Changes are you don’t know why TikTok is toxic and why it’s controlling your life. A quick search on Google shows that 40% of Gen Z spend more than 3 hours per day on TikTok, and 20% over 5 hours. In other words, Gen Z uses a ridiculous amount of their precious time scrolling on a platform that puts their well-being online.
Have you ever wondered what this app can do to you? Why TikTok is toxic? What does it do to your mental health? Productivity? Even your brain chemistry?
I remember the first times when I came across this app. I had heard that TikTok is famous for showing cringy dances in front of a phone camera. I saw people doing them everywhere. In my part-time job, outside…
For a long time, I refused to download that app. I mean, what was in it for me? I already had Youtube and Instagram. I didn’t see any value in watching underage people dancing to a trending pop song.
Things changed in 2022. I decided to try content creation on TikTok. My friend told me that it’s an easy way to get views. I downloaded the app and started to discover alarming issues.
Why TikTok is toxic
TikTok is toxic for many reasons, so let’s take a look at a few of them.
To understand the dangers of overstimulation, we need to investigate some basic biology. I’m not a doctor, so this is entirely based on what I’ve learned myself, but it’s still valuable information.
Humans have a natural hormone called dopamine. Dopamine controls your ability to focus, motivation, and pleasure. When you achieve a goal, your brain gives you a buff of dopamine, and you feel great. However, some non-beneficial actions also release it. Porn, junk food, entertainment.
TikTok videos give you stimulation and dopamine bursts like a machine gun. When I was 12, people would spend their screen time on Youtube. These videos included someone casually talking to a camera or playing a video game. That was the stimulation needed and it gave this constant dopamine flow for ten minutes.
TikTok videos are way shorter and more intense. Nowadays we have Andrew Tate speaking and his words are captioned with animations and flashy fonts. And just to make sure you don’t get distracted, they edit a video game animation at the bottom with Minecraft parkour.
Those videos stimulate and release dopamine like a waterfall. There’s a reason why this occurs. The longer you watch the video, the more watch time it gets. More watch time means that the algorithm likes it and shows it to more people.
When you feed your brain with this dopamine flow, you overstimulate it. Completing an important task doesn’t feel that good anymore because your brain is used to getting more dopamine. This also ruins your ability to focus and motivation.
Reading a book is quite boring compared to these overstimulating videos. And your motivation? Way lower because you’re used to getting loads of dopamine with no effort.
In a nutshell, TikTik addiction shatters your ability to focus and stay motivated to complete difficult and rewarding tasks.
TikTok is designed well. It shows you content that you love because the algorithm learns about your interests. What if you don’t like a certain video? No problem! Just swipe to the next one until you find something cool. The feed is infinite.
Combine this with the fact that you get overstimulation and content that’s designed to keep you addicted, and you have a powertool to hijack someone’s brain.
Just like with drugs, you get addicted to those dopamine bursts that give you pleasure. No wonder why so many Gen Z people use TikTok so much.
Addiction leads to wasted time. If you had 86400$ every single day and you could use it for whatever you wanted, how would you use it? If every midnight this would reset and you’d lose the unused money, would you try to use it well? Probably.
That’s how many seconds you have each day. Time is a valuable resource. You can’t get it back. You can either use it for something that benefits you or not.
Let’s do another experiment. Let’s say you live for 80 years. If you use social media for three hours every day, you spend ten years of your life scrolling! That’s a damn decade!
Can you see how easily these numbers stack and rob your time? What could you achieve in ten years? You could get a degree and advance in your career to a powerful position. You could absorb more information than most people will in their lifetime. You could build an amazing physique. Probably all those.
If you put your phone away for just a day, you’ll see just how much time you have to pursue your goal. Think about it.
Oh boy. The eternal pandemic of the internet. People insult each other and get mad. Hiding behind the screens and feeling like a superior.
Throughout time the internet has been full of trolls and haters. But it seems that TikTok lures them like a drug. I don’t know why, but that’s how it is.
Many comment boxes are full of people insulting the creator, even if the content is great. Whatever you say, someone probably finds a reason to get anxious or mad at you.
The funniest part is when people start arguing with each other because they think their opinions are the only right ones. This is common, especially with sensitive topics like equality and politics.
I suggest you stop wasting your time on commenting means shit or trying to prove your point. Comments boxes aren’t a great place to have smart conversations. It’s easier to convince someone face to face. Your haters have already made up their minds. Don’t try to save people who don’t want salvation.
