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Motivation for TikTok among Youth: Challenges and Prospects

Malik Mudassar Hussain

Human needs are well documented in literature. One of the scholars who has elaborated these needs is Abraham Maslow. Maslow explained the hierarchy of human needs in the paper titled, “A Theory of Human Motivation” published in Psychological Review. This hierarchy of needs includes physiological needs, safety needs, belongingness and love needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs.

Maslow categorizes the physiological and safety needs as the basic human needs. The security needs include about safety and security of humans. Maslow classifies the belongingness and esteem needs into human psychological needs. Finally, the self-actualization needs are the self-fulfillment needs. These tiers of human needs are interconnected.

In my view, in order to actualize one’s self, there is a need to fulfill the basic and psychological needs which produce the motivation in a human to move forward. There is no problem for the developed nations in terms of basic needs because they have shelters, enough food and clean water. The fulfillment of these basic needs is leading them for the fulfillment of the second tier of needs which are psychological in nature like finding love and relationships. In this way the self-actualization process is easy for an individual in those societies. This is the reason why the academic research productivity is high in these countries.

Individuals in developing countries like Pakistan have not yet achieved the basic human needs.  The discrepancy in these needs is causing less motivation for the true love and belongingness. Result is the escape from real life and finding refuge in artificial lifestyle. Those who are finding these needs with the help of Smartphone or TikTok are just imaginary and unstable. Youth here are seriously in question. Parents and teachers have shown their concerns about the media using habits of these youth for companionship motives for finding partners or love through glamorous self-presentation.

The government of Pakistan had banned the TikTok but because of international and public pressure, they had to reopen it. The views of the people are also different about the ban of TikTok. Few people are of the opinion that TikTok is a platform for earning for youth. These are those people who try to be liberal in the eyes of the people without assessing the situation, they actually have less knowledge of the app and they themselves have utilized it for entertainment. The youth seem TikTok literate but they are not critical TikTok literate.

There is a website called fiverr.com where students can earn and they do not have to demand for likes. With few professional techniques like video editing they can get the projects. With the passage of time they can become professional and can earn handsome. For this, there is need for maturity. By maturity, here I mean the consistency to achieve a particular task. In my observation the youth is one such period in which there is instability of emotions which can result into unstable personality and future.

The youth should have creative habits with them. The purpose of these habits should not be earning but self-actualization and self-actualization can only be achieved when there is self-satisfaction. This level of satisfying ones “self” can be achieved when goes deep inside him or herself to find out what gives him or her the satisfaction. Helping others! Candle making! Dress making! Tie and dye! Fabric painting!  Canvas painting! Glass painting! Weaving! Plant collection! Planting trees! These are few of the activities which can help achieving the purpose.

The youth today will have to consume not more than two hours with the media. In fact. They will have to take out time for their offline-self free from fake mediated self for the self-actualization. There is a famous proverb that man is known by the company he keeps and the company of TikTok will only make the mediated TikTokers and not humans who are capable of understanding one’s self. The youth will have to be critical to all new mobile and smartphone applications and should think before leaping into these oceans and for that they will have to measure the depth of these emerging applications before dwelling into. What is your hobby?

The writer of this article is Lecturer at Department of Media Studies, University of South Asia. He can be contacted at mudassar-hussain@usa.edu.pk


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