The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Yesterday I made the decision to delete TikTok. The thought of deleting TikTok has been brewing in my mind for awhile now, but I had never gotten around to it. I finally had enough of it. Don’t get me wrong, some of the funniest videos I have seen have been through TikTok. I love the app for the funny videos from everyday people and the ability to spread awareness about pertinent issues, but there are a lot of downsides to TikTok.
I used to go on TikTok and get sucked in, continuously scrolling without being cognizant of the amount of time that was flying by. I noticed this and set a time limit for myself on the app (go to settings > screen time > app limits > add limit) for one hour per day. It worked for a little while. I would either exit the app or select “Remind me in fifteen minutes” that way I would know exactly how much time I was spending scrolling. It got to a point where the app time limit reminder did nothing for me and I kept scrolling anyway. I also came to the realization that if I was having a particularly bad day, I would spend more time on TikTok instead of dealing with and figuring out my emotions.
Some videos would make me feel even worse than I already was. Seeing videos of people crying, people discussing depressing topics, natural disasters, people physically or verbally fighting, injured animals on the road to recovery-the list goes on and on. Mind you, my whole For You Page did not solely consist of these types of videos, but they still popped up frequently enough to affect me. I am sure the same happens to a lot of TikTok users. Whether you like to admit it or not, seeing this type of content puts some type of damper on your day.
Another aspect of TikTok that I find ridiculous and a huge time-waster is the fact that we are literally just watching videos of other people we do not even know, day in, day out. This can be of interest and make us feel less alone, but it is a double-edged sword. This component of TikTok leads us to constantly compare ourselves to others and to constantly be bombarded with others’ problems and worries, which can even cause us to create new worries and anxieties for ourselves. Once you take a step back and realize what TikTok actually is, it seems quite useless. Ask yourselves: Do the cons outweigh the pros? Am I benefitting from this app in any way? Is it making me better in any way, shape, or form?
Everyone always talks about “bettering” yourself and “finding” yourself on TikTok and on social media in general. Hearing and seeing people regularly talk about this self-improvement can pile up more pressure to put on yourself. This pressure can actually hinder your progress and make you feel as if you have to “better” yourself in a certain way that may not necessarily work for you. So many things are being thrown at us on TikTok. It is hard to realize how caught up you become. It is okay to think for yourself and figure out what works best for you.
TikTok can also be extremely triggering for some (myself included). If you are struggling with your mental health or you have experienced some type of trauma, seeing videos of people discussing these topics can obstruct your mental health progress. TikTok is a cesspool of people sharing triggering content and oftentimes making it seem completely fine. This can warp your perceptions of your reality and desensitize you to certain things.
I am not saying everyone feels this way about TikTok. This is simply my opinion and I thought I would share it in case anyone else is feeling the same way. If you are reading this and find it relatable, it may be time to delete TikTok. You may be worrying about missing out on trends or missing seeing funny videos. First of all, who actually cares about TikTok trends? They come and go anyways. Second of all, your friends can always still send you videos via text message and you can view the video on the web. It is not the end of the world.
It has been a short time since I have deleted TikTok but I already feel more productive and clear-headed. Even if you are unsure about deleting TikTok, try it for a week and see if you notice any changes. Best of luck!
Other peoples’ stories of deleting TikTok and why they did it:
“So Listen: Why I Deleted TikTok”
“Deleted TikTok for the Sake of My Mental Health”