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TikTok reigns as the ever-so-popular app for lifestyle tips, trends, memes, and general entertainment nowadays. While it serves as an amazing platform for content creation and connection, as with all good things, it has its cons. It took what is coined

Earlier this year, I took it upon myself to do a “dopamine detox”; I eliminated all the things I did throughout my day that served as a distraction from my feelings rather than a means to face them. This included the removal of digital entertainment, music, gaming, and most importantly, social media: TikTok included.

During these two weeks, I (initially) suffered. My days were filled with endless boredom, of literal moments of me staring at my ceiling wondering “what the hell was I thinking?”, and managing my itch to hop on the App Store and get my happiness back.

But after a few days, it became easier- a LOT easier. I found myself having more time to focus on my side hobbies, found myself more in-tune to conversation and the world around me, and best of all: my screen time was nearly nonexistent.

After the two weeks, I allowed myself to get my socials back, but within five minutes of having them, they were off my phone again. I already felt drained; a past habit I had with social media was having to constantly “maintain” it, as in, keep up to date with every single piece of content I was presented. When I woke up, I had to catch up on Tweets I missed overnight. Before bed, I would make sure I checked all my Instagram notifications. It was a tedious, unnecessary, time-consuming habit that post-detox, I realized I didn’t have the energy for anymore. And I realized I could still maintain healthy relationships and friendships with those who mattered most without it.

The biggest change after I left TikTok was how much happier I was. The amount of hatred and toxicity prevalent on social media- TikTok in particular- functions as a invisible aggression of sorts; heightened exposure to such degrading, negative, and harmful language slowly chips away at your own mentality.

When you create a platform where people can easily connect, you have to consider: the more people you know, the more that like and dislike you. The more people you can talk to, the more things they’ll have to say. Good and bad.

I understand that talks about a “dopamine detox” sounds torturous and unrealistic, but time away from socials or anything you rely on for those small bursts of distraction and happiness may be preventing you from long term happiness waiting for you, and deleting TikTok may be the way to go.

Current junior at NCSU studying Statistics. Enjoys running, writing, and music in her spare time.
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