Rather than see specificity and device limitations as an inconvenient hurdle to omnipresence, TikTok embeds itself within them—taking advantage of the fact that mobile technology limits how people engage with content and leaning into these constraints (e.g. the user only sees one video at a time and can only proceed linearly to the next video by swiping). This narrow focus enables a “flow state” to open up between the platform and spectator, as attention is entirely channeled to the content at hand.
We’ve experienced this. Tiktok is extremely good at showing you things that will make your mind reach this “flow state” and then you’re just adrift in the current of swipes from one video to another, punctuated with brief stops to write a comment.
This can last for hours upon hours. We currently make it a point to check tiktok once or twice a day for fifteen, twenty minutes at a time. Catch up with the people we follow, check what drama is going on, what went viral, and then quit out of it.
Disabling notifications helps tremendously with this, as tiktok is a very pushy application when it comes to demanding your attention.