Why I deleted TikTok


Savanna Martinez

I did it; I pulled the plug and deleted TikTok, and it was super hard.

Having the social media app TikTok is arguably one of the most defining traits of Generation Z. Tiktok is where most of our generation gets its references, slang and entertainment, but it is also an enormous time waster for those who get sucked into scrolling. Here’s why I deleted TikTok, and honestly, why I will probably redownload it.

I was pretty late to the party on getting TikTok; I downloaded it around May 2020, when everyone in the world was bored and looking for somewhere to be distracted from the world around them. At first I didn’t get the hype since my for-you page wasn’t tailored for me yet, but once TikTok got a feel for what I liked to watch, I went off the deep end.

My screen time went up from about three and a half hours a day to six or seven within two weeks of downloading TikTok. I would sit down and start scrolling on my phone, and come back to reality hours later, not realizing how much time had passed.

I think part of the way that TikTok keeps users hypnotized for so long is that you can’t see the time at the top of your screen unlike other apps. Objectively, videos that range from 15 seconds to three minutes don’t seem that long, but when you get sucked down the rabbit hole, you will find yourself with a lot less hours in the day than you thought you had.

So, I did it; I pulled the plug and deleted TikTok, and it was super hard. I would find myself reaching for my phone multiple times a day to open the app, just to remember that I had deleted it. You miss out on a lot of inside jokes too, but there are a lot of positives that have come out of deleting TikTok.

My whole life I have loved to read, and I used to read a lot before I downloaded TikTok, but I’ve barely read anything since getting the app. Before I deleted the app, I would sit down with my book to read and unconsciously end up scrolling through my for you page, even if I was really enjoying what I was reading.

It was like mind control- I was addicted to the instant gratification that TikTok would provide. Why read a book, and have to actually use your brain, when you could mindlessly scroll like a zombie, and be entertained?

I have also found that I am more productive when getting chores and schoolwork done. I think that every student can relate when I say that I used to try to do homework, and would eventually just end up on TikTok, so getting work done faster is a lot easier when you don’t have that distraction.

I’m not saying that TikTok is all bad; there are a lot of hilarious jokes, friendships and amazing content that comes from the app. I just think that TikTok is inherently designed to draw the user in, and not let them go. Personally, I don’t have four hours a day to spend on TikTok like I did in the summer or during the pandemic.

In all honesty, I will probably redownload TikTok when I am feeling extra bored, but I think I am 100% better off without it.