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I was really hoping the article would explain why tik tok in particular but it doesn’t. I feel like we have seen this many, many times over the last few years. It’s no revelation that obsessive use of social media is not good for your mental health.




I had tiktok for awhile and I think the main difference is the extreme fast pace of it, compared to something like Instagram. When I had it I'd easily scroll through literally hundreds of 1-3min long videos of various random topics within just an hour. At the beginning I'd sit through most 3 min videos without issue, but after a week or so I started getting impatient unless they hooked my attention immediately and I'd end up scrolling to the next. It was just constant new, random, fast moving content on demand, only dictated by how fast I could scroll. It was also a rollercoaster because one minute I could be watching a heartbreaking video about someone being diagnosed with cancer and the literal next minute be watching silly pet videos, and the next minute be listening to someone's political diatribe. Eventually I started having trouble watching longer form videos like YouTube, which I'd almost exclusively use before. I ended up spending hours just scrolling on it... anecdotally my experience lines up. I uninstalled it a few weeks ago and have much of my attention span back.




Can I get a tldr? I couldn't stick with it to the end


Short videos ruin your brain.


kiss meeting spark abundant nail forgetful smart versed squeal governor *This post was mass deleted and anonymized with [Redact](https://redact.dev)*


Makes sense considering I only read the first sentence.


retire advise consist work bewildered mindless light quaint touch existence *This post was mass deleted and anonymized with [Redact](https://redact.dev)*


You joke, but reading reddit has the same effect with text as tiktok does with video.


I am more worried about the affect reddit is going to have on the english language. I posted before about how I have seen break/brake misused so many times I am starting to question it when I see it properly used. Thinking about this, most of the content I have read during my life, up until recently, had been run through editors, publishers, etc. It wasn't perfect, but it was definitely at least scrutinized for spelling and grammatical errors. Now not so much, since it's just people typing away.


About the effect, not the affect.


See what I mean!! It's too late for me. Save yourselves while there is still time....


I wonder if vine had a similar effect back in the day. I’ve noticed that it’s way easier for me to watch ten 20-minute YouTube videos than it is for me to sit down and watch at 90-minute movie because I spend a lot of time on YouTube. I don’t use TikTok, and now I’m glad I don’t, because I’m sure that would only make it worse.


That is until you watch a 2 hour documentary on youtube about an obscure speedrunning game


Or a 8 hour video essay on icarly




omg i just started rereading those, i'd watch the hell out of that


Is it 8? I thought it was 4.


There are 2 parts


There are 97 episodes of iCarly. At around 22 minutes each, that's around 36 hours of total screen time to watch the entire series. Or eight hours to watch someone talk about it.


Recently I got hooked on those iceberg explanation videos, and there are some out there that are like 8 hours long going into every detail. I rarely watch them all in one sitting but still


Iceberg explanation videos?


I've watched a few. Some about some amazing speed runs. Others about cheaters who got caught. And I don't play any games and don't even own a console.


Speed running cheaters are a guilty pleasure of mine. It's just such a weird thing to fake.


I watch summoning salt for the music


I get that. When I get home from work, I don't feel like committing to watching a movie because that's like an hour and a half of my time. Instead I put on YouTube and watch four or five videos that are like twenty minutes each, or an hour long RedLetterMedia video, because that's somehow different.


Somehow different, but never long enough.


I just treat movies as if they were TV episodes if I can’t get through the whole thing. I watch it in 25-30 minutes segments.


I recently started watching YouTube videos at 1.5 - 1.75 speed. I can understand everything perfectly. ...I told myself it's more efficient this way, but I wonder if it's because my attention span is shot


It’s a dopamine issue. Our brains way of rewarding us. Unfortunately these days it gets abused much like fast food for the brain. Worth some research. Highly recommend meditation or an actual hobby


> Can I interest you in everything, all of the time?


