By Alexander Lomax
You used to know if you were getting old if you had to tell kids to get off of your lawn. Perhaps now, the proper indicator of getting old is telling kids to get off that TikTok.
You are very likely aware of the TikTok app, one focused on short video content that has taken off with “Zoomers” (the generation after Millennials) and teenagers. Many “TikTok trends” have gone viral; many of them are harmless and silly dances, but some of them have been destructive. Amongst the destructive ones has been the recent trend of stealing or damaging school property, a viral trend called “Devious Licks” (sidenote: we have no idea why it is called that, and would rather not kill brain cells in the quest to find out why). According to Scottsdale Police Sergeant Kevin Quon, this troubling trend has reached Scottsdale schools with damage to restrooms and other school property, and with several police reports filed.
Some social media trends seem to be more designed to get clicks from concerned older people but are not widely adopted, such as the “tide pod challenge”. Indeed, many purported threats to civilized society are indeed designed to scare the Baby Boomer crowd who didn’t grow up with the internet and don’t have the refined nose to sniff out bad clickbait (i.e. no one is giving their marijuana edibles to your kids for Halloween. Absolutely no one). But a quick Google search demonstrates that this is a national trend with a pretty widespread and significant degree of both damage caused and self-inflicted problems for the delinquents dumb enough to show the world how they’re breaking the law.
Indeed, the Information Age has allowed for the best and brightest to excel and take technology to parabolic heights previously unconsidered or deemed science fantasy. On the flip side, it has given EVERYONE a potential voice to use, and some people would do the world a favor by keeping that voice tucked far, far away from civilized society.
So yes, social media is egging on and making viral the destruction of school property, even in our wonderful slice of desert heaven. Perhaps that instead of warning our kids and grandkids about the dangers of drugs, we should remind them about how incredibly stupid it is to break the law and put it on the internet. We can’t help but let out a big, loud sigh and say, “Kids these days…”.