Social media shenanigans: was deleting TikTok the right choice?
I have a love/hate relationship with social media (don’t we all), but recently made the decision to delete TikTok after recognising the dependency I had on it.
As I’m trying to work on final assessments and exam study, I’m finding that I have a lot more time and free head space to get work done. While other factors play a part in this feeling, I recognise that my prior use of social media (specifically TikTok) contributes to why I feel freer.
Late 2019 "I gave in" and downloaded TikTok – which I will firstly state, I don’t regret this. The algorithm plays a key role in the type of content that you watch, so I felt like my time on TikTok was filled with educational videos, memes and advice videos (and occasional TikTok dances)! What I do regret is how I ended up incorporating TikTok in my daily routine for the whole year – it was the first thing I scrolled through in the morning and the last thing I saw before sleeping. Every moment I had spare between getting tasks done, I would fill that time mindlessly scrolling through TikTok.
It’s hard striking a balance between finding entertainment between studying—and making sure this entertainment does not become an addictive escape from university assignments and studying. I know I really struggle with this and have friends who do also. I find that it is completely up to an individual to determine whether TikTok or another form of social media is hindering or elevating your life.
I made the decision to delete TikTok because it had become an unwanted routine of mine and a habit which I could not break (or manage healthily). I believe I made the right choice deleting it because I’ve found that I fill my time with other fun hobbies (and I get more sleep) – and my screen time has decreased a lot. But I have to disclose that deleting TikTok wasn’t this "miraculous" decision that has turned my life around—I do miss the educational content and admittedly at times find myself even more engaged with other social media apps to fill that missing void.
As exams and final assessments approach, you’ll probably find yourself spending more time on your phone (procrastination - we love to see it)! I personally will make more of an effort to remove these distractions. I find placing my phone in a drawer until I complete a set goal helps – but I know that this may not work for others. Find what works for you (have you heard of those phone lock boxes?).
I’m still trying to figure out what my stance with phones and social media is – it definitely has obvious cons but a lot more pros than you think. I would recommend checking out your screen time to reflect on whether there is a social media platform you spend an undesirable time on! Just like anything – balance is key, and all good things can turn bad if you don’t keep track of how much it's consuming your life.