven. She’s grown a large following online by posting hair tutorials and client before and after pictures.
"I've done some hair videos on there too that people love. I really just enjoy being creative all-around, so just being able to see that people are watching and I’m getting views on the videos is good," says Carter.
As the owner of Simply Slayed salon, she then turns those video views into cash.
"People have really leveraged being able to use the app for content creation and grow their business and brands from it," says Carter, "It gives people an exciting way to watch content."
Talks about the ban are not going over well for other members of the Carter household. The app is designed to lure in younger people, and as a result, it can become addictive.
"Oh my kids are obsessed with Tok Tok, obsessed! Every time she gets on my phone she’s just scrolling on Tik Tok watching dance videos. Laughing! I’ve caught her watching the same videos over and over," says Carter.
Alise Bartley, FGCU expert in family counseling, says this is a great opportunity for parents to assess how much access and alone time they allow their children to spend on apps like Tik Tok. She says too much screen time can be harmful to a child’s development.
"When we're not interacting with others we know that it negatively impacts our development and how we feel about ourselves. When we finally say no and its a matter of unplugging so it no longer works or locking up keyboards or locking up other devices," says Bartley.
She also says this can bring on aggressive behavior.
"Kids can become really aggressive because this is something that gives them an incredible amount of pleasure and whether it moves to addiction or not is on an individual basis," says Bartley.
To prevent this, Kayleigh says she only allows her daughters, Dakota and Journie, to use the app when they are together as a family, a time she considers as bonding.
"My kids, they’re younger so I can sensor the amount of time that they’re using it the app. For me, if she’s like ‘Mommy can I watch Tik Tok right now?’, I can say yeah, and control the content that she’s watching," says Carter.
Fox News is reporting that President Trump will only allow Tik Tok to continue in the U.S. if it is sold to Microsoft or another acceptable company by September 15. If his requests are not met, the app will be banned in the United States.