Why I Took a Hiatus from Tik Tok

Tik Tok. Oh, the hours that I have spent on this app. It is bad, I have to admit it. It all started with the same origin story of most Tik Tok fiends. I jokingly made fun of the app and of college kids like my roommate who were addicted to it. I thought it was for kids, since all that the pre-teens I babysat over the summer of 2019 talked about was Tik Tok and some girl named Charli. Then halfway into the Fall 2019 semester, I did something that sealed my fate. I downloaded the app. I convinced myself that it was just to laugh at all the ridiculous videos, but in reality, I wanted to know what my roommate was always referencing. Soon my screen time slowly crept up and up and up, until it reached its peak… 7 hours in one day just on Tik Tok. How?! I truly do not know where that time went. And then, I started making them, and that was the end of it.

Photo by mikoto.raw from Pexels

Hi, my name is Karishma, and I am addicted to Tik Tok. Okay, that is a little dramatic, but it is the truth. Tik Tok had taken over my life, especially during quarantine. It is the biggest time suck. My horrible habit of procrastination had tripled. I found myself lying in bed two hours after waking up just scrolling through the endless “For You Page,” specially curated for my liking.  

Then when spring semester finals season came around, I found myself becoming increasingly stressed. My head was constantly pounding. I could not focus for more than 10 minutes at a time on an assignment. I noticed that was I subconsciously clenching my jaw, increasing my headaches. And my eyes were killing me. Scrolling through Tik Tok, I obliviously wondered what was causing these problems. Then, it dawned on me. It was Tik Tok. It had consumed me and started taking a toll on me mentally and physically. With assignments piling on, I decided it was time to do something about my addiction.

I deleted Tik Tok.

Tiktok Account Screen & Plant Photo by Hello I'm Nik from Unsplash

I was scared. The FOMO was real. I knew I would miss the Tik Toks my friends would send me. I was scared of feeling out of the loop and not getting references. However, I knew I had to do it for my sanity. I promised myself I would not redownload it until after all my finals were finished. And honestly, I am so glad I did. My headaches went away almost instantly, and I was able to focus a lot more on my assignments. Sure, I found other ways to procrastinate and fill up my screen time like watching YouTube or Netflix, but I would not lose hours upon hours just watching 15-second videos.

Now, while I did redownload Tik Tok for the summer, I learned a lot from this little month-long detox. I have learned how to tell when my body is saying enough is enough with the constant scrolling through an endless feed. I have learned that I need to put down my phone and go outside, which is ten times easier to do when I have deleted temptations like Tik Tok, at least periodically. And with starting the new fall semester, I have been able to understand what my mind and body are telling me and am able to know when to put Tik Tok down.

If you find yourself being sucked further into the toxicity of social media and feeling down, I challenge you to take a brief haitus of Tik Tok or whatever social media app you use the most. It will make you feel better.