Kourtney Kardashian’s son Mason Disick has been a reality-TV star since he was born 10 years ago. This month, he joined TikTok, which means that he’s in charge of the cameras for the first time. In doing so, he’s becoming part of a social media trend that may actually turn out to be a great thing for kids, celebrity or otherwise.
I know, I know, we’re supposed to be worried about kids being addicted to their phones, overly exposed online and too susceptible to the feedback loop of social media. But hear me out: While TikTok can be a force for evil just like every other app out there, it can also be a wonderful tool that encourages creativity and collaboration.
In his few weeks on the app, Mason has demonstrated his ability to dance, edit video, and set images to a soundtrack. In his most recent TikTok, he briefly got the whole family involved, including mom Kourtney and some of his younger cousins. This is something we’ve seen from other celebrity parents and kids — Reese Witherspoon and son Deacon, Laura Dern and daughter Jaya, and Courteney Cox and daughter Coco have all danced together for viral TikTok content.
Sure, these videos are short and unpolished, but to make them, the kids had to plan what they were going to do, choreograph their moves, and then teach them to their parents. This is a step above the way celebs and influencers have been making content with their kids on Instagram: set scene, make sure backdrop is perfect, snap or record. Right now, TikTok is an app that rewards creativity and surprise more than it does a beautiful, unattainable lifestyle.
It is very easy to get sucked into the rabbit hole of TikTok, watching video after video, consuming silly meme after meme. And yes, that can lead to the kinds of kid-damaging behavior (such as avoiding/internalizing problems until you actually become depressed and anxious) that experts blame on other forms of social media. But if, with their parents’ encouragement, kids decide to make their own videos, TikTok instead becomes an active rather than passive experience. Both parents and their children can learn how to write a script, create a storyboard, walk through camera angles, choose a soundtrack, and edit. You don’t have to do anything fancy to make a TikTok, but the capabilities are there, so why not? And while YouTube’s unlimited video length and current levels of professionalism might be intimidating to many, TikTok still feels like a wild, kooky place where errors are just fine.
Look, we never imagined that a Kardashian would be our model of creative parenting either. If that disturbs you, just remember: You are following Reese Witherspoon’s example first. And chances are, the kids are going to be gravitating to some form of social media or other — this is your chance to do it with them and make it count for something good. You never know; you might have a future Greta Gerwig on your hands.