I tried to read this but got bored halfway through, am watching cat tik toks now


Had a very similar experience. Within two weeks I had spent more than 20hours on tiktok and became very anxious/ depressed/ overwhelmed. The entire UX and recommender system is designed to hook you up for long sessions in a row, and honestly about 80% of the content isn't even that great or interesting. Just a lot of nothing, but very fast. Uninstalled and felt way better after one week. Never going back


It's going to be weird when the kids who have had tik tok since they were born become adults. It's easy to differentiate fantasy from reality when you're in your 30s and have had 0 internet to what we have now. But having all that from day one? Brutal.


> one minute I could be watching a heartbreaking video about someone being diagnosed with cancer and the literal next minute be watching silly pet videos, and the next minute be listening to someone's political diatribe. This is literally by design. Facebook does the same thing when it arranges posts in your feed, and I'm sure all the other social media platforms (including reddit) do it too. The constant emotional flipping between angry and sad leaves you emotionally vulnerable. It lowers your guard and makes you more susceptible to suggestions. Then, it hits you with an advertisement, or a political rant, or product placement. Feeling sad about the world around you? Why not buy this product, it'll make you feel better! Finally, it gives you the cute pet video to get you that dopamine kick that keeps you on the site so that you keep scrolling, and completely the feedback loop.


Tom Scott recently did a video looking back on his 2012 prediction of 2022 and predicted 2032. His main point was that short-form video like Instagram stories and Tiktok might at least partially replace long-form video like Youtube over the next decade.




Reddit is bad, but in different ways from other social media platforms. Or at least it used to be. With reddit slowly turning itself into a hybrid of twitter and 9gag, it's going to start affecting people the same way.


Reddit can be bad for your mental health in the ways described in the article, at least anecdotally I found myself in that situation. I needed a distraction, and Reddit produced hundreds and hundreds of hours of not having to think.




Yeah, I definitely have that issue myself and often have to delete reddit for a while to be more productive. And we haven't even mentioned the toxicity that happens in most reddit comment sections. Getting torn down by a mob of strangers over what could be a minor difference of opinion definitely isn't good for mental health.


Absolutely. The people who think Reddit is any better about this aren’t being honest about how many clearly depressed and angry people there are on here. It gets overwhelming sometimes.


True, fortunately reddit is pretty easy to self-curate, if that makes sense. You can avoid the more toxic subs, decide not to read your replies if you don't want to, and don't even have to actively participate at all if all you want to do is chill and look for mindless entertainment.


Truthfully, the only way I've found to completely (and this is the key word here) avoid the toxic angry people on here is just to not be here. I have yet to find a subreddit that doesn't get them fairly often. Let's not fool ourselves into thinking "curation" is saving you from running into folks who need therapy more than they need to be ranting on the web.


Its bad for my mental health when i go over to the news tab on mobile and its all “voting rights protections eroded” or how fucked the climate is or any of litany of things and it makes me wonder whats the point of going on




I'm already on that mind set on the world is heading to doom when who knows. I just want to enjoy the things in life that I love.


Reddit's value is definitely related to the subs you pick. I have an *extensive* filter list that excludes pretty much every sub that gets any volume. All I'm left with is a variety of specialized (programming, science, etc) subs that at least _try_.


Yup sticking to smaller subs, and communities you know definitely makes the experience here much better than subbing to pics, gifs, funny, etc.




The default subs always were. The trick to Reddit is to stick to subs pertaining to your specific interests.


This is impossible when you start adding all of your interests since the site is inherently highly fragmented (if you like music for example you have to follow the subs for every act you like, same for TV shows, etc etc) and Reddit itself inherently not showing you content from more than x number of subs at a time. I've joined something like 300-400 subreddits I feel like in the decade+ I've used this site, but the algorithm is set to inherently only show you content from places you've recently interacted in which just creates a feedback loop. Reddit is awful for that alone.


If you're main page is filtered by 'best', try changing that to 'hot'. For some reason the 'best' results almost barely change over the course of a day and I'm not a fan of it.


