The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I am sure this is a familiar story to us all: sitting down at your desk or the library or wherever you may be, ready to accomplish everything on your to-do list and get all of your homework done. But then, for some reason you open your phone, hit the TikTok app and suddenly the sun is gone and you have been endlessly scrolling for two hours having accomplished nothing. I was stuck in this cycle pretty much every day before deleting TikTok for the first time. I didn’t really think that my TikTok usage was particularly bad, and that was not even the reason I initially deleted it. One day, I was listening to a podcast where the host talked about how they deleted the app and I decided I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could do without it. I was astonished when I realized that with it gone, my phone’s screen time was dropping from six hours to three or four hours a day.
The first few days without it were a bit tough, I will say. I found myself unlocking my phone and having my thumb hover over where the app used to be (which was honestly so troubling that it had become such a set part of my routine). I would then instead end up scrolling on Instagram or Twitter to fulfill my thumb’s apparent need to be scrolling. However, the difference between TikTok and other social media apps is that TikTok is literally endless. On Twitter, there is going to come a point where your feed becomes repetitive and there are no new tweets at the moment. But on TikTok you can literally have new, stimulating content for as long as you want which is a huge contributor to its rabbit hole nature.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not here to get on some 21st century high horse and tell you that your phone and social media is rotting your brain. If I’m being honest, I used to get a fair amount of helpful information from TikTok. However, I will say that my life is significantly better when I don’t spend hours sitting in one spot scrolling.
I have found that my attention span is better and I am able to focus for longer periods of time in class, while doing work, etc. without the looming knowledge that I could be doing something better on my phone. I also find that I go to bed earlier because I don’t watch 30 minutes of TikTok before actually going to bed.
I deleted the app back in October and the only time I redownloaded it was over winter break because of the yearly lack of college onset boredom. During that month-long period where I had the app back, it was crazy to see how quickly I fell back into the rhythm of using it so often and consistently, especially since I had a lot more free time. Once I came back to school, I knew that I needed to delete it again if I wanted to be able to have a productive semester.
While sometimes I do feel a little bit out of the loop when it comes to trends that people talk about or am forced to use the web browser version when my friends occasionally send me TikToks, I really do think that deleting the app has more pros than cons. I challenge you to challenge yourself to see how long you can go without it and see what benefits may come with it that you never would have thought of!