Friday 16 February 2024

Why I can't use TikTok

A few years ago when TikTok first started to become really popular I downloaded the app. As a blogger I felt that I needed to keep up with social media trends, and lots of other bloggers were starting to create content on TikTok. As a parent I was aware that there was some disquiet about young people using TikTok, and so I wanted to see what it was all about.

Within minutes of opening the app I was hooked. I just could not turn it off. I was scrolling through these short, addictive videos and I couldn't stop myself - it was scary! And with each video it felt as though I could feel my brain melting. 

I couldn't even imagine how I would go about creating content for TikTok. The popular videos are professionally filmed, with good lighting and photogenic narrators - I didn't know where to start. I also don't have the time or the inclination to research what's popular and to make videos that fit the trends. 

I don't want to judge people that enjoy scrolling TikTok - it's a really easy way to relax, it's entertaining and it's home to lots of interesting and informative content. But I found that I personally wasn't able to control my use, and so the easiest thing was to delete the app. I don't have this problem with other social media - I check Facebook once a day or so, and I can scroll through Twitter and Instagram for just a few minutes and put them down. There's just that something about TikTok that makes it impossible to turn away from.

On a cruise last year I was amused to notice that the large screen by the pool on a sea day was showing a compilation of short TikTok style videos, mainly cute animals doing funny things. It was clearly aimed at all the people who didn't have internet access on the cruise - it was something easy to watch and zone out to while relaxing by the pool without a smartphone. 

I definitely have concerns about TikTok and what it is doing to people's attention spans. There have been a few studies which seem to bear that out, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence - I found an interesting article here - TikTok and the Death of the Attention Span. I think that my generation are probably less affected as our brains have developed without it, but it does worry me what it is doing to children's brains. I'm hoping to keep mine away from it as long as I can, and I don't intend to reinstall it myself!

TikTok logo on a smartphone screen
Photo credit Solen Favissa via Unsplash

I have a similar problem with YouTube shorts. I use YouTube daily because I have a selection of exercise videos that I follow. It's really difficult to avoid the temptation to click on a short or two, and I almost always get sucked in for a few minutes! I'd love to know if other people have the same problem or whether they just have better self control than I do!

1 comment:

  1. I got into watching TikTok a couple of years ago but only started making my own over the last few months. They're just daft one's with pre-made templates or filter things. I don't use good lighting or anything fancy but then I only have a handful of followers. lol
    I am a sucker for Twitter and struggle to stop scrolling with that but with TikTok I only watch when I have a spare 5 minutes and do turn it off when I need to.
    I know where you are coming from, my girls have no self control with TikTok. x


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