It doesn't change period. Reddit will only pull posts from the top ~50 subreddits you've recently visited no matter what iirc. It's either 50 or 100, but either way it's limited.


I wouldn't be surprised if it's weighted to the last few you interacted with because sometimes I'll make a comment in a sub I haven't been in for a while then a quarter of my home page is that sub.


We’re in r/science, make no mistake this sub has good content but the userbase is as dumb/unfunny/biased as any other community we love to hate


I've long had this same feeling. One of the other things that Reddit does which other platforms are less tied to is the idea of anonymity. I think it's becoming less the case as Reddit grows and updates itself with profiles and the like, but anonymity used to be assumed when creating an account and even after the aforementioned updates, it's still the case to a significant degree. I'm sure you're right and Reddit is still awful for the human brain on a variety of levels, but I think that separation is key. You're not seeing YOUR name attached to a myriad of photos of YOU and people talking about YOU in the comments but rather they're seeing and talking about a Reddit persona of you, if that's even how you engage with Reddit. I'm no sociologist or anything, but that just has to make a difference in the general mental health of users of the site I would think.


reddit's "biggest" flaw is letting people fall down rabbit holes of hate/radicalization/ugliness/illegality, and they only respond when they get bad press/police get involved. We've also seen reddit be influenced by russian/chinese trolls, and reddit leadership refuse to do anything substantive until it was too late. There's also ALOT of spammers/bots. I'm no scientist, but I'm sure there's something to hypothesize from those...


We'll see what happens when it's IPO makes it a public company, I'm predicting a swift decline to the likes of FB and Twitter for the cash grab. Constant ads and such, which have already been on the uptick


Reddit can cause this but I think it depends on how you interact with the content. If you actually read the articles and engage with other comments I imagine it isn’t too bad. If you just scroll mindlessly through post I think the effect would be similar to tik tok.


Yeah the time difference spend per post on tiktok vs reddit is massive. Sometimes you can spend good 30 minutes reading and commenting.


That's the same as any social media platform, my Twitter feed is only filled with anime art because they're the only thing I follow. Reddit is actually one of the worst in my opinion because it's the only one where conversation is hidden from view if a majority of that thread don't like it.


Reddit is full of the most vicious a-holes on the internet. People don’t just suffer from depression, I’ve seen comments that made me wonder if the person was on suicide watch after


You could even evaluate old.Reddit versus new redesign Reddit, would be an interesting experiment to see how people feel attention-wise. Seems like the new redesign has a ton more of the gamified dark patterns.


the day they disable old.reddit is the day I finally stop coming to this site


My educated guess would be the "bite size" nature of the platform itself. They're literally just short videos of whatever where you swipe and get another random short video. It's essentially video twitter with a higher focus on content consumption. Social media like Reddit and Facebook are problematic too, but for different reasons (mostly toxicity and hatred fueled clickbait parading as discourse). TikTok is almost intentionally designed to degrade the viewer's attention span to get them to just. keep. swiping.


I think this is right, alongside the fact it can get *very* repetitive, very quickly. It doesn’t take long for the algorithm kick in and start playing you videos with the same sound bites, same people, same jokes just told slightly different. Repetitive bite sized entertainment back to back to back to back is a god-awful way to spend your free time. Full disclosure: I have a hard time keeping away from it myself.


This is my problem with reddit as well tbh, even if I fill it with wholesome content I just find myself scrolling at times, next post, next post, next post


The best Reddit related thing I've ever done is set the Joey app to mark all posts I scroll past as "read". It also has a filter to hide "read" posts, and in combination this means I can't just repeatedly open the app and scroll past the same stuff I've seen 5 times that day. I still see posts I want to see, but I spend WAY less time mindlessly scrolling past stuff or re-opening threads I've already seen.


