Nicki Maher was going through a tough time back in 2020. She was in the middle of a divorce, stuck in the house with her kids. She says she felt a connection with a new app that she discovered called TikTok.

"I created a fake name, NickyUnplugged, and I thought, 'No one in my real life will see me,'" the Somerset woman said. "I thought, 'I'll just play around and try out the app.' I posted a few times and I ended up going from zero followers to over a million followers in six months. I was able to use my humor to connect with others and developed that relatability factor."

Since then, Maher has built her audience up to 2.2 million followers. To put that into perspective, 60 Minutes, one of the most successful TV shows in broadcast history, had 7 million viewers last weekend.  A random mom from Somerset has about a third of the 60 Minutes audience. That's part of the allure of the app.

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What would a TikTok ban mean for Maher?

The clock is ticking for TikTok. President Biden has signed a bill into law that would ban the Chinese-owned app in the United States if it doesn't get sold to an American company. There's a nine-month reprieve to sort it all out, but if nothing changes and TikTok goes away, how would that affect Maher?

READ MORE: Somerset TikTok Mom Went From Jobless to Viral in One Year

"People think I'd be devastated by the news, but I just think I'm in a different place than I was three years ago when the app started popping off," she said. "Whatever happens happens.  As a mother, I think of my kids. Do I want my kids on TikTok? No, I don't.  They don't have their full frontal lobes developed. I can use it because I know exactly who I am. I'm 46 years old, I've done all the work in my life. I know what I want my algorithm to be, so I follow things that make me feel good. That doesn't happen for everybody, though."

The Two Sides to Tik ok

"There are two sides to TikTok," Maher said. "It can be used as a tool for learning, education and connection. Then, there's the side that can strip you of joy, and bring you distraction and not being present with the things we should be present for.

"I can see both sides of the coin."

What Will a Ban Mean for TikTok's Users?

"It's not like we're going to be missing content," Maher said. "There are multiple avenues for content, like YouTube Shorts and Reels. It's really difficult to raise kids in an environment where content is everywhere. It's scary."

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