TikTok has boomed over the past 18 months, so much so that Tiktok has overtaken Youtube on the average watch time in the UK and US. But is all this screen time good for us? Lenstore has uncovered the surprising health benefits that using TikTok could have, with the help of psychological and scientific experts.
There have been endless concerns surrounding social media and how much time people spend scrolling, however psychologists reveal it’s how we use social media that can be damaging, rather than the specific platforms/apps. Therefore, people may be pleased to hear that watching TikTok may be good for your mental health, rather than damaging it.
Users should interact and engage, rather than just follow, to feel connected and get the best benefits from using social media. This is exactly what TikTok allows, with millions of people filling their time getting involved, creating their videos, and using the app as a fun distraction from reality. The simple scroll through a never-ending stream of 15-second videos fits seamlessly into our lives, temporarily gratifying our emotional and social needs for a natural relief from stress.
A big trend on TikTok is satisfying content, which includes a range of videos from ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) to slime and deep cleaning videos. These videos have contributed to users feeling relaxed and content. The #oddlysatisfying hashtag became extremely popular and currently has a staggering 39.8 billion views, proving just how much people enjoy this style of video.
Positive effects of watching TikToks
- Stress reduction. ‘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,’ says Craig Richards PhD from Shenandoah University.
- Relaxation. ‘The satisfying videos are so predictable, which your brain positively recognises as a reward, signalling high levels of dopamine, a chemical release that lowers the heart rate and allows the viewer to enter a state of relaxation,’ claims Craig Richard, PhD.
- Calmness. Experts also show how we can experience a state of calmness when watching this type of content on TikTok. This calm feeling comes from the subconscious mind; we see symmetry, we naturally feel relaxed without noticing,’ says Rebecca Lockwood, a neurolinguistic programming coach.
- Happiness and pleasure. Research from Professor Robert Colombo explained the chemical reactions that lead us to endlessly scroll through different types of satisfying content. Colombo touches upon ‘Love hormones’ oxytocin and dopamine, alongside happiness chemical serotonin, being released into the brain when we watch satisfying content. Insights from Dr Anita Deaks explains how satisfying TikTok content draws us in. Scientifically shown through ‘mirror neuron theory, which helps us to understand their immersive nature, further audiences reported feeling sensations and tingles themselves.
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