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How and Why TikTok Addiction Affects Academic Performance

Introduction

Social media has developed into a potent and beneficial instrument that allows contemporary society to engage. However, social networking platforms are becoming very addicting for their users (Yahya et al., 2020). The addictive nature may significantly interfere with users’ everyday commitments in the real world, necessitating a recovery process to overcome the tremendous addiction. Today, there are growing concerns over social media addiction that reduce students’ academic attention span (Yahya et al., 2020). This essay focuses on students with TikTok addiction, discussing how and why such habits lower the learning performance in schools. Lewin’s change models can be applied to understand how students’ behavioral patterns can become an addiction and why addiction to TikTok can lead to lower academic performance. The addiction is likely to affect the student’s time management abilities, leading to reduced focus on academics.

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TikTok Social Media Platform

Social media can emotionally impact individuals who rely on the platforms for social approval. Studies have shown that TikTok is causing various issues, including addiction, in kids and teenagers (Wojdan et al., 2021). Some of the adverse effects of TikTok addiction include inferiority complexes, superiority complexes, and complexes of attractiveness. The TikTok app, accessible for Android and Apple devices, lets users create short videos to perform various popular songs. These so-called “LipSync-Videos” may be exchanged with other users, downloaded for personal use, commented on, and, of course, accompanied by a “Like.” Not only do people contribute playback videos to TikTok, but they also consume a significant number of video materials (Wojdan et al., 2021). The excessive use of TikTok often leads to addiction and time wastage which is a concern in academic institutions.

Lewin’s Change Model

Lewin’s change model is the most applicable in such situations as it gives direction on interpreting behavioral changes. Kurt Lewin devised a three-step change model for understanding change dependent on manipulating the subconscious mind through changed behavior progressive transforming into the desired habit (Burnes 2020). The model is a practical and valuable tool for comprehending the transformation process. According to Lewin, the change process comprises developing the idea that a change is necessary, progressing toward the desired new level of conduct, and consolidating the new behavior as the norm (Burnes 2020). The model is still frequently used today and serves as the foundation for many recent change models. In the case of the student’s TikTok addition, Lewin’s hypothesis asserts that people can be influenced by constraining forces that oppose driving forces (Burnes 2020). Students may have a strong desire to maintain the status quo, limiting their ability to adapt to proposed behavioral changes quickly.

Once someone develops a social media addiction, their self-esteem becomes dependent on the number of likes or comments they get on a given post. Recent research indicates that social media, such as TikTok, has specific characteristics with other types of addictions, such as drug and gambling addictions (Wojdan et al., 2021). Experts believe that prolonged use of TikTok activates two critical reward-related brain regions, such as the amygdala (Wojdan et al., 2021). Amygdala is located in the forebrain and is a vital part of the feedback mechanism. The brain region is the integrative center for emotional responses, behavior, and inspiration. Teenagers exhibiting addiction-like symptoms may have an overactive amygdale-striatal system, equating the overdependence to a variety of compulsive disorders. Such cases might require a prolonged change to improve their relief from routine disruption.

How Students Become Addicted to TikTok

Gradual Change of Behavior

The first stage of the addiction occurs when the students’ focus is reduced from studies to excessive social media use. A habit is an ingrained activity performed with little or no conscious thinking. It is unpleasant to break an acquired behavior since a routine is a pattern of action that is done repeatedly. Due to the dopamine associated with TikTok, addicts have problems adapting to changes in behavior. In such instances, old habits, ways of thinking, processes, and behavioral patterns must be thoroughly evaluated to demonstrate the critical nature of change. Communication is crucial throughout the unfreezing stage to ensure that students understand the impending change, its rationale, and how it will benefit each member.

Changed behavior becomes a Habit

Habits are unconscious behaviors that are triggered as a result of repeated action that has an associated dopamine release. Around 70% of our daily routines are automatic, as they are influenced by the unconscious mind manipulated by repeated behavior (Burnes 2020). According to brain research, frequent behaviors such as TikTok usage may develop into habits over time (Wojdan et al., 2021). The neurons that connect fire in unison, increasing the urge to acquire routines that meet the body’s dopamine requirements. Daily focus on TikTok builds new neural networks in the brain and provides the greatest potential for the learner to establish the activity as a habit.

After the students’ behavior becomes a habit, they may depend on TikTok strongly. Lewin noted that transformation is a process that requires the school to shift into a new state of being (Burnes 2020). There is a considerable correlation between social media addiction and senior high pupils’ study habits. Such a pattern suggests that the school students’ study habits are contingent upon their social media addiction. The more the students use social media, the more their study habits will change with reduced attention to scholarly works (Wojdan et al., 2021). The imbalance between TikTok use and focus during study time reduces the student’s academic prospects.

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Why TikTok Addiction Reduced Academic Performance

Reduced academic performance is one of the most severe repercussions of students’ excessive social media usage. According to the findings of research conducted on high school students, those who utilized social media more than the norm had worse academic success and lacked classroom attentiveness (Wojdan et al., 2021). The students also had problems with their self-esteem that could limit their desire to learn and engage in school. Students who spend more time on social networking platforms such as TikTok spend their time on social networking sites conversing and finding friends rather than reading books.

Conclusion

Social media platforms such as TikTok enable online interaction, but there have growing concerns over addiction. TikTok lets users post images, videos, music, opinions, and news, among other things that may lead to dopamine dependency among the students. Addiction occurs when individuals seek something other than what they need, such as social approval from followers and likes. Lewin’s change model explains how the behavior can turn into a habit that is hard to change to manage TikTok addiction among students. The emphasis is on the effect of behavioral routines on the subconscious mind of the students that results in habits that recur unconsciously. Such students find problems with their time management as a critical factor determining academic performance among students.

References

Burnes, B. (2020). The origins of Lewin’s three-step model of change. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 56(1), 32-59.

Wojdan, W., Wdowiak, K., Witas, A., Drogoń, J., & Brakowiecki, W. (2021). The impact of social media on the lifestyle of young people. Polish Journal of Public Health, 130(1), 8-13.

Yahya, Y., Rahim, N. Z. A., Ibrahim, R., Azmi, N. F., Sjarif, N. N. A., & Sarkan, H. M. (2019). Between habit and addiction: an overview of preliminary findings on social networking sites usage among teenagers. In Proceedings of the 2019 5th International Conference on Computer and Technology Applications (pp. 112-116).

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StudyCorgi. "How and Why TikTok Addiction Affects Academic Performance." January 15, 2023. https://studycorgi.com/how-and-why-tiktok-addiction-affects-academic-performance/.

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StudyCorgi. (2023) 'How and Why TikTok Addiction Affects Academic Performance'. 15 January.

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