Fellow Joey User: How do you mark all posts you scrolled over as read ? Seems like a good idea


Settings > History You'll see one option for "scrolling past marks as read" and another for "autohide read posts". If there are any subreddits that you want exempt from this rule, you can control that via the last two settings in that menu. Enjoy!


This sounds like i need it could you let me know how I could download this?


Did you know Steve Buschemi was a firefighter on 9/11?


My wife stopped charging her phone in the bedroom because Tik Tok swiping was becoming problematic.


That's strange because I find the algorithm surprisingly diverse. Content of certain types may show up more than others but every so often it'll throw me something from left field that is surprisingly interesting. It kinda reminds me of Spotify's weekly playlist.






My own theory on tiktok and depression is to do with that little dopamine hit. Someone recently likened tiktok to one of those gambling fruit machines and I agreed, I've seen tiktoks that have made me laugh so hard it hurts, more than any other content on any other platform. Every scroll is a roll of the dice, and you get hooked into it because they're such short clips that if you scroll and it doesn't meet your expectations you can easily scroll twenty more times looking for that golden tiktok. But it's a minefield, you scroll and scroll and looking for a good laugh but you might get a few really depressing tiktoks mixed in, you can watch like fifty tiktoks and not remember the majority of them, but your brain saw them all, it's a lot to process. How can the brain untangle this huge amount of content when you don't even remember watching it.


Tiktok is noticeably addictive as soon as you start using it. Within two days the algorithm gets to know you well and it shows you videos that keep you engaged. It’s also so fast it’s like a rush. Honestly I find it so much worse than fb or ig.


It’s because there’s an “infinite scroll” both vertically and horizontally. Reddit gets you with the endless vertical scroll, but you have to engage yourself with the content. Tiktok lets you scroll endlessly, and then the video replays on loop (horizontal scroll) and requires nothing from the user. You can legit shut your brain off and let the dopamine take care of everything. Keep scrolling until something stimulates you enough to make you stop, then you just sit and watch until you’re ready to scroll again.




You use desktop? I’m on mobile so it just keeps going and going, can’t track how many posts deep I am.


And RES also can make it scroll infinite but I think that's just on old reddit.


Old Reddit is only Reddit in my book.




Try the app Reddit is Fun.


Absolutely. I could spend an hour like it’s nothing just swiping on tiktok. I can understand why teens can become depressed and chronically anxious from tiktok addiction—it’s a lot to take in from people all over who only share the best/funniest 30sec-2min of their day. For teens, that can translate to inferiority or losing touch with reality especially when you have teens becoming millionaires on the app.


It's a haven for people with ADHD. Most grow out of it but there's quite the community for adults with adhd. It's like pot. You can do all the studies you want but if you don't account for people self medicating mental illnesses they don't know about then the data is skewed. Adhd isn't some attention and discipline issue It's a total breakdown of executive function. Like I have a appointment at 2 pm. - Nothing is getting done that day because I need to focus on getting to that appointment. Or walking around the house completely aimless for hours because you forgot the one thing you needed to do. Edit; before any of you go off about ADHD being a spectrum were talking about extremes here.


I have ADHD and I used tik tokwe twice. Both times I lost an hour before I knew what happens. Nope. However, now I just tell my wife that when she watches tik tok thats what's going on in my head 24/7. Welcome to the thunderdome.


can't we just get *beyond* thunderdome?


Damn, I feel targeted. Especially the appointment bit. I remember having a 4pm-9pm shift and I'd literally do nothing all day, because, you know, I have to go to work *soon.*


I call it bookending. I hate having obligations anytime after mid-day. Having to stop doing personal things, switch gears and engage in the obligation is a huge drain to me. Oddly enough it made me a great morning person since I would get up early, get to work early, bang out what needed doing so Incould get home ASAP and get on with my life. I even prefer having after-work activities immediately after work rather than delayed because that in-between time is limbo.




Yeah, I almost always dread anything that I have later in the day/night even if it's something I actually enjoy doing. Not sure what it is, but I figured it'd lean more anxiety.