All this negativity and trolling is waste of time and only gets you mad. Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t sacrifice your good vibe. You have better things to do.
TikTok contains a lot of trends that may be harmful to you. Many users are still pretty young, so they haven’t all developed the ability to filter information. I remember when I was a teenager. When I found a new trend, I’d start to believe in it instantly. I didn’t have enough experience to investigate it from a critical point of view. Especially when I was forming my identity.
TikTok contains stuff that you shouldn’t always take 100% seriously. Some generic motivational advice suggests you wake up at 5 AM and work 24/7. This only gets you burned out and fucks up your mental health.
When you see fitness gurus and supermodels with their toned abs and godlike pumps, you’re risking to buy a fastlane ticket to eating disorders and body dysmorphia.
Woke culture and other equality movements contain radical influencers that may convince you to a very narrow view of thinking. Studies have shown that people who are more “woke”, suffer more from depression and anxiety.
What about Andrew Tate? The most famous man alive. You shouldn’t believe everything he says, although he has some great points. Especially when his TikToks are ripped out of the context and show you the most radical parts of his thoughts.
Fitness, motivation, and equality are important topics, but nothing is good if you take it too far. The key is to educate yourself, but also remember to use your common sense and both sides of the coin.
TikTok is toxic but not entirely
I know. I’ve given quite a rant for TikTok. But as I just said, we should also consider the other point of view.
TikTok can be a way to relax for you, as long as you don’t develop an addiction. Here’s how to do it: Set a daily time limit for it. Maybe 15 or 30 minutes. Many smartphones have this feature. Even TikTok itself provides an opportunity to limit your screen time. That’s an amazing feature and 100% free to use!
There are also many amazing accounts you can follow to level up your life. Anything from fitness and self-improvement to mental health and education. Once you follow those accounts and consume the videos, the algorithm gives you more great stuff. Stuff that benefits you.
A cute blonde shaking her ass and promoting gambling sites may not be helpful in the long run, but she may have some great fitness advice. A ripped guy with a Lambo may tell you to forget your mental health and work 24/7, but he may also have tips for productivity.
Above all, develop an ability to think critically. Apply the advice that helps you and discard what’s toxic.
Someone insults you in the comment box? Who cares? He’s probably a naive soyboy with a fake account, trying to blame his problems on other people.
TikTok is toxic, but there’s lots of good too! It can be a powerful resource to educate yourself. Maybe even create your own content and make some cash.
TikTok is toxic – FAQ
Is TikTok Toxic?
If you’re on the app, you probably know the answer. Yes, TikTok is toxic. I’m not saying you should delete it. I’m encouraging you to pay attention and not let it control you. TikTok is designed to keep you addicted. That’s how they make money.
There are several reasons. Many users are immature and naive youngsters who enjoy hiding behind screens and insulting other people. They don’t have anything else to do because the short, overstimulating videos have destroyed their ability to focus.
How damaging is TikTok?
It’s only as damaging as you allow it to be. If you get hooked on the toxic culture and buy into unhealthy trends, it’s quite damaging. Especially if you develop an addiction.
Generally, TikTok is toxic and can be pretty damaging. But it’s like any other thing that gives short-term pleasure. Use it wisely, and you’ll be fine. It can even benefit you!
Is TikTok good for mental health?
Often, it’s not. Some sick trends can manipulate you to develop unhealthy habits and beliefs that result in many problems. It’s so easy to take things too far when you see extreme examples in social media.
Wasting time and destroying your dopamine levels also affect your mental health. When you’re unmotivated, lazy, and can’t get stuff done, that’s a recipe for low self-esteem and anxiety.
Does TikTok affect attention span?
Yes. It does. Short, constant, overstimulating videos feed your brain with dopamine hits. You get used to getting so much stimulation that it’ll be hard to focus. This article covers this topic more in-depth
TikTok is toxic? – Summary
TikTok is toxic but not entirely. In this post, I wanted to investigate some alarming issues, but it’s not all bad. Sure, the atmosphere and the nature of the app can cause harm for you, but also good.
The key is to use it wisely. You shouldn’t delete it entirely nor demonize it. Instead, leverage it. Use it as a powerful resource. Instead of letting it use you, use it yourself.
For example, TikTok has content about mental health that can reach millions of young people who need it. It’s a super powerful channel to give your message to the world.
I hope you enjoyed this post. I’ll see you next time!