TikTok Has Ruined Kid’s Attention Span


Most teens cannot pay attention and watch a video that is over 3 minutes long. This also translates to real world situations, sitting there and trying to pay attention for long periods of time is now very hard for most kids and teens to do now. They are so used to watching 15 seconds of a video then swiping when they get bored. Everybody’s TikTok for you page is different, it is based off their own interests. This is why it can be so addicting, you watch videos that are about your interests and you can swipe forever. Each time you watch a TikTok video dopamine is released to your brain and it makes you feel good, so you want to keep swiping forever.

In a lot of classroom settings today most kids are on their phone or zoned out, very few will actually pay attention to the teacher for more than 15 minutes at a time. A lot of this can be blamed towards TikTok and other social media apps. On social media apps, kids only have to pay attention fro about 15 seconds, while in school they have to pay attention for about an hour. Almost every day kids are having trouble in school with grades and missing work, this is because instead of paying attention and doing their work in class, they sit on their phone. TikTok is designed to keep you scrolling and watching videos forever. The excitement of not knowing what the next video will be is a way TikTok does it.

The average attention span of a teenager today is 30-40 minutes, a school day is 7 hours long with about 1 hour classes. This means that about half way through class kids get bored and stop paying attention, they aren’t getting their full potential of learning and can explain why kids today struggle in school. I interviewed a couple people and asked if they get distracted in class, and if so, what distracts them. “I zone out and stare at things, or I just sit on my phone”- Trevin Lamb. “I can only pay attention to the same topic for about 5 minutes, then I zone out and just think about random things.” -Sydney Pettricione. “In almost every class I’m on my phone most of the time on TikTok cause I get so bored.” -Julia Berzovich. This is the case for a lot of teenagers today because of what we grew up, we all grew up with social media and technology. We have the ability to skip a video when we get bored and don’t want to pay attention anymore. In real life, like school settings, we don’t have a choice to skip ahead so we can get easily bored and stop paying attention. Especially on block days it is hard for a lot of kids to sit in one class for an hour and a half.

To fix this problem that kids are having could be to shorten classes and more breaks in between lessons. Kids aren’t going to stop using social media apps but we can try to enforce it and explain the consequences.