Time is ‘Tik’-ing

Senate Bill 686 scours the U.S., affecting students across the country


A rising topic that has brought attention to many people on the internet is the bill that focuses on banning apps that may pose a threat to the U.S. A group of senators revealed a bipartisan legislation that is called the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act. The act can also be known as S.686.

This means President Joe Biden has the legal authority to ban or restrict any apps that have relations to foreign companies like China, Cuba and North Korea, along with others.

Although TikTok was not directly mentioned in the bill, it still raises concerns among many users of that app, including students at SHS.

Junior Sal Lynch tries to stay off of TikTok as much as she can, so she limits herself to about an hour on the app each day. 

“I think some people would be okay with it, they could live without it,” Lynch said. “But I think others may feel offended or very passionate about it.”

Sophomore Christal Anderson said that although the potential ban of the app may not impact her as much as other people, she feels as though she’ll miss it. 

“I think it would take me some time to get used to it if it’s not on my phone,” Anderson said.  “It’s entertaining when you’re bored or just want something to do.” 

Many parents are seen supporting the decision of the TikTok ban, which was expected by some students.

Junior Paola Rodriguez feels that in the beginning, she and many others may feel upset that one of their sources of entertainment is no longer available. 

“It’ll be upsetting in the beginning,” Rodriguez said. “But I think people will eventually find other things to spend time on.”

She believes that students may be able to find a new platform to move onto if the ban went through.

Even though Lynch could cope without having TikTok on her phone with her wherever she goes, many students do not feel that way.

Sophomore Victoria Rwizi spends about four hours a day on TikTok. If the bill were to impact the app, Rwizi feels that she would feel really upset.

I mean, it’s all I do during my free time. I would probably feel like crying.

— Sophomore Victoria Rwizi

“I mean, it’s all I do during my free time,” Rwizi said. “I would probably feel like crying.”

Rwizi personally feels that the choice of banning TikTok would be a poor decision to make, since many users love the app. 

“I would probably not move on,” Rwizi said, “I would begin watching Instagram reels or something.”

Some places like Auburn University have already placed their own ban of TikTok. The Auburn administration restricted the usage of TikTok on devices if they are connected to the school’s Wi-Fi.

Montana is the first state to pass legislation banning TikTok on personal devices. That does not mean that the ban will be enforced, but there are definitely risks. 

Parents have also started their own protest against Tiktok, calling it ‘moms against Tiktok’. These parents believe that the app is a danger and threat to kids’ safety.

While many parents are glad about the ban, there are some parents who believe that it may go against the First Amendment. 

Junior Marren Brown’s mother, Tracey Brown, talks about how banning TikTok may be an impractical goal in a text message.

“Talk of asking the platform to, instead, sell to a company the US views as less threatening.” Brown said. 

Brown feels that if the ban were to be a success, she would see it as somewhat independent of academic success. 

“Any overuse of social media platforms speak more deeply to a student’s inability to exercise general self discipline over their choices of focusing on academics.” Brown said.

Although parents are angry over TikTok, Brown does not feel that it gets in the way of academics any more than any other social media platform.

“I think we should start a trend on Twitter,” Rwizi said. “#StopTikTokFromGettingBanned.”

Users on TikTok have already started expressing their anger and disagreement towards the ban because of their love for the app. 

One of the many reasons why users love the app is because there are many ways for people to share their interests and experiences.

TikTok is usually a place where people find themselves being able to express their opinions.

— Junior Sal Lynch

“TikTok is usually a place where people find themselves being able to express their opinions,” Lynch said. 

As expected, influencers on TikTok are protesting against the ban. Users talk about the opportunities and success the app has brought them.

“It’s a powerful tool for young creators,” Lynch said.