Clout Chasers: America’s Teens Have a TikTok Addiction

It might sound like an exaggeration, but American teens are truly addicted to TikTok. The wildly popular social networking app has made the news as teens seek to hide away in the app and escape the day-to-day pressures of just being a teenager in today’s American landscape. It is tough to be their age in today’s world. As divorce is common throughout America, many teens have to deal with their parent’s separation on top of all of the other challenged of being a teenager. For example, in the state of Kansas, there is a 60-day mandatory waiting period when filing for divorce, so the teens are often stuck in the same house as their fighting parents. Wouldn’t you want to escape too?

Escapism From A Changing Planet

One of the places where teens can go to discuss or even escape from the realities of a changing planet is TikTok. They meet up with other people their age who understand the threats that this planet is facing, and they can join together to help deal with the reality of the situation. Just in the U.S alone, drivers spend about 17 hours per year and $345 per driver wasting fuel and pumping harmful emissions in the air just looking for a parking spot. Imagine how bad this impact is when you factor in the rest of the world. It seems like nearly everything we do is contributing more and more to a changing planet, and teenagers are looking out at this landscape and realizing that they might be left with a shell of the planet that exists today. They understand that they might be asked to help clean up a mess that they didn’t even contribute all that much to. TikTok allows them to make jokes about the dire situation with other teenagers and to try to escape the very dark reality that is coming.

Attention Spans Don’t Have To Be Long

TikTok is famously known for showing very short videos one right after the other. They don’t ask much of their audience other than to look at the screen for a matter of minutes. This means that all of us with our famously limited attention spans don’t have to worry about being asked to do too much work. We can just mindlessly turn on TikTok and allow one video after another to scroll by our feed as we are mindlessly entertained. It is a system that works out for both sides of the transaction at the end of the day. Teenagers are becoming addicted to this because it gives a little hit of happy chemicals to our brains every time we click on another video. Wouldn’t you rather watch a 30-second clip of a tornado, of which there were over 1,500 in 2019 in the U.S. than a 10 minute Ted Talk on improving your relationship with your boss? It is a simple system that the social networking powers that be have worked out. We benefit, they benefit, and everyone is happier for the experience.

Looking forward, it seems fairly likely that these types of social networks will continue to grow in popularity. There is really nothing to hold them back as our society wants to see entertainment at the press of a button. We have streaming services and on-demand content all around us. It is no wonder then that many people now also desire on-demand social media content to go along with all of this. We might be entertaining ourselves to death, but at least it provides a nice distraction from the worries of the day.

TikTok is continuing to catch on with other groups of people, but it seems teenagers and young adults still have the most fun with it. Others may soon hear about it as the app seeks to expand beyond its core demographics.

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