Devious Lick: The Disturbingly Dangerous Trend

Tik-Tok, a popular social media app among teenagers, known for its mostly short and to the point videos, has recently housed an unsettling new style of video.


Henry Wilkins, Paw Print Reporter

With most teens in the United States going back to school for the first time in more than a year, a built up impulsiveness is starting to show its ugly head.  

A trend that emerged on September 1st (New York Times) called “Devious Licks”, has sparked an unprecedented surge of nationwide vandalism against private property, especially schools. The gist of the videos are simple,  someone blatantly films themselves stealing something, explicit music is played over it, and the person almost always reveals their identity at the end. A perfect plan… if your goal is to be arrested. Things being stolen include: ceiling tiles, floor tiles, sinks, soap dispensers, parts of toilets, stalls, and other classroom materials.  

Giulia Heyward from the New York Times wrote, “To school administrators, the thefts are not what they want to deal with right now, just weeks into the new school year, with the virus and learning loss and other pressures bearing down. And to some social watchers, the trend is a sign perhaps, of what teenagers are feeling, about the disruptions and powerlessness in their lives.” Taking your anger out on a place where you have to spend most of your time is puzzling. What are you going to do when you want to wash your hands and a sink isn’t there? What about a hand sanitizer dispenser? A bathroom stall and toilet paper? You are causing everyone, including yourself, an inconvenience.”

These types of videos have garnered millions of views, which has only added to the mob of people eager for attention. It has publicly been stated by authorities including the Norwalk Public Schools Superintendent, that being identified as a culprit will result in serious repercussions. I don’t think you need the Superintendent to spell it out for you, but if you get caught vandalizing property, it will be on your permanent record for life. And to think some kids are doing these things for a couple of quick views.

Ending this story on a hopeful note, to fight back against Devious Licks, there has been a counter-trend on Tik-Tok called Angelic Yields. People mostly go into bathrooms and donate  soap dispensers, leave decorations, and put free money in places where others would find it.  It does bring a smile to my face, mostly because of the pure juxtaposition and irony of these two trends coexisting, but it does nonetheless.  In a perfect world all trends would stay like this, but Tik-Tok is definitely not a perfect world.  Remember that your actions have consequences.  Even your good actions.