Opinion: We should stop using TikTok

By DevEvil News | Created at 2024-04-14 22:34:32 | Updated at 2024-06-17 01:35:18 2 months ago


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People, especially teenagers, are increasingly cognizant of an array of psychological struggles within themselves, ranging from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to inclinations towards obsessive-compulsive behavior, pervasive feelings of anxiety, despondency, autism spectrum disorders, and various other unconventional mental states.

Influencers spanning diverse social media platforms, such as TikTok, have played a pivotal role in fostering dialogues surrounding mental health challenges among this demographic. Nonetheless, the brevity inherent in TikTok's format frequently impedes comprehensive examinations of these intricate subjects, thereby obstructing substantive discussions.

Numerous young individuals hold influencers in high regard for candidly divulging their battles with mental health, which often prompts others to self-diagnose and associate themselves with oversimplified and ambiguous psychological conditions.

From my vantage point, drawing upon my psychology and media studies, there appears to be a prevalent cultural mindset taking shape, particularly among the younger populace. This mindset tends to pathologize typical human encounters with mental, emotional, and behavioral phenomena.

The proliferation of diagnostic categories within the realm of psychological disorders, alongside escalated rates of diagnoses frequently accompanied by pharmacological interventions, has been a subject of contention since the release of the DSM-V in 2013. Some experts contend that commonplace behaviors and affective states have been pathologized in this process.

Social media platforms exacerbate these dilemmas by fostering the notion that individuals are grappling with severe maladies, potentially engendering unwarranted distress and the medicalization of ordinary experiences.

TikTok and analogous social media platforms pose distinct hazards to young users who are still in the process of shaping their identities and cultivating self-assurance. Algorithmically generated content can fortify users' self-diagnoses by supplying them with material that corresponds to perceived mental health conditions.

One disconcerting phenomenon is the emergence of sociogenic afflictions, wherein cohorts of individuals manifest akin, medically inexplicable symptoms. The inaugural documented instance transpired in 2021, when teenagers began exhibiting symptoms akin to Tourette syndrome subsequent to consuming TikTok content featuring individuals afflicted with the disorder.

Mitigating this phenomenon necessitates a multifaceted approach, albeit discontinuing TikTok could serve as an initial step. Encouraging a paradigm shift towards prioritizing concern for others over self-absorption might also aid in alleviating the adverse repercussions of social media on perceptions of mental health.

Although there exists no panacea, heightening awareness regarding these predicaments and fostering discerning appraisal of online content consumption could contribute to cultivating a healthier digital milieu for young individuals.