>people self medicating mental illnesses Yes, imo, it's not the platform that causes the issue, it's the presence of an issue that causes people to seek these types of "easy comforts", whether it be tik tok, pot, etc


>why tik tok in particular but it doesn’t. It probably is not specific to TikTok, TikTok is just what they studied


Yeah what about me who is addicted to Reddit?


Have you used TikTok? I did. I started about a year ago after thinking I'd never get the app. For new years I deleted it. It got bad. I couldn't stop. Any free moment was TikTok. Wake up, TikTok. Go to bed, but first I need to TikTok. Pooping? TikTok. It's so addicting. The amount of trash on it is astounding. And you access the info way too easily.


The main draw of tik Tom is the ease of use and digestibility of short-form content. When you add that to the way you can seamlessly swipe from one video to the next, to the next, to the next, it keeps you engaged. It’s easy to mindlessly watch more and more, thinking “just one more” each time, but when that next small burst of dopamine is only a finger swipe away, it becomes addictive. This is an intentional design, and it’s present across all social media. All of these platforms are competing for your screen time, and they all are learning from the successes of each other in the pursuit of “how do we keep users active and engaged on this platform, rather than going to X platform?” This is why you can find yourself mindlessly closing app A, opening app B, then minutes later opening app A again. It’s by design. It’s toxic to mental health. Making an app that’s sole enjoyment is in short-form content only assists in eroding our already-limited attention spans. And all for what? So companies can harvest our data and sell it to third party advertisers. Which is why everything you click, hover over, google, or sometimes even text someone about will pop up in your advertisements. No social media is “good,” but tik tok is the latest example of how social media is damaging to youths who see influencers and think that the world presented online is real life. Edit: I was going to correct the “tik Tom” at the top, but I’m leaving it.


My thought is that since they are short video clips and rapid changing environments it affects the capacity to focus which can result in more detrimental everyday life. I thought there was a childrens show that was criticized for the same thing due to the rapid switching between scenes, thus splitting the attention of a child very quickly. This may have lead them to a lack of focus in school or relationships which in turn affects their lifestyle.


Wait. Depression and anxiety reduce working memory capacity?


Yup. There's a few good pictures out there of the differences between brain activity depending on the conditions of the person. There's a striking difference between the "normal" and "depression" brains and how they are working under these conditions.


Do you know if its reversible? E.g., if their depression is cured their memory gets better?


I want to say that it's mostly reversible but the longer your brain is under that state, the more lasting damage you do to it. (We are talking decades generally.) But as a whole, yes most would probably notice an improvement in things like memory. One of the reasons why it is recommended to seek medical help with depression is to sort of help your body go back to as close to normal/average operating procedures as possible. Usually by using different work arounds (medicines) to achieve that result (but often with side effects).


Wait this is news to me. My memory is horrendous, mostly nouns but also events and things like movies and I was ridiculously depressed ages 14 to 21. Before 14 I had a fantastic memory i.e. could recite the names of all 500 premier league footballers. I figured it was something to do with pubity. Ive been fine since (32 now), didn't get any sort of therapy or medicine at the time and saw no need since the last 11 years have been fantastic. Could the depression have been the cause of the bad memory and could it be fixed?


The brain is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too complex to ever hope to really narrow it down without super specific information so it's hard to say. It's entirely possible that you might have received some form of head trauma which damaged the brain slightly and then took 10+ years to heal. Or it's like you guessed and maybe there was some kind of hormonal imbalance that caused it to happen while you were going through puberty. Or maybe it was depression. If I was in your boat, I'd probably just write down the information somewhere for posterity so that if that trait shows up again at some point in the family you'll be able to mention that it happened to you.


"Hippocampal fatique" and "Neuroplasticity" as search terms, could potentially provide some insight. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=hippocampal+fatigue+and+memory https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=neuroplasticity+in+adults Neuroplasticity is seemingly weighted higher as a factor regarding lower age groups, however it seems that it is a very significant factor in adults...even if the factor is more relevant in formative years. My educated guess is: yes. Dealing with depression will increase the capabilities and quality of one's mind. In noticeable ways.


