TikTok is a commonly used social media app that has seen a huge influx of users in recent years. While the significant increase in users of the app shows no signs of stopping, the question needs to be asked – is TikTok addictive? It can certainly feel that way for users, as the constant stream of relevant content may feel difficult to tear away from.

Not only does TikTok consistently provide a stream of non-stop entertainment, but the content is also extremely relevant to the user too. This is because TikTok uses an algorithm to select the videos it shows users.

The algorithm is largely based on user search interest, which makes the content of the app extremely suited to the viewer, and as a result, the app may feel hard to stop using. After all, every new video that is selected on the For You Page is likely interesting and captivating in its own way to everyone.

This format runs the risk of negatively impacting young and vulnerable users of the app. Addiction to TikTok may not seem like a serious threat, however, it can negatively impact the lives of users, specifically young people. The risks of TikTok addiction include a shortened attention span, an increase in mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, as well as recent indications of a functional tic-like disorder.

Dr. Alexander Lapa, Psychiatrist at Ocean Recovery Centre, said: “The rise of TikTok is becoming an increasing problem in young people. There is a suggested correlation between the use of the app and mental health conditions such as anxiety and other mental disorders, particularly in young people who are vulnerable to long periods of exposure.”

“Extensive TikTok use is also starting to show signs of memory deficit problems in young people – the nature of the app is addictive and does not require long periods of concentration or interaction. Recent studies have indicated that young people are the highest at risk of becoming addicted to social media channels such as TikTok, which is a dangerous problem that needs to be taken seriously by us all.”

TikTok Addiction Infographic

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John Gillen - Author - Last updated: December 22, 2023

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.

Dr Robert Lutaaya - Clinical Reviewer - Last reviewed: December 19, 2023

MBChB, MSc Psych

Dr Robert Lutaaya qualified in 1995 from Worclaw Medical University as MBChB, and obtained a MSc Psych from the University of Manchester in 2014. Dr Lutaaya has previously worked for the CGL Substance Misuse Service and as an on-call doctor substance misuse Doctor for 17 years before joining Ocean Recovery. Dr Robert Lutaaya is committed to helping those struggling with alcohol and drug addictions.