My TikTok Addiction

January 4, 2021

The time is 9:30 on a Monday morning. Instead of rushing to get ready for school, I unlock my phone, immediately tapping on the Tik Tok app. I spend every spare moment–between classes, on lunch breaks, and after school– on that app, mindlessly scrolling through videos, double tapping to give a like and leaving comments. I have an addiction, and I honestly don’t want to get rid of it.

Even though it takes up all my time, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Tik Tok has influenced virtually everything about me, from my humor to the way I look and act. I find myself constantly referencing tik toks, and all my jokes are based off of what I see on the app. I became a VSCO girl in 2019, screaming “and I oop- sksksks,” and “save the turtles” on a daily basis. I spend a lot of my time trying to come up with funny, relatable content to post, hoping to get likes and one day go viral.

I’ve picked up certain slang and mannerisms as well; for example, I slap my hand on my mouth whenever I find something funny, a common trend on a tik tok. Walking around the house, I subconsciously start doing the renegade and hit the dice roll, or do other tik tok dances. The same 15 second clips of sound constantly replay in my mind as I go about my day.

Melissa Vital (’23)

Tik Tok has shaped me into the person I am today, and without it, I wouldn’t know who I am. Each video on the for you page is specifically catered “for you,” and I find the content relatable and hilarious. The app contains a wide variety of videos, varying from informational content to humorous, to just fun dancing videos. The complex algorithm has introduced me to so many new things. I have broadened my music taste, listening to artists like Megan Thee Stallion and Clairo, of whom I had never heard of before Tik Tok. The app has taught me new skills, such as cooking and photography, and given me helpful tips to broaden my horizons and explore those skills!

The platform gives one the ability to connect with those who are also interested in the same topics through the comment section. Even if I only interact with a person who is a complete stranger once, it feels as though I have known them forever, and we connect on a deeper level.

Along with these quick little interactions, TikTok also opens up the possibility of making long lasting “internet” friendships. Some of my closest friends have been introduced to me through TikTok. One of my internet friend groups all share a common interest in the same musical artist, and after meeting in a video comment section, we decided to exchange our other socials and became close friends. Another group of my internet friends all met on a TikTok live and upon discovering we had a lot in common, made a groupchat.

Being on TikTok also provides an outlet to escape from the pressures of school and daily life. Scrolling through the for you page is relaxing, and seeing others’ videos about how they go through the same things provides comfort. I can post my own videos, complaining or just talking about my life, and find that others relate to a lot of the same things I do. That sense of community and relaxation is what makes TikTok so great. You get to escape the real world, and enter into a virtual, peaceful, and entertaining world where you can express yourself freely and connect with others.

That’s not to say TikTok doesn’t have its flaws; it is full of them. TikTok can be very damaging to mental health, with its videos of unrealistic beauty standards, and tons of clickbait videos telling people how to get rid of their “insecurities.”

However, it also contains videos that have the opposite effect. Accounts like @feelempowered, started by Miranda Rosenbaum (’23), an East student, use TikTok to uplift and inspire others to be confident in themselves. This account, and others like it, help to combat the hate and harmful effects of TikTok, making the app a far more positive and better place.

Overall, TikTok’s positive aspects outweigh the negatives. It affects one’s personality, humor, and appearance. It creates a safe space for people to escape stress, forming a virtual world specifically catered to the user. TikTok’s variety of informational, humorous, and uplifting videos creates the opportunity for people to learn new skills as well as post their own content. The app fosters connections with others, whether they be short term or long term. So I’ll continue to spend every waking moment on TikTok, feeding into my addiction with no regrets.

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