How TikTok is negatively affecting NJ small businesses

TikTok is full of trendsetters and it seems as though several have taken their influence too far.

Sure, TikTok has allowed many people all around the world and New Jersey to make a living off of nothing but the app, but it seems to have caused detriment to those who do not.

I think we’ve all realized the negative aspects of other social media platforms but now it’s starting to get serious. Pop-up parties are serious.

Just a few weeks ago several small businesses were forced to close their doors after Long Branch’s Pier Village turned into a TikTok get-together. The party resulted in several arrests, and small businesses closed their doors to avoid the violence.

Pier Village is known to be high-end, picturesque, and above all, safe. The parties make it look otherwise. A cop car was vandalized and there was little to no peace during the most recent party. This isn’t to say parties should no longer be had, but there should never be a “party” where violence occurs.

As you know, this incident was not the first of its kind, as last summer there were a few nearby instances that were similar. Many believe kids are acting this way after being cooped up in quarantine over the past several years, but this is no excuse for the destructive behavior.

Instagram / @ sosactivated

Instagram / @ sosactivated

As much as people try to stop this from happening, they simply cannot. People have the right to gather. Social media has the right to exist. People have the right to travel freely and, unfortunately, cannot be stopped from traveling to New Jersey with bad intentions. As I’ve noted zillions of times, there are bad things that happen in life that simply cannot be prevented.

But I don’t think anybody ever anticipated exactly how much TikTok could influence our lives.

via @maygauthier on Unsplash

via @maygauthier on Unsplash

An article by Erin Vogt on New Jersey 101.5 talked about the pop-up parties and what Long Branch is trying to do to reign them in. It said that the city was even looking into legal action against TikTok and Instagram, for allowing such unauthorized gatherings to be shared so widely.

Long Branch considers legal action after pop up parties (Townsquare Media)

Long Branch considers legal action after pop up parties (Townsquare Media)

Obviously, this would be a futile effort. As someone once wisely said, social media is like shaking out a feather pillow in the wind. Just try to go and collect all those feathers.

The plan now is for parties, if they continue, to be tracked and watched to ensure that no one, and especially no small business or resident, has to be afraid to live their everyday life.

Sure, TikTok is fun. It has some benefits. But we can’t underestimate its range and its influence. And we can no longer rein it in, either. But businesses in Pier Village and in other towns in New Jersey that have been subject to this mayhem are worried about the next time they will have to close their doors and or lose business because of the TikTok “announcements” of pop-up “parties.”

It definitely makes us question how children are seeing and interpreting each piece of media they’re exposed to.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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