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Quinntessential: TikTok is too addicting for our own good

With finals week on the horizon, it is time to lock in and become the academic weapons we dreamt of being in late August. While there are many challenges to achieving such a status, the most prevalent obstacle -- for me, at least -- is TikTok. I will not go into the depths of my screen time on TikTok, as it is embarrassing, but I am not alone in my shame. Business Insider states that teens spend nearly two hours a day on TikTok.  

If you are also alarmed by your time spent on TikTok or Instagram, don’t worry, it’s not your fault. It kind of is, but it’s not primarily a lack of self-control. Humans crave short bursts of dopamine and distractions, and social media platforms have perfected the 15-to-60-second videos that are located right in the time frame of one's ideal attention span. One such example of this TikTokification of content is the news. Why would anyone watch an hour-long news show when instead multiple Tiktok creators have completely summarized today's news into just a 60-second video? The latter format is much more accessible and convenient to access. 

Social media apps display videos they know you’ll watch and will incentivize you to keep scrolling. This should at this point be a well-known fact, yet it's still bizarre that we are like guinea pigs to these social media conglomerates. They see us as nothing more than statistics that they’re constantly trying to keep on their app. Most people know of Facebook's devious actions in monitoring what we like and monetizing this information by using targeted ads that we may click on. It is the same circumstance with short-form videos: once we like, share and comment on certain types of videos, our feeds are swarmed with similar videos that keep us on these apps for ungodly hours.

We are in a digital age and we must take advantage of the technology we have. There is no problem with being on TikTok or Instagram and watching the occasional funny video, but when TikTok interferes with your work, sleep and social schedules, a problem occurs. Many of these articles I write I use as a reflection on my life and what’s currently going on. I'm hoping my acknowledgment of my social media addiction can help someone reading reflect on their habits. 

No one can live their life on social media. We don’t live on TikTok, Instagram or any other application on our phones. We use these apps to post the highlights of our life we live outside of social media. Although social media platforms are vying for our time to be devoted to their videos, it’s important to limit your screen time and turn off your phone for once. It may be easier said than done, but if there’s any motivation you may need, just ask yourself if an extra hour on TikTok is worth paying a ton of money to retake a class.

Quinn Elfers is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to share your thoughts about the column? Let Quinn know by emailing him at

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