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TikTok is my Weakness

​​ When I was 11, I downloaded an iPhone app entitled “”. I saw people dancing and singing with their friends and it looked like a fun way to spend my time. When the app’s popularity increased in 2019, this time in the form of “TikTok”, I was already a fan. At first, I downloaded TikTok to keep up with what was trending, mess around with my friends, and be on an emerging app. But, from the summer of 2019 to the present day, TikTok has taken on an entirely new identity. According to Business of Apps, it is now the #1 most downloaded app in the world.

It became the first app I would check in the morning and the last at night. I analyzed literally everything that was suggested on my “For You Page”, regardless of its relevance to my reality. I relied on the app for advice and entertainment. Yet, each time I closed it, I felt upset with the content that I saw and guilty for the time I wasted. The feed of beauty standards was constant.

I originally deleted TikTok in October 2020 because I, like many other teenagers, was incapable of focusing on school work without compulsively clicking the app. Although this is a dramatic description, I would say that the period after deletion was a form of withdrawal. I incessantly wondered what I was missing on the app. Although I have been guilty of reinstalling the app sometimes, I can proudly say that I go months without the toxicity of TikTok. There are three primary reasons that I now encourage all users to delete it too.

Being a teenage girl, I find myself looking at other girls my age and subconsciously comparing myself. TikTok only heightens my comparisons, because now I am looking at girls from all over the globe. It is entirely unhealthy to view and judge others on such a mass scale multiple times a day.

On the surface, any TikTok looks like a quick clip because it is only about 15 seconds long. However, some creators can spend hours on these 15 seconds just to create an effortless look to the video. It is important to recognize that a TikTok is, what my mom calls, a ‘highlight reel’ of that person’s day. It is artificially made to look perfect, so comparing your life to someone else’s on the app is inaccurate.

Since the TikTok algorithm doesn’t have an end, it encourages you to continue searching for videos. Inevitably, your scrolling can last hours and distract you from your real life. Instead of picking up a book, going out, or having a conversation in real life, it is much easier to retreat to quick, gratifying content. TikTok is the ultimate cause of procrastination.

I am glad that I finally recognized how TikTok influenced my school work, social life, and self-esteem, and made the executive decision to delete it. I have since seen a visible improvement in my mood and attitude, and I certainly get work done much quicker. However, I admittedly still check it on occasion, since I really do love the dances. And, quite frankly, I will always care about staying with the trends.


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