Tik Tok Brain

Abigail Gonzalez, Writer

Sugar is the most addicting drug in the world. Think of a time when you had ingested something that contained sugar. I bet you it was hard to stop at just one intake. Eating anything with sugar gives you that quick feeling of pure joy and happiness- otherwise  known as dopamine.  Tik Tok is created in a way to make you feel the same way to keep you scrolling and wanting more. It may sound like a good thing, up until you realize how it is affecting your brain. 


Knowing how Tik Tok is programmed is the first step to understanding how addictive it is. The simplicity of accessing multiple personalized videos that are entertaining and exciting with just one scroll leaves people wanting more. When you open the app you get instant gratification and stay in a dopamine-filled state, while continuously being carried on as you scroll as you await the next entertaining video. It is as if you are being put in a trance to just keep scrolling and scrolling.  Even if you feel as though you should stop, your brain does not allow it and asks for more. Tik Tok hides the time on your phone to purposely not make the viewer think about how much time they are spending on the app. This is why people go on Tik Tok binges for hours, not even realizing how much time they have wasted. 


Not only does Tik Tok purposefully make the app as addicting as a drug, but it has also been causing many long-term effects. The list of long-term effects in children’s brains consists of having a short attention span, lack of concentration, and short-term memory. In  the article, Tik Tok on the Brain by Paige Heidebrink, she states “Without giving the attention of your surroundings you are not present and are blind to them, therefore you are only going to have memories of the Tik Toks you just binged and because they are similar the memories won’t be very detailed either.” When watching Tik Tok, people are so used to having their eyes glued to their phones instead of being fully aware of anything going around them, causing people to lose their recollection of the present. This connects with the other symptoms of having a lack of concentration and a short attention span. The effect that Tik Tok has on others is greatly shown in classrooms when they are being told to sit and listen for long periods of time. They are so used to listening and watching 15 or 30 seconds worth of clips, which results in them not being able to focus nor able to remember anything they saw or heard during class. If you are one of the many people that have Tik Tok, try deleting the app for a week and test how long you can live without it. Notice how it would be hard to stray away? And that is why Tik Tok is harmful to teenagers and others.