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Student Research Guide WQ24/ TikTok's Impact on the Brain

Student Research Guide for Library 201/ Shelby Smith

What is this Guide for?


The Negative Effects of TikTok on Teens Mental Health 

 This is a student created research guide for English 102 & Library 201 Learning community

This guide will adress information about the negative effects of TikTok on teens mental health.


The research thesis of this guide is to explore how TikTok negatively impacts teenagers brains with a change in their attention span and it  increases mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

 Research Questions 

  • What are the causes of social media on the brain?

  • Does social media effect peoples lives negatively?

  • How are people addicted to social media? Why are they?

  • How many people use social media/tiktok?

  • Can social media negatively contribute to long-term changes in mental health and moods?

  • What parts of the brain can be most affected?



TikTok is the most popular social media platform among Generation Z. As teenagers and young adults spend increasing amounts of time on the platform, there is a correlation between excessive TikTok usage and heightened levels of anxiety, depression, and self-esteem issues. This research paper will investigate the impacts that TikTok has on the brains of teenagers and young adults. The methodology used was a wide search through SVC  databases, Google Scholar, and different university websites. 10 articles and journals were found relating to TikTok and its impacts. The results of this research paper suggested that teens have become addicted to TikTok leading to their mental health spiraling down. The articles have indicated that teens' attention span has decreased because of the short videos on TikTok. They can’t focus for more than a couple seconds. Further research could be needed but it is clear that TikTok is negatively impacting brains and increasing mental health issues.

Background Information

TikTok, the wildly popular social media platform, has certainly left its mark on social culture, especially among teenagers and young adults. TikTok was created in September 2016. It was created by Byte Dance, a Chinese tech giant founded by Zhang Yiming. TikTok was the most downloaded app in October 2018 and continues to have that role as of 2022. TikTok has about 80 million monthly users.

Video, Graph, or Image

This graph shows how TikTok has risen up in popularity since 2017 when it first became really popular. 

Chart: The Rapid Rise of TikTok | Statista


. The Rapid Rise of TikTok. 2022.


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