It’s Sunday night, when my phone lights up with a notification. It’s the usual weekly screen time recap. I wince at the amount of time I spend on my phone, and shudder when I see my screen time on one particular app: TikTok. Like many teens, I’ve become addicted to the app over quarantine. From learning new dance moves, to trying whipped coffee, TikTok became a deciding factor in my life. However, TikTok might soon be a thing of the past. In fear of American information being leaked to the Chinese government, President Donald Trump is working to remove TikTok from the app market. Although a controversial decision, I think a ban on TikTok would be beneficial to a lot of people.
I know I waste a lot of time on TikTok. During the summer, I would be scrolling through the app for almost four hours a day. Thankfully, as school started, that time has decreased to about 40 minutes a day. But for a lot of students, the same cannot be said. Some teens still struggle with getting away from the app, and find themselves becoming more addicted to TikTok. “I thought it was stupid at first, but now I spend at least two to three hours on it a day.” said senior Jadyn Humphrey.
According to the American Addiction Treatment Center, characteristics of social media addiction can include: being driven solely by social media, uncontrollable urges to log into apps, and the use of social media to the point it impairs important parts of life. Those addicted to TikTok could definitely fit these characteristics. Tiktok’s formatting also shows to be an addictive platform. Short 15-60 seconds clips keep viewers entertained, and provide them with new material to latch onto. Viewers can also simply swipe up on dull videos, and move onto something they will find more interesting, in a matter of seconds. This pattern of skipping less interesting videos, creates a personalized feed. This personalized feed is catered to each individual’s taste, which only furthers the addiction factor of TikTok.
The TikTok addiction that is being shared by much of our generation can have a very negative impact. With the addictive formatting, teens can end up scrolling for hours. This can eventually lead to getting behind in school work, and even losing important hours of sleep. A ban on TikTok, although unfavorable, would obviously put an end to the problems that TikTok raises. Banning TikTok would inevitably be beneficial to addicted students, giving them less screen time and more time to focus on school work and their sleep schedule.