Why I hate TikTok- Are we destroying our selves and the very fabric of society? Here’s some food for thought.
Man, what a world we live in. I mean, these computers and their modern-day capacities; I can bank from my phone, turn off my lights at home from work, and use GPS to get around. It’s mind-blowing when you think about it. None of these amazing technologies were around when I was a kid.
For me, the early to mid-eighties were the golden years of my childhood. And in those days, so too was the height of my imagination. Man, I’d love to have that vibrant and rich imagination today. As a content creator, this would be of a tremendous benefit to my work. Alas, adulthood has a way of eroding the power of daydreaming, for example. So, like millions of modern adults, I do my best with what this mid-life brain has at its disposal.
Regardless of the dulling-down effect brought on by the decades of mental illness, bills, and everyday life, 1980-something was my heyday. At least, in a stress-free and creative sense.
I, and many kids of that age, grew up on the idea that the future was going to be amazing. More than that, though – human life was going to be filled with hope and ease. (Kinda like a typical childhood). We grew up on Transformers, The Jetsons, G.I. Joe, and Star Trek. They all provided us with a moral lesson and a hope for peace.
Alternatively, we also had movies like The Terminator, Judge Dread, and Robocop. These films showed a very bleak and hopeless future thanks to tech. Personally, all of them held my attention and scared the life out of me, all at the same time.
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So, Sci-Fi at the time was painting a picture of a century’s old human trait of good and evil; renewal and end-of-days-type scenarios. Each taking their best guess at trying to predict what the future of humans was going to look like.
Being me, a sensitive and hopeful kid, I leaned on the Utopian existence that Star Trek promised. Peace has always seemed like a better way to go, at least in my view.
Fast-forward to today: we have a future that is now. That is to say, when I envisioned things like computers assisting our daily living in the eighties, I saw them 200 years in the future. “Boy, I hope I will live to see a robot help me clean the house.” The thought of futuristic gadgets and computers excited me. Not only did they excite me, but they also made me sad. The young boy in me was absolutely certain that I would not live to see any of this tech.
Now, I have a robot vacuum, a car that can somewhat drive itself, and GPS to take me anywhere. A little boy’s dream to see the future before he died, realized. Blows my mind.
So, it certainly seems like we’re heading to that Utopian place I dreamed of, but we always seem to be equal parts peaceful and evil. Therefore, the amazing tech that gives me the ability to find my pocket computer (mobile) anywhere in my home, also puts me at risk.
The great corruptor, you ask? The pathological need to make money and lord over the masses. While this fundamental flaw of human nature is ancient, it’s arguably the most dangerous time for it.
And this is where mental health and addictions come in. I knew you were wondering. And the epi-centre for the evil aspect of tech, greed, and power? The hub of the above-mentioned mental health and addictions? In a word – algorithms.
More specifically, algorithms and the new phenomenon of video shorts. What a brilliant way to take advantage of the human-reward centre of the brain. No needles required, just get them hooked on their own leanings, and BOOM! a dopamine rush is triggered.
And like any pleasure-seeking addiction, you need more and more of these shorts to get that feel good feeling. Essentially, scrolling through these short vids is like pulling the handle on a slot machine. Over time, as is true with any addiction, it replaces pleasure with mental anguish; this anguish manufactures nothing but more and more anxiety and depression – and replacing your happiness with a repository of hate, mostly for those with opposing opinions.
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As if that weren’t enough, by their nature, they butcher context. Worryingly, this butchered content is totally at the mercy of the person editing and uploading it. In other words, you get to see what they want you to see, hear what they want you to hear, and as a result, either intentionally or otherwise, turn us against one another. What’s so worrying here, is that people get to bolster their position. In my view, this is dangerous because one never knows the extent to which any given person knows what they are talking about.
I cringe at the thought of how many people have been ruined because of a 30-second clip. Essentially, what’s been created is a headline video. And since the advent of the Internet, people have gotten really good at drawing conclusions based on headlines alone. As far as I’m concerned, if there was a better way to dismantle a nation, I can’t think of it.
That’s why I hate TikTok. Why do I dislike TikTok Specifically? The answer once again is its algorithm. I have found that nothing puts you more in the category of things you’re interested in faster. A good thing if you want to lose yourself in cat videos, right? Well, no. If we are concerned about our mental well-being, we must understand that social media platforms are designed to keep you on the platform.
Arguably however, cute and/or funny clips would be better than, let’s say, political ones. Despite this, we need to understand that our use of these platforms is in fact, doing actual harm. There is evidence to support this too. According to this study: A Simple One-Week-Long Break From Social Media Can Improve Your Health, those who took a week off reported a decline in depression and anxiety. (SciencTechDaily)
Also, have a look at: Taking a Break from Social Media Makes you Happier and Less Anxious (Cal Newport)
Cal Newport is a computer science professor who writes about the intersection of digital technology and culture. His mission is to write about our struggles to utilize social media and email in ways that support rather than divide. As an author, he discusses ways to become what he calls a digital minimalist.
In short, you and I, along with the rest of the world, are being turned in to digital slaves. Therefore, as long as money is the motivator, they will work to keep us scrolling. Uh-huh, addicted. Why I hate TikTok: it’s all in their algorithm. A few swipes and it can lead off track of those funny vids and onto an argument where people bitterly oppose one another. I find it especially mentally damaging if you find yourself locked in on one side or the other; thumbing through the anger-producing arguments, hooked on your own angst.
In conclusion. the Terminator tech is winning, rather than Cyborgs, shotguns and explosions. It’s drawing us in and defeating our happiness with computer code and exploitation of our reward centres.
Ending this post with hope – and it’s all about doing what I always suggest. Want to improve your mental health? Do the opposite of what you are doing. In this case, work on putting down the tech, and get out and move around. In the post below, I discuss ways to help with your journey.
Good luck and remember, seek help.
Why I hate TikTok, copyright, 2022