Scientists invent TikTok use disorder (TTUD)

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This reference is used to support claims made by Dr Piotr Wozniak as part of an article series on memory, learning, creativity, and problem solving.

School lobby

There is a "school lobby" at work affecting science no less than Big Pharma and other falsity vectors of vested interest.

The school lobby vector is born from the wish for school to work in providing fantastic education for children. In addition, the lobby is enriched by a huge group of people whose employment depends on school institutions. When wishful thinking meets science, big numbers translate to bad research. We are flooded with research trying to find out what factors make school work. The truth is simple: coercive school works in a short-term for extrinsic goals of the "educators". Compulsory schooling does not work for an individual.

A big volume of research is also targeted at new educational tools that are perceived as a threat to the goals of schooling. Digital technologies and social media are prime targets. A poster boy for vested interest here in Prof. Manfred Spitzer and other actors generating a rich flow of material for my humorous Neuromythology section. Spitzer invented Digital Dementia using flimsy research from Asia and his own models of "good learning" (at school, naturally). See also: Ban schools, not TikTok

School lobby contributes to the emergence of bad pro-school research

TikTok use disorder

This year a new concept starts making rounds in the media: TikTok use disorder (TTUD). The research comes again from the capital of coercive schooling: Asia.

The authors use correlations and a well-sounding direct/indirect effect, which is interpreted, in the media, as: "TikTok causes depression, anxiety and memory loss". After a few iterations of the social media game of gossip: "TikTok has awful mental health consequences".

A new powerful myth and meme says that TikTok is bad for your health

The culprit

However, the article itself is not just an innocent correlation. It uses the term TikTok use disorder (TTUD) in its abstract without explaining the term in the body of the text. When I checked Google Schoolar, the term is probably only used in the title of the said article in references, and has probably never been used in literature on psychology or psychiatry. Naturally, no Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD), let alone TUUD are defined in DSM V, IDC-11 or WHO.

The abstract says:

The results show a partial mediation effect of depression and anxiety between TikTok use disorder and forward digit span

Hereby I challenge the researchers to disprove an alternative hypothesis (which I have no doubt is true): school causes depression, which in turn affects memory and, through reward deficit increases the use of TikTok. Those kids who are most affected by school are more likely to be depressed and more likely to find comfort in mindless TikTok (as opposed to a productive use of TikTok or YouTube). I explain the details in: Reward diversity in preventing addictions.

A misleading research paper from China attempts to show that TikTok causes memory deficits

The reference


Quoted excerpts come from the following reference:

Title: Research on Adolescents Regarding the Indirect Effect of Depression, Anxiety, and Stress between TikTok Use Disorder and Memory Loss

Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8393543/

Backlink: Dangers of imposing screen time limits on children

Authors: Peng Sha and Xiaoyu Dong, China, School of Journalism and Communication, Southwest University

Journal: Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Aug; 18(16): 8820

Date: 2021