15 May Why I Deleted TikTok From My Phone and My Life
(Photo by visuals on Unsplash)
Commentary, Amadi Ji Jaga
I’ve been on social media for a few years, and TikTok by far was one of my favorite social media platforms when I still had it downloaded on my phone. I liked the app because it was very easy to connect with my loved ones and find videos that answered the many questions I would have. Whether my questions were related to schoolwork, hair care or recipes, TikTok could very easily give me answers I couldn’t find on any other app.
When I still had TikTok, I used it too much. It would be the first app I went on in the morning and the last app I would check at night. Sometimes, I would even be on TikTok all night and up until the morning; and this heavily affected my mental and physical health. Mental health-wise, when I would overconsume my feed on TikTok, it left me mentally exhausted. I was left in a state where I couldn’t think or focus on the things that were more important. My mental capacity that was once vast was severely lost, and this only continued happening the more I kept up this habit. In terms of the physical, after I would overconsume my feed, it left me restless and overstimulated. My hands would be shaky, and I would be jittery. I couldn’t remain still and I would often have spasms in my arms and legs.
>>>Read: Is TikTok Out of Time? Teens Have Their Say
Although at the time I did not know what was the cause of these things, I very quickly came to realize that it was because of how often I would spend time on this app. For hours, I could be lying down and mindlessly scrolling because it made me happy. With time, however, I realized that I needed to make a change because I didn’t want to live my life in a way where I was negatively affected mentally and physically.
Last year, in December 2022, I made the decision to remove TikTok from my phone because of the negative impact it had on me, and because it didn’t enrich my life as much as it did a few years ago. I was tired of feeling drained and not being able to live my life to its fullest potential. At first, TikTok was an app I knew how to manage, mainly because the algorithm wasn’t set up in a way where I was hooked — at least that’s how it seemed. But because most of the videos I would come across were catered to my interests, I couldn’t stop myself from scrolling before it was too late.
>>>Read: My Generation Is Addicted to Social Media
If TikTok is banned, I think it would be for the greater good. Because of TikTok’s algorithm and the way that the app is set up, it’s very easy to find yourself mindlessly scrolling for hours upon hours and for your priorities to be thrown out the window. Many people didn’t intend to overuse it; it just happens without them even being conscious of it. For many of us, when an app is making us happy and is giving us that dopamine rush, we don’t want that to stop. And so, when this is applied to TikTok, regardless of its greatness or benefits, many of the users can find themselves burnt out because they are in a constant state of mindless scrolling.