The most powerful and enticing aspect of social media is its ability to connect millions of people worldwide. Although sometimes overwhelming, the internet has shown time and time again how people can cooperate to achieve stunning things. TikTok, with over a billion users, is no exception. From creating new trends to launching careers, the app has allowed viewers to create a lasting impact on others’ lives. In some cases, users can even rescue them. Here are four instances when TikTok was able to save someone’s life.
A New Hampshire teen was able to save the life of a boy over 800 miles away thanks to TikTok. 13-year-old Caden Cotnoir was scrolling through the app when he began watching 12-year-old Trent Jarret’s live stream. The West Virginia boy was casually filming his four-wheeling ride when suddenly he suddenly crashed his ATV.
“All of a sudden his phone goes kind of blank,” Contoir told WMUR-TV. “You can see a bit of light and you can just hear him calling for help.”
In the midst of the chaos, Jarret began yelling out his grandparent’s house phone number, as it was the only one he could remember at the time. Thankfully, Cotnoir was able to send a virtual call for help. Jarret’s parents were able to find their son, who had been trapped under the ATV for around twenty minutes.
“I’d just like to thank him for everything that he’s done,” Jarret said to WMUR-TV.
Although a large portion of TikTok is dedicated to entertainment, many videos can often be educational. Creators share knowledge on every subject and craft, including street smart hacks.
Those tips and tricks can not only make your life easier, they can sometimes save it.
Just this month, a 16-year-old was able to utilize a TikTok hand gesture that led to her rescue. The missing girl flashed the sign while in the car with her 61-year-old kidnapper.
The “Signal for Help” was developed by the Canadian Women Foundation for victims of domestic abuse. The girl had seen a video demonstrating how to use it: holding their hand up with, tucking their thumb in, and then closing the remaining four fingers over it.
The teen said she used the sign over and over again until someone recognized it. A driver then tipped off police, leading to the arrest of James Herbert Brick.
Deputy Gilbert Acciardo, a spokesperson for the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office, told WHAS it is a “wonderful tool” that can help save even more lives.
“Now that this story has been put out,” Acciardo said, “we think people will use this universally as a distress signal and that’s great. Something good came out of all of this.”
When avid TikTok user Alex Griswold posted another humorous skit depicting married life, he wasn’t expecting to get his life saved. His “what it’s like being married” video showed a short clip of his wife popping a back pimple, where an abnormal-looking mole was spotted.
Two viewers reached out to Griswold to warn him of a possibly cancerous lesion, one of them being Lizzie Wells. A former melanoma survivor and prospective neurosurgeon, Wells commented on the video and then emailed Griswold.
The 27-year-old went to a dermatologist who performed a biopsy and identified the mole as atypical and could develop into melanoma. Griswold was then able to remove it shortly afterward.
“Because of two kind strangers I avoided skin cancer,” Griswold said in a later video.
However, TikTok would end up saving his life once again. When Griswold went to remove stitches from his first procedure, doctors discovered another mole that could possibly be cancerous. He credits the app for catching both moles, telling viewers to remember that “good people do exist, and you can change someone’s life.”
Outside the US, people are also using TikTok as a means to seek help and support. 27-year-old Jade Jules took to the app to ask about a mysterious sign outside her home in Newfoundland, Canada. She had noticed that “1F” was written in the snow on top of her garbage bin.
After posting the symbol to TikTok, several viewers warned Jules that it was likely left by gangs. Many speculated that the “1F” represented “one female” to let robbers know that the house was an easy target.
One user wrote, “means you’re being watched, be careful,” while others urged her to wipe the bin. Jules then called the police who cleared the snow and cautioned her to stay safe. She then informed followers in a later video that she decided to stay with her mom for a while.
“My followers definitely saved my life,” Jules told The Metro. “I thought people on TikTok would know and help me, which they did. I’m very thankful.”