The student news site of Wahlert Catholic High School

The Gleaner

The student news site of Wahlert Catholic High School

The Gleaner

The student news site of Wahlert Catholic High School

The Gleaner

How to avoid the TikTok addiction

Chloe Hearn ’24 scrolls through her TikTok “for you” page during her free period.

Almost four years have passed since TikTok’s quick rise to popularity during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now in 2024, there are endless ways to scroll and waste time. Almost every popular social media app has come up with a direct competitor for TikTok, and some people even prefer these “knock off” TikTok apps. 

“I don’t have TikTok, but I do use Instagram Reels a lot. It’s pretty much the same thing,” said Michael Hartmann, ‘27. 

Like Hartmann, people prefer Instagram Reels because of its connection to other users and its user specific content; however, unlike Hartmann, Chloe Hearn, ‘24, prefers TikTok’s format. 

 “I don’t like them. Something about the way they’re formatted compared to TikTok just doesn’t work for me,” said Hearn.

Ms. Emma Denner, Wahlert’s band director, agrees with Hearn. 

“I love TikTok. It’s a really great way to experience social media,” said Denner. 

TikTok, Instagram Reels, and other platforms all serve the same purpose. A lot of times they even share the same videos. 

“There was one video that I saw on Tiktok first and then like a month later I saw it again on Instagram Reels. Then even later than that it came up on my YouTube homepage,” said Hearn. 

TikTok’s popularity lies in its short video format providing students with the world at their fingertips. The short video format becomes addicting for many Wahlert students. The phenomenon of scrolling for an extended period of time without having the will to stop has been dubbed “doom scrolling.” 

Paislee Dress, ‘26, has a straightforward solution to avoid falling victim to “doom scrolling.” 

“I don’t have a problem with scrolling. If I feel like I’ve been scrolling for a while, I just put my phone down,” said Dress.

But how do you know when scrolling becomes a problem? 

“I’m usually pretty good about knowing when to stop scrolling, but sometimes if I feel like I’ve been on my phone for a long time, I’ll set a timer so that I’m able to pull myself out of the videos. Sometimes you just have to listen to your body. If your eyes are feeling tired or your thumbs are sore from scrolling, put the phone down,” said Hearn. 

Some students don’t encounter any issues with scrolling.

“I have TikTok, but I barely use it. I have better things to spend my time on,” said Sam Nelson, ‘25.

Although addicting social media apps is not a new concept.

“When I was in high school everyone was obsessed with Vine. These types of social media apps provide an escape for students which is especially valuable in the crazy world we live in,” explained Denner. 

At the end of the day, TikTok is just an app, and it’s not real life. There is so much to experience that cannot be found on a phone screen. 



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