is tiktok holding back your best life?
Written by jack friks
Last Updated: Sep 5, 2023
I have found more and more that people are endlessly scrolling on apps like TikTok. I have also found more and more that people would rather mindlessly scroll than progress their life, than to explore their genuine curiosities.
Sure, there is sometimes useful information or “life hacks” that pop up when one is scrolling on an endless up like this one… but 99.9% of the time, people are opening the app to scroll because they cannot stand to be bored, they do not want to think, or even be the slightest bit uncomfortable with their present experience.
The questions I want to help you answer for yourself today: Is TikTok holding back your best life? & How is mindlessly consuming things decaying my general life experience?
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First lets talk about shower thoughts… When you are washing your body and you are alone with your thoughts (not when you are blasting music), this is the time you come up with those fascinating “shower thoughts”. Some of them may be a little wild, or even outlandish, but they are the type of unique thoughts that come to you only when your mind is left to wonder.
These are thoughts in line with your genuine curiosities. Sure, one could put these thoughts aside and never go any further with them, but what are these thoughts worth? Well, I'd argue they are worth a whole lot, & are of great importance especially to the many people addicted to TikTok.
If we are constantly filling our downtime, or extra time with mindless consumption: how can we really expect to discover what it is we actually want from life, or how one may go about getting to where we want to go?
The thirst for figuring out such problems isn’t just suppressed by mindless consumption, it’s completely blocked. The only time one may find to think of such things, as i mentioned before: is the shower… and even then 9/10 times people are blasting music to numb themselves from thinking once again.
How can we really know what we want, how we may go about getting it, or what makes us tick, if we are consistently ignoring everything that makes us feel a little bit uncomfortable? How can we avoid the decay of our life that this mindless consumption has? – Perhaps the only comforting answer here is to get uncomfortable, something which the many numbed by TikTok do not want to submit themselves to.
My experience with this
I myself, prior in my life, experienced mind-numbing sessions of social media on a daily basis.
Then I went on a trip to the Dominican Republic.
On this vacation, I tried going without mindless social media scrolling for the entire length (7 whole days).
I deleted TikTok & similar apps: supplementing these things with reading on my downtime or “bored time”.
Oftentimes I would also just sit there & ask myself “What do I want out of life?”, then let myself remain uncomfortable until I could answer the question with an actual, in-depth answer.
During the first few days, I had a constant urge to want to go on social media, but I read a book instead during these times, or I wrote notes about what was on my brain. - Both ways I was forced to think, I was forced to proceed with intention, & most importantly: in both ways I was forced to sit in temporary discomfort.
Slowly throughout my vacation, my cravings for the dopamine hits that social media brought me faded.
I started to realize more of what I wanted to work on, more of what I wanted to learn about & all together: I realized scrolling on social media wasn’t pushing my life forward on any metric whatsoever other than having a shared chuckle with my partner from time to time.
The cost of mindlessly entering such apps is that we leave behind our genuine curiosities, we leave behind the good & worthwhile stuff that adds real fulfillment to our lives, like creating things, working on one's craft, or towards a worthwhile goal.
We leave it all behind because it’s uncomfortable to think about, & it's uncomfortable to think about because of how much more effort it takes than scrolling on TikTok while also bringing us much less pleasure at the time being.
After my vacation this habit of not using social media in my downtime stuck for some time; over time, it’s easy to let it back in: but now when I use social media it is done with intention (I still avoid short-form videos like the plague).
I set timers & I set a goal for what I’m trying to move towards while on social media sites: I only browse text-based sites like Twitter “X,” or Reddit & for the most part: my intention on this is related to my creations of writing, so this solution may not be suited to you.
What matters most here, I think, to avoid such decay though is not just about taking away your consumption addiction, but realizing how much more fulfilling it is to think through your thoughts: to go on a walk and just think from time to time, forget the music, walk for 20 minutes & just sit with your brain.
Take a shower even for 20 minutes and just think.
Making ourselves realize how it’s really not all so bad to be slightly uncomfortable is an important step to curb the decay that is often onset but mindlessly consuming.
Finally, I’d like to add that one may still create great things & mindlessly consume from time to time, or maybe even regularly… However, the people who do create things & make forward progress while also having a large consumption habit are the people who put creation first, as a priority.
Note: priority, meaning that someone has sat with some discomfort & then decided on what matters most to them, what comes first in their day as something they need to use their time on.
For me, this is writing: It is a priority for me to write for 1 hour each day.
Sure, I can go on Twitter or Reddit, but not until I have written for 1 hour at least.
And even then I have things that are much higher of a priority than social media, so it ends up being me in consumption mode for a very fractional portion of my day; less than 30 minutes usually. (& this time is spent with intention, not mindlessly)
Parting ways with TikTok
Finally, I want to make it known that this idea of mindless consumption & the state of decay to ones life caused from it is not invisible to a lot of people in the situation of experiencing it… It’s just a really tough thing to kick when it makes your brain feel so good at the time being, & with such little effort.
Even when you are aware of the damage mindlessly consuming things can do, it’s just so easy to keep going on the easy path. – small reminder & slight wakeup call: all the best, most worthwhile things in life… take considerable effort (& come with a lot of temporary discomfort).
thank you so much for reading this, it means the world to me.
hope to see you next week,
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