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The student news site of Stockbridge High School

Uncaged

The student news site of Stockbridge High School

Uncaged

The Tiktok effect

How Tiktok shortens attention spans
Senior+Cheyenne+Calhoun+opens+TikTok+in+between+classes+to+mindlessly+scroll+before+redirecting+her+attention+to+what+the+teacher+has+to+say.
Melanie Satowiak
Senior Cheyenne Calhoun opens TikTok in between classes to mindlessly scroll before redirecting her attention to what the teacher has to say.

TikTok is an app that teens love to watch. People can watch funny videos, people dancing, or even create their own videos that are 10 to 15 seconds long. When teens get so used to watching these shorter videos, their brain gets used to the shortened attention span. According to Statista, more than 22 percent of teens watch TikTok in the U.S. That’s 4.8 million teens whose attention spans are shortening every time they open their social media.
“I see myself just playing on my phone, but TikTok is very distracting,” junior Daid Acosta said. “You see something interesting, so you just continue on and on and get lost in it, or as some people call it, ‘doom scrolling,’” Acosta said.
Doom scrolling is when someone reads negative material or scrolling through social media that can keep somebody’s brain entertained from the bad materials.
When somebody doesn’t have TikTok, their attention span is better than others because their brain is not used to the fifteen-second-long videos. In addition, they can easily sit and focus on other things without getting distracted.
“These kids are used to seeing a short video and when they sit and watch teachers teach they are not listening because they will lose their focus in five to 10 seconds of teaching,” therapist Eirc Slisher said. “I can watch TV and focus on things around me or listen to my client without any problems getting distracted,” Slisher said.
Some teens that focus better have a higher attention span according to meduim.com. Teens who can pay attention to things around them have a greater chance of getting things done that need to be done.
“I probably do have a better focus than someone watching TikTok,” junior Samantha Cowan said. “I spent at least three hours watching “The Big Sleep” without any distractions, and that’s a big deal considering the confusing plot. On daily tasks, I can knock out homework more easily than others in my class,” Cowan said.
PureWow states that one’s brain can be damaged by TikTok. The software company did a study in 2021 for high school students which revealed that a person can lose memory and can even become depressed, anxious and stressed.
“I get so distracted when I am on TikTok that I forget what I am supposed to do,” freshman Melody Loomis said. “Sometimes when I do watch TikTok, I do get stressed about what I am watching and say, ‘What is this?’ and ‘Why?’” Loomis said.
However, it doesn’t end there. Tiktok is a very addicting app. It is changing the nature that people live in. In today’s world, kids are addicted to their phones and constantly on them to the point where they cannot sit down for a while or read, write, or draw without watching a video five minutes later.
Teenagers who have ADHD are especially at risk of getting a short attention span from TikTok, according to News in Health. They have grown up already struggling to focus or even to learn, and now it will become even harder for them to do so.
“I have ADHD and I struggle daily doing things, but when I have TikTok playing it’s the worst,” junior Emma Toth said. “It’s very hard for me to do things like school work or even clean my room.”
With an app as easily accessible for teenagers to have. TikTok has become the destination center for a shortened attention span, an increase in mental health risks and addiction to the app.
Will you fall victim to the TikTok Effect, too?

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About the Contributors
Cheyenne Calhoun, Reporter
Cheyenne Calhoun joined Uncaged Student News this school year. Cheyenne is a senior and is still figuring out her goals in life. She does know that she wants to attend college after high school. Cheyenne does sports to keep her busy during the school year. This year she is captain of the bowling team. . Cheyenne also has a busy life out of school with a job at the Stockbridge Bowl and helping take care of her siblings.
Melanie Satowiak, Reporter
Beginning her short-lived career as a journalist, Melanie Satkowiak joined Uncaged Student News as a senior this year. Melanie is on-staff as a reporter and when she’s not consumed by her job, schoolwork, and family responsibilities, she enjoys living her life to its fullest potential. Melanie loves to travel, get high on adrenaline, and surround herself with wonderful people. She prefers delving into other worlds in the pages of books and serenading her ears with the angelic voices of her favorite artists rather than contemplating the meaning of life. Melanie is a recent inductee to NHS and is the Student Representative on the Stockbridge School Board. She loves being involved in her community and can’t wait to talk the ears off of the people she’ll meet after high school.
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