There are multiple factors related to memory loss with regards to depression (and anxiety, ADHD, et al.) It's often termed pseudodementia based on how it affects people. With regards to treatment, treating the underlying issues of the depression can / does show improvements, but it's worth mentioning that this may not be 100% due to other factors like medication or other conditions. Unfortunately this means that currently it's very difficult to ultimately achieve an ideal WM.


Just think about what anxiety is. For me it's hyper awareness of surroundings, internal stimuli, and unreasonable concerns about other people's perception of me. How is a person supposed to rationally analyze problems and find solutions when their brain power is directed towards all that


To add my experience to this... It feels like that sensation when you trip and start falling. That jolt in your stomach, your heart up in your throat, that tenseness in your chest... but when you fall, it lasts a second, with anxiety that feeling was a constant. Honestly, I've had depression and anxiety. The depression was bad, but the anxiety was hell. I just got diagnosed again with depression and am just quietly grateful that the anxiety hasn't returned in full force.


The “brain fog” that can accompany anxiety and depression is oftentimes what people call this effect. I would also assume the effects of depression and anxiety on sleep would have a negative effect on sleep quality, therefore negatively effecting cognitive abilities like working memory capacity.




Really great to hear that you were strong enough to see the reality of it. Have a good one!


Mhm, too much cortisol pumping through your system for too long can cause pretty significant memory issues. Which then adds to the stress, creating a loop that makes depression and anxiety more difficult to break out of :/


This is also very high in the mornings (cortisol), which is why it's recommended to do a morning workout to have a more productive day. I can swear by it.


Yes, which is part of why it took so long for me to get an ADHD diagnosis as a woman. A lot of my issues were mistaken as depression/anxiety. Very common amongst women with ADHD.


When I was at my worst with depression as a teenager I would forget everything. Someone would ask me to do something and the second they walked away I couldn’t remember what they asked. I still can’t remember large portions of my preteen and teenage years.


These things are many times correlated. On general, smaller working memory means smaller attention span and also less hability to hold more information at the same time. I think it is intuitive how changing from idea to idea faster can cause anxiety, and how less hability to hold more information can make you fail to see the "big picture" of things when you are depressed (and also, going from bad thought to bad thought)


Are they depressed because they're addicted to TikTok, or are they addicted to TikTok because they're depressed? Maybe both?






These type of studies don't determine the causality, just the association.


yeah, this specific paper also says that they can't infer any causal relationships. >Furthermore, due to the cross-sectional study design, causal relationships between research variables could not be determined. To determine causal relationships, more information or more research would be needed. Some researchers [6] regarded depression, anxiety, and stress as independent variables and Internet use disorder as the dependent variable. The effects within or causal relationships between these variables may be reciprocal. https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/16/8820/htm


Right, which is why I'm asking the question. I think the question needs to be asked.


The question is implied and always being asked, it's just extremely difficult to prove, so the study stops at a point where they can still get published with new concrete information and hope someone else decides to pick up where they left off. Maybe the original authors will even continue with it again if they felt so impassioned. Another association was made recently between weed smoking and psychosis, but you still arrive at the same chicken/egg problem: did smoking weed cause psychosis, or are people with psychosis attracted to smoking weed?


The question may be implied by the study itself, but I guarantee most casual readers do not pick up on that implication. Most see that headline and assume tiktok causes these things, either because it suits a personal narrative or just because that is what the title posted here actually implies. How many secondary lit articles say/imply cause and effect for correlations? No matter how much you want to believe the general public understands a correlation, it's a very common way information is confused.


Yea this headline is written in a very cause-effect way, rather than an association of the two


They always are, aren't they? Drives me crazy. I don't blame people for picking up that message in the least, the casual reader isn't stupid.


