TikTok has boomed, with people in the UK spending an average of 41 minutes browsing through one of the most popular apps. But with many people assuming screen-time is damaging our health, experts suggest some of these videos could benefit our mental health.
We’ve analysed the health benefits of the TikTok satisfying content boom, where creators produce various videos that we find visually gratifying. To investigate these health benefits, we considered the most popular satisfying themes and videos and found out from experts what makes these videos so enjoyable to watch. You can view the complete study here.
Satisfying videos have contributed significantly to users feeling relaxed and helping them get into a stress-free state. The #oddlysatisfying hashtag became extremely popular and currently has a staggering 39.8 billion views. With clips from 15 seconds to 3 minutes, it is a quick, efficient, and effective way to relieve everyday stresses.
Top 6 most popular video searches for satisfying content
- Sand (primarily kinetic sand)
Talking to Craig Richards from Shenandoah University, he stated: ‘Some threat perception typically triggers stress, so the predictable and safe nature of a satisfying video may help distract your stressful thoughts and restore your calmness. When we watch these videos, we can predict what will happen the cake will be crushed, the bath will be clean, and calmness overwhelms us.’
‘Work is stressful, even for your brain, so having your brain do less work is a key way to feeling happy, at ease, and calm.’
Stress reduction is often associated with increased brain levels of serotonin, the same substance increased by antidepressant drugs. Curiously, some individuals with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) find calmness when they arrange objects in a symmetrical pattern. So the calmness and satisfaction we feel when observing satisfying and symmetrical videos may be due to a natural increase in our serotonin levels.
Why general public watch TikToks
Rob Newham said: ‘TikTok is a useful way to kill short periods; many media tends to fill slots of around 40 minutes to an hour, like TV shows, short films, or video games. Shorter shows might offer ways to fill out 20-minute slots, but TikTok provides a continuous stream of media options scaling between 15 seconds and 3 minutes. That makes it the ideal media for periods like waiting for the coffee to brew while flicking between apps or simply taking a moment to breathe. Also, the diversity of content.’
Marina Plummer said: ‘Social media has always been important to me to help keep up with friends, share and like content and keep in the loop with the news; however if I asked myself does it make me happy, I’d probably say no. I didn’t get TikTok until this year, but I have found that it is the only platform that brings something positive into my day-to-day. While I don’t watch videos every day, when I do, I’ll spend a good half an hour watching anything related to Harry Potter, animals, or moments we all relate to.’
‘I find myself physically laughing and enjoying watching the videos as opposed to scrolling through a feed someone’s life. The main way I use TikTok is for entertainment, so my experience has always been enjoyable.’