Column: Can TikTok change people’s lives?

Maddie Zimmerman, Staff Writer

I’ve heard people say that because of all the time spent scrolling mindlessly on TikTok, the app is harmful, and even ruining users’ lives.

Issues with TikTok range from an unhealthy comparison among young girls to overconsumption and spending problems. Many people don’t talk about the flipside – how TikTok can change peoples’ lives for the better. 

Social media influencers dominate the online space. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to be a social media influencer? Unless you have a fear of being on camera, chances are you have thought about what life would be like. You get to work with your favorite brands, go on trips, work remotely and have the opportunity to make a lot of money all while being yourself.

People’s lives have completely changed since social media influencers started gaining popularity. Lloyd Devereux Richards’ daughter, Marguerite, posted a video on TikTok about her dad’s book that had very little sales. Richard has now not only sold out his novel, but is the number one mystery/thriller book on Amazon’s book bestsellers list in both the U.S. and Canada. 

Richards took 14 years to write his first novel “Stone Maidens.” His daughter posted the TikTok after Richards finished his second novel. Currently, the TikTok video has over 10 million likes and over 45.9 million views. Richards’ TikTok account, run by his daughter, has over 341.5K followers. Richards’ life is now forever changed all because of a 30-second video about him.

The two posted a second video update after the first went viral. In the video, Richards thanked everyone for supporting him and said he couldn’t believe this happened to him. He was even crying from all the kind comments he received. The two said they were incredibly overwhelmed that this even happened, but in a good way.

They’ve been showing more updates on Richards’ TikTok and it’s been amazing to follow along with his success story. 

With all the hate and horrific news going on right now, it’s enlightening to see someone get the praise they deserve and the spotlight put on someone with good intentions. I wish that all social media looked like this. Instead of tearing people down, we were building people up.

TikTok is an easy way to promote a business, idea or talent. Richards’ story is just one of an abundance of TikTok users who have had their lives changed for the better due to TikTok.