Lead Editorial: Put Down Tik Tok and Pick Up a Book

By Emily Pieczyrak | Opinions Section Editor

4 mins read
selective focus photography of woman holding book
Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com

Whether we are using a computer to do work, watching a show on a television or our phones, we are almost constantly staring at a screen. Scrolling mindlessly for hours on TikTok or binging our favorite shows on Netflix is a common occurrence. While screen-time is unavoidable, some of it is unnecessary. 

pile of books
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

For example, TikTok, a social media app meant to help people stay connected with others, is often used to dissociate from our real lives instead. Some people joke that they learn more from TikTok than they do from school, and it is true that sometimes valuable information can be learnedfrom the app. It would be great if the app was only filled with news, advice and tips; however, those are not the main topics or themes of the app since TikTok’s mission is “to inspire creativity and bring joy,” according to their website. So, most of the videos are of cats, food hacks, outfit ideas, art, cars and many more niche interests and jokes that just shoot dopamine to the brain. TikTok’s biggest problem is that it has a community for everyone, making the app a source of potential addiction for many users. Even the book community is a victim of TikTok’s power. 

While TikTok is the more popular place to share book content, YouTube and other social media apps also have a place for book readers. The subject matter is usually the same across platforms: reviews, “to be read” lists and monthly reading recaps. The content revolves around the number of books a person reads within a given month or year. The average user can take however long they want to finish a book and give it a review. Content creators do not have this luxury because they are expected to post often, this forces them to read more books in a shorter timespan. As a result, their “to be read” lists are long, and their monthly reading recaps are filled with many books. The stacks of books shown in content creators’ videos give viewers the impression that they should be reading their own tall stacks every month. Although it would be great if everyone could read 10 to 20 books a month, this is not realistic for most people. For some, it is difficult to read a single book in a year. If you enjoy reading and want to increase the number of books you read in a month or year, consider how you manage your time. Social media has become a huge distraction and has integrated itself into our daily lives. According to oberlo.com, the average time a person spends on social media every day is two hours and 27 minutes. If you replace just 15 minutes of social media time every day with reading at a speed of 200 words per minute, you could finish 12 books a year, according to Emmarie Hodge. It is true that trying to make a habit out of reading every day can turn it into a chore, which is something that reading should never feel like. In general, just keep in mind how much more you could be reading if you stopped scrolling on your phone and picked up a book instead.

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