Is TikTok dead? – the new York Times
All of this underscores a fundamental TikTok issue that remains unresolved: There has been no development yet as to optimal content. The narrative styles that work best in this format have not yet been honed, at least not by professionals. For an app that claims to offer so much attention, it doesn't require much brain power. This leaves TikTok vulnerable to moments when viewers, simply put, turn away.
My breaking point has been approaching for several months, and TikTok is sensing my growing reluctance. It's trying to woo me through multipart videos about abandoned pets (dark); footage of synchronized roller-skating teams (cute); Long-form videos on hoof cleaning and art conservation (fascinating, of course); And, of course, that ridiculous Turkish barber/facialist/masseur (sign me up).
For an app that claims to offer so much attention, it doesn't require much brain power.
From time to time, it lands on something I find thrilling, or shocking, or both, like the young music producer who excels in warp-speed recreations of hip-hop beats with FL Studio – Soulja. “In less than 14 seconds to Boy's “Crank That” (Soulja Boy).”
But these joys are also fleeting, making me think that maybe I was the problem, my viewing habits and interests so ingrained that the sophisticated TikTok algorithm protected me from bothering with anything beyond my particular sphere.
It's almost impossible to get out of that difficult situation without starting over, so I did. I logged out of my account and created a new account. Would TikTok be more ambitious, more interesting, more distracting, if it didn't have to worry about meeting my needs?
Felt cold for a few minutes. I watched videos of teenagers dancing to Russian music and ice fishing in China. A monkey in Dubai (which was not Dubai) was watching French fries being cooked and iced in an air fryer. It was the stuff of “America's Funniest Home Videos” and “ridiculousness” – my own algorithm was depriving me of these silly pleasures. Then came cooking videos, but only the most simple ones. Dance clip, but nothing about personality. Content so lifeless and devoid of attraction it might as well have been generated by AI
Maybe this whole time, TikTok was… protecting me?
I tried lingering on videos I might otherwise have skipped, liking unexpected clips in the hopes that I'd trigger a different set of recommendations. And with each attempt to counteract against my own instincts, I became more frustrated and dissatisfied. There was no way around it – I missed my characters. It didn't even take me a whole day to log back into my account. Was it boring? it was. But it was a slow-burn kind of boredom, not aggressive enough to be overpowering, and yet there were a few bits of hope sprinkled in for just one swipe away thrill.