TikTok likened to opioids by US congress as app receives criticism over destructive nature
Millions of people around the world find a buzz out of scrolling through TikTok for half an hour a day, but for some that is steadily increasing to an hour, two, three and ultimately forming harmful addictions that are affecting our everyday lives.
It’s a growing trend, and more and more rehab centres are seeing people arrive through their doors suffering from what is called process addiction, and it’s not gone unnoticed by those at the top, particularly in the USA.
At a period where the country is suffering more than ever with opiate drug addiction, with fentanyl abuse leading to a staggering number of overdose deaths, particularly during the pandemic, and particularly among younger people, social media addiction is another major concern.
Mike Gallagher, the incoming US chairman of a new House select committee on China, has likened the two crises, describing TikTok as “digital fentanyl”, and while that may seem quite an extreme, it does highlight the addictive nature of TikTok and social media as a whole.
Gallagher believes that TikTok is being destructive in society and is making it more difficult to protect our children, as well as leading to further addiction problems within the country.
Speaking to NBC, he said, “It’s highly addictive and destructive and we’re seeing troubling data about the corrosive impact of constant social media use, particularly on young men and women here in America.”
“The government can’t raise your kids, can’t protect your kids for you, but there are certain sensible things we can do in order to create a healthier social media ecosystem.”
The congressman has now called for the social media platform to be banned nationally in order to protect people, as well as prevent the risk of the Chinese Communist Party expanding their control over the media in the USA.
TikTok is already banned from devices owned and managed by the US House of Representatives, and the lack of transparency around TikTok’s algorithm is among the top concerns for that.
The concern from Gallagher, perhaps does sway into more of a political point, but the destructive and addictive nature of social media is a growing concern not just in the USA, but around the world, with people using the platforms from a younger age than ever before and more of us spending a larger amount of time on the likes of TikTok, Instagram and Facebook daily.