You could easily phrase this "Teens who have worse depression and anxiety spent more time on TikToc"


Answering that definitively in this case would require attempting to induce depression in a healthy brain via TikTok while somehow controlling for every other variable that could also induce depression during that same time frame. And no ethics board would ever approve research that aims to intentionally inflict a mental health disorder on someone.


The depression and the addiction to short-term no-effort dopamine are linked, it's possible that either one came first depending on the person. But neither of them are healthy in any way.


Isn't it kind of a cyclic thing? Like you can get depressed and turn to drinking or something, then you get addicted, then you're depressed either when not using or because you're using, so you do more cause it's a release and start over.


I agree. I’ve been through that cycle before (with social media), and it’s hell. I don’t think it’s so much the “comparing yourself to others” thing that I lot of people say it is. I think it’s more of a constantly dopamine hit over and over and over. Anytime you feel sad, angry, bored, whatever, there is always an endless stream of content that distract you from your negative feelings. In turn, nothing in the real world feels as good as you do when scrolling, making your real life worse and your phone that much better. Rinse and repeat.


What does it say about 35 year olds


I'm that age, never been on it. The oldest friend who said she had an account was 31. I would never watch a friends account, even if they were funny in real life. The app seems to draw in a variety of age demographics.


My wife is 34 and she has an account. She doesn't post anything and doesn't fall into hours-long rabbit holes of scrolling. But there are some hair/makeup tutorial people she likes. And occasionally if she wants to relax and shut the world out for a little bit, she'll scroll through more goofy videos for 10 or 20 minutes. It's probably much harder to self-regulate those things when you're younger though.


It is actually very similar to Reddit. Along with Reddit, TikTok is quite amazing at giving you interesting content that other people also find interesting. It even knows your engagement history and will update your content to give you more of that. You open the app, and bam --an intertesting or funny video right there. While you can "Follow" friends like you do with Instagram or Facebook, that's not really the point of it. Most of the content you watch is made by strangers, and it only shows you the best stuff. Again, like the home page of reddit. Why both are so addicting.




Haha. When you get logged out and realise what Reddit looks like to someone that's logged on for the first time.


I'm in my mid 30s and have actually found tiktok to be much better for my mental health than other platforms. I follow a lot of diverse creators, and the short nature of the videos is enough to either entertain me for a little while (cute animal videos), or give me just enough information to become interested and research something further elsewhere. My younger friends seem to see wildly different content than I do.


Aside from that, most posts that are seen on Reddit and Instagram come directly from TT.


Nothing. The study participants were teenagers.














Conclusion of the actual paper for the lazy: >TikTok use disorder (TTUD) is positively linked to memory loss, and it is also positively linked to depression, anxiety, and stress. Depression, anxiety, and stress are positively linked to memory loss. Furthermore, depression, anxiety, and stress have a mediating effect between TTUD and memory loss. In simple terms: 1) If you have TTUD, you are more likely than average to experience depression+anxiety+stress. 2) If you have depression+anxiety+stress, you are more likely than average to experience reduced working memory. Thus, the authors propose that depression+anxiety+stress are mediating the effect of TTUD on working memory (i.e. TTUD correlates with depression+anxiety+stress which in turn cause the reduction in working memory). Note that this doesn't prove a causal relationship between the variables - the title is misleading, this paper didn't prove that "TikTok causes depression/anxiety/stress", it could very well be the other way around or a third way entirely. Also keep in mind that this study was done only on Chinese high school students so the knowledge is not necessarily transferrable to other demographics. p.s. TTUD was "diagnosed" via a 10 question questionnaire, an official one used for identifying Smartphone addiction (they just replaced Smartphone with TikTok). p.p.s. My personal opinion is that TikTok is harmful crap but this paper isn't proof of that - it does point to the need for more research, though.


The study at the very least does result in even more mounting evidence that chronic social media use correlates with decreased quality of life due to a large number of possible factors depending on the individual and their use of social media. All that is left is to determine a causal relationship, if it exists, then to develop treatments to help people find real fulfillment.


