You’re Not Ugly, You’re Just Spending Too Much Time on Tik-Tok

Photo by Sam Moqadam on Unsplash

Imaginary Wrinkles

One time—high on magic mushrooms—I found that by turning my foot in the light at different angles, my skin would shift from appearing baby-smooth to looking like the leathery, wrinkled skin of a person 70 years my senior.

We are creatures of comparison.

Our minds are comparative by nature. It’s a survival mechanism: cross-referencing and indexing past experiences with present situations allows us to know how to proceed in any given situation.

1. Move the app location on your phone.

Step one is to begin by moving the location of TikTok (or your other app of addiction) on your phone. Rather than immediately delete the app cold-turkey (if you could’ve, you would’ve already), this simply shakes up your neural pathways by creating friction around your unconscious habit.

2. Place another, similar app in the old location.

Replace the location of your most addictive app with a similar app that you know doesn’t have the same addictive effect on you. When you’re unconsciously locked into a “open, scroll” pattern—as most of us are—you will find yourself opening the new app accidentally and frequently. When you do, scroll through it and engage. This is an important part of replacing the old habit with an improved one.

3. Time your scrolls.

Once you’ve moved the location of the app on your phone, it’ll be much easier to notice when you’ve begun to scroll mindlessly through TikTok or your other app of addiction. When you begin to scroll, open up your timer app and use the the stopwatch feature to record your scroll duration. Start the stopwatch when you start scrolling, and stop it when you’re done scrolling.

4. Notice when you *don’t* scroll, and increase those activities.

Suppose you’re engaging in an activity that you thoroughly enjoy. During this activity, you’re present—you’re in a state of flow, meaning that you feel a perfect balance of challenge and pleasure which keeps you engaged. Never, ever during such moments of flow do we reach for our phones to mindlessly scroll. We’re too busy being engaged in the present moment.

5. Meditate every morning.

In terms of rewiring your brain, nothing is more powerful than meditation.



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Amanda Dollinger

Amanda Dollinger


The highest purpose of words is that they be used to connect one another.