I’m Addicted to TikTok and I’m Proud to Say So

I am a TikTok addict. With its algorithmically perfect cascade of videos designed to entertain me forever, it’s hard to unglue my eyes from the screen and set my phone down. This app has become my favorite form of entertainment, and it has been for months. I acknowledge that the short-video sharing service has captivated my attention for hours on end without realizing it.

The app was founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming and is owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based internet technology company. According to wallaroomedia.com, TikTok has about 850 million monthly active users. It is used for everything from education about current events to cooking and dancing videos. It is the best social media network to come along because of how inclusive it is. No matter what age or background, anyone can watch, share, and create TikToks and be successful at it.

I first downloaded the free app as a joke in March. I now have over 10,000 followers and a handful of my TikToks have gone viral. My first TikTok to go viral was in May. It has over 3 million views and over 413,000 comments. As a senior in college, I feel like bragging about something like this should be embarrassing, but it doesn’t have to be. Why should I be ashamed about something I enjoy doing?


likeeee 😭😭😭 #fyp #foryoupage #catfish

♬ original sound – ur mom

My addiction to TikTok is no different than people who watch an unhealthy number of movies each week on Netflix or people who can’t start their day without coffee. My grades aren’t suffering, I’ve never missed a softball practice, I’m not addicted to drugs, but watching and creating those 60-second videos are my guilty pleasure.  I can understand why people may have negative impressions of the app, but I’ve loved the distraction and many laughs it has brought into my life since downloading it. I can confidently say that I’m addicted to TikTok and I’m proud.

After downloading the app, I began to dabble in the popular dance trends and crazy transitions but soon realized that wasn’t my niche. I found that I gain more followers and have more interactions with my posts when I make TikToks about my beach trips around the island, makeup, fashion, and comedic skits.

This app consumes a lot of my down time. It’s easy to get sucked into it. The more you scroll down on the “For You” page and the more you “heart” videos you enjoy watching, each new video you see is personal to you which then makes you want to keep on scrolling to see similar videos pop up. When asked about how many hours a day I spend on the app, at first I said five hours, but then I checked my screen time on my phone and it was actually two hours.

Even though I don’t spend as much time on the app as I had thought, a lot of my time is also spent on making and reshooting videos. I’m constantly thinking about how I can make my content unique and engaging so users can keep following me, commenting, and liking my posts. I get a thrill when one of my videos blows up. My phone gets flooded with notifications and I catch myself refreshing the video religiously to see the numbers grow. I think that’s why TikTok is so addicting to me. I get a rush of excitement because my work is getting noticed and it makes me want to continue to make videos for people’s entertainment.

Similar to other social media platforms, TikTok is also plagued with toxic haters and negative posts. Another downside is that many people are hesitant to download the app because TikTok has access to an alarming amount of data on your phone. According to newsrecord.org, TikTok collects contacts, GPS position, age, phone number, the content you post and other data. However, any other social media apps like Facebook and Twitter also collect this type of data. There’s good reason to remain skeptical about the Chinese-owned company, but for now it’s one of the most entertaining social media platforms.

People can judge all they want, but 2020 has been hard enough so let me have a little fun.