I can’t get off TikTok. It’s becoming a big problem.

December 4, 2020 — by Isaac Le
TikTok-Emblema

2020 will forever be primarily defined by COVID-19, and secondarily by a divided presidential election, the loss of many loved celebrities and the emergence of the increasingly popular social media platform, TikTok. 

Owned by Chinese company ByteDance, the platform allows creators to post dancing, comedy or even informative videos under a minute. 

Although the app provides a great source of entertainment, TikTok has become a major distraction to teens trying to get things done; its unique algorithm to pair videos to the users specific interest can leave thems swiping for new videos for hours.

I count myself among the victims. While doing homework, I often find myself scrolling down my For You page, aimlessly searching for content that would make me laugh. I’ve even diverted my attention to TikTok while writing this article, watching my favorite TikTok user WalterPicks provide me with necessary fantasy football information, forcing me to refocus three times already. 

While TikTok does provide some educational content, such as SAT and AP test tutoring, most users focus more on comical or entertaining videos like ones about cooking or dancing. After all,  the algorithm doesn’t know and isn’t interested in what subject I’m working on; it only cares about keeping my attention, and videos about fantasy football are a sure way to accomplish that goal.

The addictive nature of TikTok is not only restricted to the app itself. Popular TikTok stars such as the D’amelio family and Bryce Hall have made their way onto other social media platforms such as YouTube, attracting their fans to spend more time watching their content. In addition to their YouTube, their major sponsorships further lure fans into a “social media hypnosis,” luring them into researching and discovering more about the stars’ products, eating up into the time necessary for students to perform at a high level in school. 

With all of these factors combined, I cannot keep myself off of TikTok even when I try different methods such as setting time restrictions or even deleting the app as a whole. All of the new celebrities that have garnered fame through the app are constantly involved in some sort of drama, whether it is Dixie D’amelio eating boogers or Bryce Hall being involved in a restaurant fight. This snowball effect of constant drama leads to more time spent on general social media apps such as Snapchat, where the relevant news in the TikTok world is easily accessible. 

The great deal of time that I spend on Tik Tok and other social media apps is ultimately unproductive, and I need to find a solution before the grind starts for finals.