Imagine a drug that increases your stress, anxiety and leaves you mentally exhausted; a drug that not only hooks you, but leaves you drained of energy every day. Who would use such a drug? Almost everyone. That drug is called TikTok.
Feeling lonely? Don't worry, in the Trending and challenges community you'll have "friends" eager to see you acting like a retard or making a fool of yourself with an embarrassing dance.
Teenagers, children and adults act like idiots for social approval. But that doesn't hurt anyone, right? There are challenges like pouring bleach in your eyes to see if they change colour, putting on orange mould make-up, tripping someone while they jump, as in the following video:
People have died doing stupid challenges. Who's to blame? TikTok doesn't force you to use the platform, but in an extremely stressful world of anxiety and dopamine overdose, with people desperate for social approval, some seek refuge in a toxic environment. There are people who feel the need to prove to other people that they are happy, that they have a fantastic life? The reality is quite different.
Faced with family conflicts, problems at school or at work, people take refuge in TikTok, which at first glance does not look like a drug, to forget their problems. However, TikTok acts on the mesolimbic pathway, activating the brain's reward system. If watching stupid videos makes you forget about your problems and also gives you pleasure, you will watch stupid videos, and your brain will want to do it again, so you watch another video and your brain releases dopamine. Over time, the dopaminergic system adapts: at the beginning it will be enough to watch one video, but then you need to watch two, three, four... To reach the same level of pleasure as at the beginning, you will have to watch more and more videos.
On the other hand, behaviours that increase dopamine in a healthy way, such as sports and healthy eating, are tedious. These activities cannot be compared to what the big companies offer: they release your dopamine to the maximum without hardly any effort on your part, until you end up overweight, exhausted...
With social networks like TikTok you don't have to choose what you want to watch, because the algorithm chooses for you the kind of shit you like, giving it to you without you having to lift a finger. It does this for free because you are the product: their business is to keep you hooked in front of the screen so that you watch as many ads as possible. How do they do that? By gradually changing your behaviours and your way of thinking, in other words, making you dependent without you even realising it. You can't see how the algorithm that has been hyper-optimised to hook you works, but you can watch the following video and do things that encourage other people to spend more time on the platform, like commenting and liking. You are a used, not a user.
That's why you've spent whole days doing practically nothing and you are always so tired, bored, discouraged, stressed, sad, unmotivated, irritated, weakened... hooked.
Is it TikTok that is making people sick? TikTok is a reflection of our society, a sick society, deluded by the false happiness of social media, fed up with the world. Social networks know many things about you, but you don't know anything about them, because they are proprietary programs. There are free social networks, but they can also be quite toxic.
To get out of addiction you can try dopamine detoxification, that is, reducing your use of social media and engaging in activities that require effort and do not give you immediate pleasure. This can be done gradually to make it easier.
Of course, social networks can also be useful, but they should be used in moderation. Ideally, they should be free and respectful of privacy. They should not encourage addiction, which is exactly what TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and other social networks do.