Hello there! The 17th of February 2021 was a strange day in my life… I decided to delete the app that has taken over the population over the last couple of years – and boy was that difficult.
I would never call myself a social media junkie; I don’t spend a large chunk of time on Instagram, I really only use Snapchat if I need to reply to a message, and I don’t even have a Facebook account. However, when I thought about it, I realised that I probably accumulatively spend a good 2-3 hours on TikTok everyday just mindlessly scrolling when I ‘have nothing better to do.’
But here’s the thing:
I do have better things to do.
I’m a 17-year-old full time student who is trying to achieve good grades while maintaining a blog along with a job and actually having an interest in other areas like reading, playing the piano and I’ve really been trying to grow into myself through learning to cook, doing exercise and overall improving my mental health.
Thus came the decision to delete Gen-Z’s favourite app for 40 days…
From day one, I already noticed that I had so much more time on my hands to do other things: I spent 45 minutes – an hour each day practicing the piano and spent quality time working on blog posts and reading before bed which I can never seem to find motivation to do at night.
However, interestingly, when I was bored I did find myself searching for TikTok in the first couple of days which was quite alarming. I think we’ve become a generation that passes the time with mindless scrolling instead of exploring the world around us and all of the creativity it has to offer, and I don’t think spending hours a day on TikTok gives you any kind of new brain cells (although it does inspire me at times to make new recipes – check out my Dalgona Coffee recipe here.)
After about a week that instinct went away and I didn’t find myself feeling sort of empty without the app. I managed to get out for a walk most days, complete all my school work in plenty of time, read a lot and even prepare content for the blog.
I was in control of my own life rather than my life being controlled by TikTok.
Or so I thought…
Although my craving to scroll through TikTok disappeared, TikTok itself didn’t. When I went on Instagram, there were renegades on my feed, when I went on Snapchat my friends were posting ‘relatable content’ on their private stories and so I still couldn’t go a day without seeing at least one TikTok clip.
The app has come an all-encompassing phenomena, not just online but in daily life. Absolutely inescapable.
But fact that actually didn’t affect my progress as much as it might be presumed and after contemplating why this is the case for a while, it became clear that it’s the act of scrolling that is the real addiction (at least for me) rather than being interested in all of the content I see and being inspired to continue on for hours – much like Instagram can be at times.
So what did I take away from this experiment?
TikTok is undoubtedly an entertaining app that can keep one occupied for hours – but those hours are more often than not ones that have been wasted when I could be doing something more urgent. However, although I’m not bashing TikTok in any way because I honestly admire how as a society, we’ve made the app take over the world (no one can escape) and the concept is pretty effective what with the addictive scrolling and ever changing trends that we feel like if we don’t keep up with, we’ll get major FOMO.
But have I downloaded it again?
No… as of right now anyway. TikTok took up so much of my life before, but since deleting it I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything of value. Maybe I’ll get it back in the future, but for now I’m content with only being able to see a couple of clips a day from Instagram or Snapchat while still keeping control of my life.
Although do I really considering I’m writing a whole post about TikTok? Debatable.
Have you ever tried to give up something you’re ‘addicted’ to? Was it difficult? Do you use TikTok? Let me know!!