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TikTok can be a time-sink that seems to steal time from our lives. What was meant to be a quick glance at some funny videos can easily turn into hours of mindless scrolling. Let's put an end to this! With this calculator, we want to inspire you to reclaim that lost time and use it for something more healthy, more productive, or even more fun. What can you do when you become intentional with your time? A new, better, happier you is waiting!

The problem with TikTok (and social media in general)

Social media is the new way to connect for the younger (and not so young) generations. For some, it's an unacceptable replacement for face-to-face interaction, while for others, it is the only realistic way to communicate with their close ones on the other side of the world. Social media platforms are just that: platforms and tools, and, as such, they are not inherently good or bad. "Guns don't kill people; people kill people with guns".

Or are they? Because guns don't know the difference between self-defense and murder, they work the same in a recreational setting as they do in the middle of a war. Social media is different, however. Pretty much every social media app is designed to keep you "hooked" and reduce the chances of you putting the phone down.

As it was put in an article from the BBC, these apps have "a thousand engineers that have worked on this thing to try to make it maximally addicting". But that's not all; just in case this is not raising a lot of red flags, let's take a look at the effects that TikTok and similar platforms have on our behavior.

Mindless scrolling and its pitfalls

In the last few years, there's been a significant focus on studying the effects of social media and their addictive algorithms in our lives.

One such study focused on flow states and their five dimensions (focused attention, enjoyment, curiosity, telepresence, and time distortion) and found that TikTok had the highest level of enjoyment and time distortion of any platform, while telepresence (or being immersed in the virtual world created by these apps) is associated with higher levels of depression and anxiety.

This leads to people spending vast amounts of time on these apps without making a conscious decision to dedicate such time to them, which means we are likely neglecting other parts of our lives. In fact, the average Gen Z spends 1.5 hours per day on TikTok. This platform is used by nearly half of the population of the USA and is slowly becoming the go-to source for news and information.

crowd addicted to their phones

💡 It is important to reiterate that the problem is not using TikTok or any similar app. Our intention is simply to arm you with the knowledge and tools to make the best use of your time. Be mindful of your choices and the alternatives, and find the right balance to live the best life you can!

While social media has a good side and can provide benefits to our society, it is increasingly apparent that its net impact on our lives is negative, with studies on teenagers finding that "using social media more than three times a day predicted poor mental health and well-being in teens." No wonder some states want to ban teenagers from using social media!

The more we look at it, the more obvious it becomes that the effects of social media, in its current state, are similar to those of drinking or gambling. So it might be time to break free from the algorithms and the dopamine rush, take control of our lives, and change it for the better!

How to use the calculator

Sometimes, the best way to change is to visualize the future you want. That's not always easy, but we are here to help you. We have created this aspirational calculator to show you some of the things you can do with your time if you change TikTok (or another social media platform) and do something different during your day.

To see the possibilities, all you need to do is follow this simple instructions:

  1. Input the number of times you check TikTok per day (or per week if that's easier for you).

  2. Input the estimated time you spend on TikTok every time you check the app. It can be a simple estimate, but be honest, it's important.

  3. The next field is calculated for you. The tool will tell you how much time you spend on TikTok every day.

tiktok app on a phone

Immediately, you will get the results, which we can tailor to suit you perfectly!

  1. You can select what kind of language you would like to learn, and the calculator will tell you how long it will take you to reach different levels.

  2. Next is fitness and weight loss. Select which activity you would like to do.

  3. Input your weight (we promise we don't store or sell this data, so no worries) to calculate the calories burnt.

  4. This will give you an estimation of your potential weight loss, as well as other interesting statistics

  5. Last but not least, you will get a list of alternative content to consume; we've chosen a list of (generally) high-quality options that will help you grow or at least healthily enjoy your time off.

As we mentioned before, these are not the only options you have, but rather a list to get you inspired to be more intentional with your time. And if what you want is to stay on the healthy side of TikTok, Instagram, or YouTube, go on! There's nothing wrong with a little bit of self-indulgence as long as it is a conscious, intentional, and healthy choice that you make!

Learning a language

There are a ton of useful skills to learn in the time you claimed back from TikTok, but few are as rewarding as learning a new language. Whether it is watching a foreign show without subtitles, understanding the lyrics of your favorite song, or making new friends from different cultures, the power of communication is incalculable and one of the most fulfilling goals to achieve.

But languages are very different from one another, so how can we say it will take you X number of days to achieve a certain level? The short answer is that we can't promise it with certainty, but we can give you a very good estimate. The first step is to divide languages into groups by their difficulty. While not a perfect division, I think we can all agree that Chinese is harder to learn than Spanish, and German will fall somewhere in the middle, at least for Western individuals (Chinese kids generally master Chinese much faster than American adults 😜).

book for learning spanish

Once we have these groups defined (and you're ready to select your favorite), it's all about getting an estimate of "time to learn" based on an average student with an average level of immersion. For that, we used data from experts in the field. From there, it's just about calculating how fast you can climb the skill ladder from the basics to an advanced level.

Being active, touching grass

One of the best ways to improve our health (both physical and mental) is to be active outside. Something as simple as taking a walk is proven to have massive positive impacts in almost every aspect of our lives. So why not substitute our addiction-inducing TikTok habits with some physical activity? That's exactly what we thought!

two people running outdoors

We have implemented a section to help you visualize this change. Many of us struggle to achieve our desired weight, partly because of our sedentary lives. One of the most effective ways to combat this problem is to exercise, so it only makes sense to ditch doomscrolling in favor of a nice bike ride or a dance lesson.

The effect a simple but constant change like this can have on our bodies is almost unbelievable. But let us reiterate that the biggest benefits are hard to measure; regular physical activity will almost certainly improve your mental health and prevent a myriad of diseases... Who wouldn't want to live happier for longer?!

Fun doesn't need to be productive

We have given you options for using your TikTok time to better your life and yourself, but there's more to life than pure productivity! Having fun and enjoying yourself is what makes life worth living, so don't skimp on that. We have been mentioning the risks of social media and addictions, and most stem from mindlessly doing things you never actively chose to do.

So why not take control of your entertainment? There's nothing wrong with kicking back, relaxing, watching the latest TV show, reading the newest fantasy novel, or even listening to a podcast! And there are a ton of other options we couldn't possibly cover. It is all about conscious choices and actively choosing to do the things you want to do: ENJOY!

dad reading to his kid

In the end, life is about balance

Álvaro Díez
📱 My TikTok habit
I use TikTok...
times a
day
... for about ...
min
each time
So I spend...
hrs on Tik Tok per
day
🈂️ Learn a new language! 🈷️
Language difficulty
Medium-hard
Languages in this group include German, Hindi, Urdu, Finnish, Hungarian, Nepali, Filipino, Polish, Vietnamese… and similar ones.
🤾‍♀️ Lose weight and have fun 🕺
Activity
⚠️ Choose your favorite activity
Your weight
lb
You will burn
kcal
each day
You can lose up to
lb
per month
📚 Alternative content 🎧
You can watch
episodes per
day
You can listen to
podcasts per
day
You can read
books per
mo
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