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How TikTok’s Algorithm is Affecting Mental Health


TikTok’s algorithm is designed to engage you throughout the app, feeding you with videos including topics you’re interested in. This clever design has resulted in extreme damage to mental health, mostly for young people.


Daily Life
The presence of TikTok in daily life significantly disrupts productive routines. CNN Business reported that Jeremy Yankey, a college graduate, used to pull all-nighters scrolling on the social media platform. “I saw myself not putting the effort into my own life, rather just trying to live vicariously through what I’m seeing,” said Yankey. The deletion of the app allowed a healthier sleep schedule and increased productivity for Yankey and many others.


Eating Disorders and Suicide
According to a study created by CCDH, when you make a TikTok account, it can take less than three minutes for the algorithm to expose you to content related to suicide. Sixteen-year-old Chase Nasca committed suicide, and his devastated mother searched for answers on his For You feed. She didn’t understand why there weren’t any positive videos and asked one of Chase’s brothers why he made his account so dark. “Chase didn’t do that Mom,” her son replied. “That’s coming from the algorithm.”
The same study also found out that it can take around 8 minutes to be revealed to communities promoting eating disorder content. These researchers created multiple accounts worldwide, setting the age to thirteen; TikTok’s minimum user age. They briefly interacted with content about body image, resulting in the algorithm recommending videos about body image around every thirty-nine seconds within a thirty-minute period.


The answer is simple: set limits on TikTok usage. For example, put phones away during mealtimes and when you’re going to sleep, along with turning off notifications so you aren’t attracted back to your device. If TikTok is consuming too much of your time and affecting your mental health, the healthiest option is to delete the app. Limiting your time on TikTok will force you to find alternative activities, bringing you into an ambitious and productive lifestyle.

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About the Contributor
Caydenn Angeles, Tinkle Teammate!
Caydenn is one of our Tinkle Teammates and works hard to get the Texan Tinkle ready on time for all our readers. Additionally, he is a reporter and writes articles for us!

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