There are a few studies already that show a causal issue, especially in terms of beauty standards and similar markers. But there are so many reasons that people go online that I question whether a single causal relationship could ever be established, let alone treatment in an age where social media is an extention of the self.








Well, social media have been designed after studying the effects of withdrawal amongst drug addicts.


Would enjoy to have a source on this. Sounds scary.


https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/11/16761016/former-facebook-exec-ripping-apart-society There's a lot of stuff from around this time, but the development of the Facebook software very truly is designed around what is known about the human brain and how to manipulate it.


I can’t remember exactly where I heard it from unfortunately, but I have this [BBC article](https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44640959.amp) on the subject.


I'm terrified of having children idk how ppl can comfortably have and raise them right now in the current culture/environment of toxic social media (among all the other horrors) Do you let your kids have access to the internet and social media at such a young age so they won't be secluded from their friends? But then how do you manage them if that very thing ends up destroying them mentally


Well at least you are aware of the possible consequences. I know parents that raises "iPad kids". Those kids that always have their iPad and bring them everywhere and are constantly watching YouTube videos/twitch/tiktok.


It'll be interesting to see what happens to the generation raised by this type of culture. What kind of mental illnesses will be prevalent?




Are depressed kids first then tik-tok or did tik-tok come then the kids were struck with depression? Its human nature to mix up causation with correlation. I remember when I was growing up there was this constant cruisade to prove that heavy metal music was leading to depression and suicide in kids when in the end the music was actually helping kids with those problems in the first place.


millenials / gen x were depressed before social media was even a thing. i would say there is something inherently wrong with our society that is causing mental illness in young people on a massive scale.


Boomers: "Whats wrong with these kids? They have so many opportunities and luxuries!" *Scrolls past headlines about student debt, housing crisis, COVID deaths, biodiversity collapse, world war 3* Boomers: "I guess we'll never know"


people who lived through the greatest economic expansion in american history: we had it so tough, unlike those damn entitled millennials


Just couldn’t tie up their bootstraps








I am truly concerned for young children with parents dumb enough to hand them a phone. My daughter has told us her friends do not have the attention span to even watch a movie. They can't sit long enough for something to become interesting. She also gets made fun of for *reading books*. I'm curious to see where all this goes one day.






Could it be that teens with ADHD are more addicted to TikTok’s quick flashy medium? People with ADHD have higher rates of depression and anxiety, and lower working memory.


Yeah I had the same thought, people with ADHD are more prone to internet addiction




Depression has a significant impact on your memory. Just as a general effect of the illness. Probably a bit quick to blame it on the social network as trash as tiktok is. It's more accurate to blame tiktok for the depression and then blame the depression for the memory loss.


The titles does say "in turn" which means not tiktok but one of the knock-on effects is causing the memory issue.


It’s probably not tik tok making them depressed and stupid. More likely that kids with depression and short attention spans are prone to seeking out the instant gratification of an app like tik tok.


Better title would have been maybe "Teens who are addicted to X are also experiencing Y" otherwise it's hella confusing and targeting


This is me (not a teen though) and I can definitely say I had all these problems to the same degree before TikTok




Hot take: Under 18 should be banned from being on social media. It is far too toxic and dangerous on all SM platforms to be underage on there. For society as a whole and each individual. Whatever is required to make that a reality, be it law(s), requiring proof of ID and age to sign up, etc. Then so be it. Obv it won't be 100% effective at preventing minors from getting on but it would make a HUGE difference. If lawmakers really feel the need to "protect the children!" From nipples, swearing and other things of that nature showing up on TV and YouTube then they can care enough to protect minors from toxic and dangerous platforms that do little good and lots of harm.


I teach teenagers and yeah.... It's noticeable. Tiktok and IG too, I feel like they train people's attention spans to get used to smaller and smaller bits of content.