If you need proof that today’s culture is sick, just look to TikTok.

If you need proof that today’s young people are on track to becoming the sickest, most disturbed generation of all time, consider these shocking numbers:

69% of US teens are on the short-form video sharing app.

90% of users use it every day for an average of 89 minutes per day.

For anyone who knows anything about the app, the fact that young people are spending so much time on the platform should be concerning. To quote the New York Post: “Humanity has hit Tok bottom.”

Parents are now suing TikTok after their pre-teen daughters tragically died while participating in one of the app’s many challenges, the Blackout Challenge. According to the lawsuit, “TikTok has specifically curated and determined that these Blackout Challenge videos – videos featuring users who purposefully strangulate themselves until losing consciousness – are appropriate and fitting for small children.”

These TikTok challenges, which can range from stupid to physically harmful, have taken the internet by storm. They are especially popular with younger demographics.

The Benadryl Challenge sees young people intentionally overdosing on antihistamine in an attempt to induce hallucinations. Many have warned that large doses of Benadryl can cause “serious problems” and in some cases even be fatal. Videos of the Full Face Wax Challenge encourage viewers to completely cover their faces with wax only to rip it all off, which, in addition to being unnecessarily painful, can obstruct one’s ability to breathe and damage the skin.

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Other TikTok challenges are sexual in nature and can result in scarring consequences for those who participate. In the Silhouette Challenge, young girls, often nude, make sexy poses while backlit so that only their naked silhouette is visible. Unfortunately, these videos can be edited by malicious viewers to reveal more than the girls meant to show.

In addition to its idiotic challenges and sexualized content, TikTok has also become a depressing showcase of mental illness. Especially for young people, this has normalized and even glamorized a whole slew of mental disorders and disabilities, and for those who crave sympathy and to be noticed–many of whom gravitate toward social media platforms like TikTok–taking on one of these illnesses is the perfect plea for attention.

It’s not that all of these people are faking their conditions per se. But by exposing kids and teens to this content, we introduce them to a world where “sick” is normal, eating disorders are cool, and depression is attractive.

It’s one thing to raise awareness about these issues. That’s not what TikTok does. TikTok merely breeds more sickness, turning mental disorders into a social contagion.

At the time of this writing, the TikTok hashtag #BPD (borderline personality disorder) has 5.6 billion views. The #DID (dissociative identity disorder) hashtag has close to 2 billion.

Tourette syndrome TikTok videos have also become popular. Beginning in the early months of the pandemic, doctors noticed a massive uptick in the number of teenage girls who had developed severe tics. The bizarre phenomenon was quickly traced back to TikTok–specifically to a consumption of content created by influencers who document their Tourette syndrome.

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In one particular case, researchers noted that young girls had inexplicably developed a tic that caused them to blurt out the word “beans.” They soon discovered a popular TikToker with millions of followers had the exact same tic. Since Tourette’s is largely genetic and starts during childhood, this seems to confirm that the illness may have become somewhat of a social contagion.

Mental illness abounds on TikTok. Considering the amount of time teens spend consuming this content, we shouldn’t be surprised that the app can be detrimental to their psychological well-being–especially when mental illness has become “trendy.”

I sympathize with the parents whose children were tragically lost after watching senseless TikTok videos. Further, I am not altogether opposed to the government taking certain actions against TikTok (even if only for how the app shares user data with the Chinese Communist Party).

That being said, it isn’t necessarily the government’s job to keep kids safe on TikTik; it’s the parents’ responsibility.

Even as a nationwide investigation is launched into TikTok and Congress holds a Senate hearing on the harmful effect social media has on teenagers, the problem would be alleviated if parents would only take responsibility and monitor or restrict their children’s use of the platform.

TikTok is destroying our culture one stupid video at a time; it’s this generation’s favorite addiction. But we don’t need government intervention to fix the problem. Keeping your kid–or maybe even yourself–off the app would do far more good than that.

Jakob Fay is a former SIA Coordinator and current writer for the Convention of States Project, a project of Citizens for Self-Governance