TikTok has become one of the world’s largest social media platforms used by billions of people. This app is increasingly invading people’s lives and society. All for a good reason, it offers what people are seeking, fast entertainment, and immediate recognition when you post your content. In addition, the TikTok app has become a full-time job for some people.
Many use this app to promote their products and services. TikTok is undoubtedly a popular social media platform, yet it may get addictive and lead to individuals having to deal with TikTok as an addiction issue!
Why Is TikTok so addictive?
“Addiction engineers” is a term used in social media companies. The “engineers” are doing a great job increasing the engagement rate on the platform. They accomplish this by exploiting human behavior and the dopamine reward system.
TikTok uses an algorithm, which monitors the time users spend watching short videos, and which videos get people hooked. In addition, the TikTok app has an addictive structure that becomes dependent on the dopamine fix that urges individuals to repeat the action for pleasure.
So, it is necessary to understand how TikTok affects you and learn how to sustain your resistance and be more active and productive with your time. Even though TikTok is a harmless distraction from everyday life, it can become as addictive as drugs or alcohol, smoking, and other bad habits.
Reasons for TikTok Addiction
TikTok has adopted the same principles that have made gambling addictive. In psychological terms, it’s known as ‘random reinforcement’ – sometimes you win, sometimes you lose- this is how platforms like TikTok function.
A feature of TikTok is its short, eye-catching content which attracts users. TikTok creates a constantly updated and personalized flow of short and entertaining videos. That causes a powerful impact, an immediate surge of dopamine. So, you feel deprived if you do not keep up with the latest viral video. The “For You” button is tailored precisely to suit your interests. It offers the type of content you wish to see using an algorithm based on the videos you’ve watched or interacted with before. It never runs out of content material, and you get what you specifically enjoy on the spot.
Users experience a feeling of euphoria, so the brain soon becomes more reliant on this type of stimulation to induce pleasure. Consequently, it needs more and more TikTok videos and engagement to get the same surge of excitement.
As you feel emotionally rewarded, you join the social media community with just one click on the “Like” or “Share” buttons or by writing a comment. Then, the pleasure center of your brain feels reinforced, and you also sense a feeling of belongingness to a social group. That is very important to people living alone, withdrawn, or feeling isolated from their peers. TikTok can offer some degree of social status and positive reinforcement that becomes addictive in its peculiar way.
But unfortunately, you become a compulsive user, spending too much time on TikTok. That can prove detrimental to other interests or activities, relationships, mental health, and well-being.
TikTok addiction is not the only problem There are more risks involved in the excessive use of TikTok:
- Attention span decline
Continuous use of digital technology, such as TikTok, especially among younger ages who are still developing, can decrease the individual’s attention span. That may happen because the brain receives too much information in such a short time to grasp.
- Detrimental to future opportunities
Overuse of TikTok distracts users from learning, reading, socializing, and other productive activities. The consequences are poorer performance or even fewer career opportunities.
- Loss of other interests
Constant engagement in TikTok distracts from other interests and interactions that help people develop confidence and social skills, which are vital to building solid foundations for future accomplishments.
- Relation conflicts
Too much time spent on TikTok often causes arguments. Families are concerned about the time their members spend on it and the negative impact on their children’s education and social development. Too much controversy might lead to a relationship breakup.
- Impact on physical health
Users spending hours in front of a screen have lower levels of physical fitness, higher obesity rates, and poor eating habits compared with others spending less time scrolling through social media platforms and more time with real people interactions.
- Mental health and well-being
A recent study among youngsters hooked on TikTok revealed that they experience higher rates of anxiety, stress and depression, and weaker working memory than less frequent users. Excessive engagement on TikTok can affect young people’s mental health, and some content of this app can even provoke youth self-harming.
- Hazardous Competitions
Some TikTok users exceed the limit to earn more likes and followers. If inappropriate challenges are requested, it might result in adverse consequences.
- Time Wasted
People addicted to Tiktok spend many hours watching an endless stream of short videos. As a result, they spend time unproductively. So, they become more apathetic, passive, and anti-social.
Useful tips on how to spend less time on TikTok
TikTok app has pros and cons depending on how the users interact with it, just like all social media platforms. We should not ignore the benefits of TikTok but manage the time we spend on it, so it does not interfere with our responsibilities or more essential activities. If you’re concerned about TikTok addiction, take action without delay. TikTok addiction is not easy to put an end to. But you can put an end to it in several ways:
- Understand the reason(s) and the underlying motivations for using TikTok. What is it that prompts and motivates you to use it? You should try to understand what causes so much contentment with TikTok. That alone can help you stop getting addicted to Tiktok.
- Monitor how much time you spend on TikTok to determine if you have a real issue to be concerned about. You may be amazed at how many hours you spend in front of a screen daily.
- You should determine which content builders do not provide honest and valuable information and press the “Unfollow” button.
- Try to limit the time you spend on TikTok by using it at different hours, based on other more significant activities and workloads.
- Do not expect overnight results. Set goals just by reducing the amount of time spent each day. If you can’t stick to it, set up an app blocker on your phone. You can set a time limit on your smartphone on how many hours or how long you can use the app every day. By doing so, you can regulate the amount of time. So once the time reaches out, you’ll not be able to access the app.
- Shift your focus away from the screen to other activities. You need to maintain your interests focused on activities other than Tiktok, such as spending more time with your friends and family, talking or doing something together, going out for a meal, to a movie, etc.
- Get involved in other pursuits in your free time instead. Spend more time outdoors, go hiking, and appreciate nature more. Get active; do sports, go to the gym, play football, or join yoga classes. Take a class at a local center and use your time to benefit. Start a new hobby without the need for the internet. Create a new daily routine away from the screen.
- Finally, if nothing works and you still waste a lot of valuable time, consider deleting this app, at least for a while. When you don’t see the TikTok app, you will not use it. It can be that simple!
We need to raise our digital awareness
TikTok itself does not cause any harm, but it is how people are using it. Many users benefited from this app, by sharing their talents, promoting their work, and increasing their income. In addition, TikTok is relatively safer than other social media apps regarding cybersecurity. TikTok, being a popular social media platform, can be highly addictive.
It is our responsibility to use technology beneficially and build awareness of the consequences technology has on our life, family, health, environment, and society as a whole. Do not let TikTok take over other aspects of your life. You can spend less time on TikTok and still benefit from it.