How TikTok Has an Addictive Hold on Teens Everywhere


NurPhoto via Getty Images

(Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Julianna Flores, Write

TikTok, the most talked about and popular app of my generation. Its secret lies within the scroll. Every time you watch a video your brain is stimulated for a short amount of time. Constantly your brain is fiending for this short dopamine and serotonin rush. This app seems harmless on the surface, but how detrimental and addictive is it really?

Recently I have deleted TikTok, and when I ask my friends if they would delete it, I was met with an immediate “no,” or they would delete it but shortly return to it. Why does my generation seem so attached to this app? I believe it comes from a fear of missing out. We are genuinely afraid that we will not be a part of a culture if we delete it and that we will be separated from society. It also takes up a good portion of teens’ time. If you look at a teens’ screen time on their phone, TikTok will always be the largest portion of time. Anytime we have free time it’s spent using that app. The addiction of fame also comes into play when you create videos in hopes of making it big. It’s a gambler’s mentality: if I can put in this minimum effort into a big win, it’s worth it.

One of the main reasons I deleted TikTok was because I really sat down with my thoughts and realized how anxious this app made me. Obsessively comparing myself in one video, laughing or crying at another, sending them to my friends, but at the end of the day I couldn’t recall more than 5 videos I had watched. I realized how addicted I had become, and how most teens are, too. Some people see TikTok as bible, as truth, as the end all be all. The internet is a fake reality and we truly do not see what is going on in someone’s life beyond a video. We also use it as an escape; when confronting my anxiety I chose to mindlessly scroll instead of facing my issues.

Now, I’m not saying TikTok is terrible. It has some good, wholesome content and creators. Nonetheless, especially if you are young and still growing, I recommend using TikTok in moderation. Look back and think if you really appreciate the content you are indulging in, and decide for yourself whether or not it’s appropriate.