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The little ones sing, act and dance through the filter of TikTok, the Chinese social network launched in September 2016. The tiktokers by tens of thousands of followers: “It frees our imagination, we have so much fun”. But the psychotherapist: “Attention to children in the growth phase. It is as if we dived into a parallel dimension where everything makes sense”

The EMOTION experienced at the recitation of poetry under the Christmas tree in front of parents and relatives may already have become a thing of the past. For some time children and young people have been singing, acting and dancing through the TikTok filter, the Chinese social network launched in September 2016 and now known worldwide. TikTok has 500 million strong users. Use is easy: download the app, create short music clips of varying length between 15 and 60 seconds and wait for likes or comments. Owned by ByteDance, considered the most valuable startup on the planet (75 billion dollars in October 2018), TikTok has incorporated musical.ly and since then receives favors from the youngest users. And it is precisely here, in the age of the users that the most obvious concern lies: the users of the videos are young, not to mention very young (from 6 to 16 years). The risk of encountering delusions of protagonism, emulation or even compulsive use is high.

The characteristics of TikTok – the rapid exposure both physically and narcissistic, match the adolescent need to want to appear and show, in continuous search for approval and self-centeredness. The problem is that TikTok amplifies this need, aggravating it and sometimes making it chronic, transforming these externalities into permanent personality traits.

“Everything can be risky if it is not checked and in fact our videos are filtered and reviewed. I started last December for fun, to look at myself, but now I realize that it is a springboard, a way to be noticed. A kind of curriculum vitae that led me to record my first song “Sagapò” and get Zelig to contact me” – Cecilia says. She feels comfortable talking and laughing in front of the mobile phone screen: the only thing that embarrasses her is when they “make my videos see me again. Strange but true, in those moments I am in complete difficulty.

And it is precisely here, according to the psychotherapist, that one of the many alarm bells resounds: “If they are constantly on display, the development of the self and the definition of the adult identity are formed only through the judgment of an imaginary, virtual public. since in reality there are no likes, one feels lost “.

Daniele Davì, a 19-year-old Milanese tiktoker, is undecided whether to be a director or an actor: he started creating videos three years ago with YouTube together with a friend and now he has reached 500,000 followers on TikTok. “I use social media as a springboard, so I know I won’t stay there forever. Here the target of those who follow you is lower, but you grow much faster. The secret for pleasure is to be as genuine as possible” . On the possibility that being on TikTok risks being considered a demented phenomenon, Daniele has no doubts: “It is very relative. I remember that at the beginning YouTube was also considered negatively. Then it involved more and more people and after a while the general vision has changed: it is only a matter of time “.

Different from Cecilia, with whom he became friends (among creators gatherings for Italy and makes friends), Daniele makes videos with his sister of five and a half next to him (“he is very keen on his age ! “), without having worries about the risk for the little sister of any delusions of protagonism or emulation. “She grew up with me, so she saw this come to life. She has a lively and engaging nature, it was inevitable that she would also show off with social media. It all depends on how users live and what they post”. That of Davì is a point of view that would seem to overlook the need inherent in the human being of physical contact and comparison with the other.

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