YORK, Pa. — When she’s not teaching, Tralana Mace is making TikTok videos with her 11-year-old son Joseph for their 12,000 followers.
“I do motivational messages in the morning, and then him and I do our joke time in the evening, and then I do some of the fun TikTok stuff in the middle," Mace said.
Her son also has an account of his own that he uses just to watch videos.
“The problem with that is that it exposes him to a lot of things that he otherwise would not be exposed to," she said.
She says videos of dangerous challenges are on the app. Sometimes those videos can turn deadly or contain sexual or violent content.
“I oftentimes am not far away and I’m monitoring," Mace said.
She hopes that when her son decides to create TikToks of his own, she can serve as an example.
“I try to be very mindful of what I’m posting so that they can see that you don’t have to do that kind of stuff to be moderately successful with getting likes and views," Mace said.
Experts say they’re seeing more and more kids getting involved in dangerous situations just for the sake of a TikTok.
“We’ve had some patients that have come in because of some of these challenges and/or they do things trying to get noticed," Anthony Marucco, a licensed social worker at Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital said.
So what is driving these kids to the extreme?
“The more likes, the better a person is going to feel and if they don’t have enough likes, they have to figure out the thing they need to change to be able to get more likes and sometimes that’s about upping the ante," Marucco said.
Experts recommend parents keep an open line of communication with their kids about the dangers of TikTok and social media.