The 15 second addiction which took over the world by storm

The addiction that has been downloaded over two billion times, has over 800 million active users and is being used by most individuals for 52 minutes per day, has definitely consumed and taken over people’s daily lives. Whether it’s at the crack of dawn, prior to a meeting, or before an individual sleeps, TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms that has been acknowledged by people all over the world.

It is safe to say that addiction overall is never seen in a positive light. Unfortunately, TikTok’s strategy is addiction by using three basic factors which leads to people becoming hooked. Firstly, the unpredictability and variety TikTok has is based on being presented by a new unknown video which would typically be one that is of interest to you, particularly due to the algorithm technique used. This system uses cookies to find topics which may interest you and blows up your public section which is also known as the ‘For You’ page. This consists of related videos and issues that TikTok typically gathers for each individual through the use of observing videos you may like or comment on and then find a common interest, such as an individual who shows interests in interior design would then find his for you page flooded with trendy videos about the same topic. The second factor is brevity, the clips are very brief and are usually 15 seconds long which further strengthens the possibility of an individual blowing through hundreds of videos in a quick session, therefore since the videos are of a short length, this not only boosts the views but keeps one hooked. Thirdly it bases itself on ease, it’s as simple as flicking with one’s thumb, it becomes similar to sitting at a slot machine, hoping it’s going to ‘hit’ something great.

It is said that TikTok further boosts its addictiveness by blowing up the most random video by showing it on various individuals’ ‘for you’ pages and gathering over millions of views on a specific persons 15 second video, which then makes a person even more hooked to the application, which leads to them continuously posting to gain fame and attention all due to one specific video. This further creates frustration and could possibly lead to the individual posting negative hateful videos, especially since in today’s society negative content tends to gather astonishing views and likes. This could also lead to mental health disorders in those who gain fame from TikTok, and has also occurred in the present which is seen through TikTokers then deleting the application and developing mental illness such as depression.

Apart from mental health illnesses, disorders such as body dysmorphia have also increased due to teenagers who constantly observe these ‘influencers’ and not only try to mimic their behaviors and looks, but also become obsessed with the idea that these influencers’ bodies are the ‘right type’ of body that is accepted in today’s society. TikTok has also led to bullying, mainly in primary and secondary schools, in which principles have reported that they have recently noticed some students making fun of each other, and after looking into it they have found out that it has sometimes related to the type of videos and content students have been posting for the public eye to see. Situations similar to this could also include videos of students ridiculing their peers for their looks, how they dress or the actions they portray through the use of these videos. It is also important to point out that some students perform outrageous and dangerous videos to gather more likes and followers, and challenges are also performed in order to follow trends which may be inappropriate, such as videos which involve vulgar language and also revealing certain body parts that are definitely seen as unacceptable in today’s society.

On the contrary TikTok allows individuals to interact and connect with people around the world within 155 countries worldwide. It also allows individuals to publish their talent and show others what they’re capable of by giving them free media coverage. Also, according to ‘business insider’, a creator can make an average of $0.01 to $0.02 for each sponsored view on TikTok. Therefore, if an individual has a video with 100,000 views, one can make 1000 dollars in sponsorships, which can help a struggling artist, dancer and small business owner who is trying to gather a staggering sum of money.

Overall, even though TikTok has promoted publicity to people who were possibly struggling to portray their talents or make enough money to sustain themselves and their families, it has also been seen as drugging people and invading their daily life. TikTok has also been proven to have had several detriments on one’s mental health and body image, in turn affecting people’s lives.

(This article was originally posted on civilsocietymt.com)

Written by: Jordan Galea Pace


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