Beware: TikTok (And Other Apps) Are Re-Wiring Your Brain
Cue the generation of jacked-up dopamine, crippled attention span, and zero motivation to leave the couch
“We become what we witness.” — William Blake
While Blake was certainly onto something with the notion that the things we witness can deeply influence us as individuals, he couldn’t possibly have understood that the images we absorb are also capable of altering the physical structure of our brains.
To put it another way, what we see not only shapes us inexorably and irreversibly, but — in the case of many of the apps we use today (and often multiple times per day)— we are also being shaped neuro-chemically.
Today, TikTok has over 1,000,000,000 users, including over 25% of the US population.
And that’s just TikTok!
If you’re somewhat active among the array of different social medium platforms, then you might have caught onto the fact that many of these apps are becoming very, very similar — in a very eery way.
Addictive Algorithms And AI
The algorithm behind TikTok is designed to keep you coming back for more.
The platform itself even said so in a document leaked publicly late last year.
And TikTok isn’t the only social app with an algorithm designed to do so. Across platforms — whether it might be called a ‘TikTok’, a ‘reel’ or a ‘short,’ — the result is always the same: a constant, never-ending stream of 10–60 second videos, designed to blow your mind.
“Platforms like TikTok — including Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook have embraced the same concepts that have made gambling addictive.”
— Dr. Julie Albright, digital sociologist and professor at USC
“Blow my mind?” you may ask. “But I can’t even remember what I watched yesterday… it’s not as if this content is really blowing my mind…”