I deleted TikTok. Here’s why you should, too.

Mickey Lonner, Editor-in-Chief

TikTok is the new social media craze, and with the Covid-19 pandemic, its popularity has only grown. As teens search for new ways to pass the time and connect with peers, TikTok is an easy outlet, and in an increasingly chaotic world, it provides some levity to the casual user. 

I was not immune to the TikTok trend. At the beginning of the pandemic, I downloaded the app. Since I first downloaded, I started making videos, and have since reached moderate success on the app. I had over 10,000 followers on my account before I deleted it, and several of my videos broke 100,000 views, with my most popular soaring over 300,000. 

You might be wondering, if I had a decent following and moderate success, why did I delete the app? The answer is complicated, and doesn’t have a simple answer. But since I deleted TikTok, I’ve experienced a noticeable improvement in my mental health. I deleted TikTok, and here’s why I think you should, too. 


1 – It’s addictive. 

TikTok’s short videos and easy-to-use algorithm make it easy for users to consume content at a rapid rate. The problem is, the dopamine that TikTok releases in the brain is addictive—and this addiction is especially potent among young users. According to Forbes, TikTok utilizes the same principles that makes gambling addictive. When I was active on the app, it wasn’t unusual for me to spend three hours a day or more scrolling through my feed, and eventually, I didn’t have the time to do things I loved. 


2 – It shortens your attention span. 

Many TikTok users might’ve found themselves finding it harder and harder to pay attention to books, movies, and even TV shows. That’s because TikTok and other social media platforms like it might actually be rewiring your brain. TikTok allows for an instant release of dopamine that is pleasurable for the user, but it can lead to negative impacts. These dopamine “feedback loops” can even shorten your attention span. In fact, attention spans have decreased from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8.5 seconds in 2015, and the most likely culprit is social media. 


3 – Deleting TikTok gives you more time for yourself. 

In the era of Covid-19, you might be more bored than ever—but I found that deleting TikTok made me feel more happy and fulfilled. When I was spending hours on TikTok every day, I didn’t have enough time to do the things that make me happy, like art and music. I spent most of my time cooped up in my room. Now, though, without the endless scrolling, my schedule has opened up, and now I’m able to do the things that I love and still have time for my responsibilities.