Disclaimer – This post, in NO WAY, is bashing on TikTok content creators or influencers, I am only describing MY PERSONAL struggle with the app.
This is a post I have been debating on writing for some time. I have faced difficulties figuring out ways to compile my feelings in a way that makes sense, however, I am going to try to do so transparently and vulnerably.
For so long, I did not download the TikTok app. I just never thought it was for me. So many people would send me TikTok’s and I, honestly, would never watch not even one of them. I sincerely was not interested and did not care.
I didn’t understand the purpose of TikTok, just as I really didn’t understand the purpose of Snapchat when it became popular- It just didn’t make sense to me.
I did, however, jump on the Snapchat bandwagon for a few years, but then I fell off because, honestly, it started getting really lame.
It’s sort of like- it was cool at first but now that everyone’s profile picture is the dog sticking its tongue out filter, or the flower crown filter as their profile pictures, I just can’t even bear to look at it.
Personally, I am 100% guilty of both of those things, so no hate to anyone. See below:
Also, the complete insecurities and realization that you really aren’t as flawless without a filter comes to light and can really f*ck with one’s self consciousness.
It had seemed to really become a crutch in everyone’s life, creating the mentality of- “I can fix my insecurities with a filter and everyone will think that I am perfect.
Ummm, FYI, none of us are, so why are we pretending?
So Snapchat came and went, and here comes TikTok – which wasn’t anything I ever considered downloading. I honestly thought it was aimed to a younger demographic and I didn’t care to understand it or even try it- and I sure as hell wasn’t going to be creating content on it, so why even bother?
Even through the pandemic, I still didn’t even look for entertainment via TikTok as many people did. My then boyfriend, now husband and I both worked at a hospital, and we were putting in extra hours every week, so the little time we did have for entertainment was very limited we would watch a lot of shows and movies together and slept, a lot.
I honestly couldn’t even tell you when I downloaded TikTok and or why because I don’t remember. What I can tell you is the span between installation and deletion was approximately 3 months max.
At first, I watched some content, and then I would stumble on more content, and before I knew it, CleanTok had found its way into my algorithm. I really enjoyed watching the restocking videos, they were super relaxing and soothing and a great way to help me relax and fall asleep.
Then I started to watch the cleaning videos and the organization videos, and I completely began to spiral. I started purchasing everything the content creators were using: the rubber made electric cleaning brush, The Pink Stuff Cleaning products, a God damn spin mop. Before I knew it I was putting my laundry soap and supplies in labeled jars just like the TikTok creators were doing, and I swore to myself I was “never going to do that, it’s so stupid! Why would I transfer something that’s already in a container into another container.” – Because it’s aesthetically pleasing AF, that’s why.
Next, came the refrigerator organization. Yep, acrylic containers in my fridge to organize my groceries, which to be fair, is a great idea. Far too often we would buy groceries that would go to waste because everything was everywhere in the fridge – keeping like items together made it way easier to know exactly what we had, and it ensured that the food would be eaten instead of tossed because we forgot we had it.
But then, I started unnecessarily buying bullshit just so I could organize it in my fridge. Varieties of drinks, individual snacks, assorted yogurts, Lunchables… if I saw it in a TikTok video I had to buy it too.
Then, I discovered Found It On Amazon…
Now I am not going to tell you that those products are not useful or really good items that I never even knew existed, but at this point I wish I didn’t know they existed because I bought it all – an electric rechargeable lighter, little fuzzy cases to put my glasses in, a mini vacuum to clean my desk, and other numerous amounts of items I surely did not need to waste my money on. I just had to have them, and I don’t know why.
So, at this point Found It On Amazon became TikTok made me buy it and guess what came next… the spice bottle organization.
Here I am with 50 small bottles, a funnel, and 100 pages of different spices, and I am just mindlessly reorganizing my spice rack because it wasn’t aesthetically pleasing to me for all of my spice bottles to not match. In reality, who cares except for me that they don’t all match? Certainly not my husband, who didn’t even notice that I had tackled that project until I pointed it out to him!
So now, I’ve spiraled into an organization, crazy woman, with matching spice bottles, everything in its place (and you better not touch it because I will lose my sh*t), a neat freak, and an absolute clean freak – down to taking my toilet seats off, and soaking them in bleach water as well as the fixtures, taking apart my faucet fixtures to get rid of any unsightly little thing that caught my eye, scrubbing my floors with a rubbing alcohol, boiling hot water, laundry pod, Fabulouso cocktail, and cleaning my bathtub with the toilet bowl cleaner hack and mixing chemicals nearly killing my entire household.
At this point, in my brain, if I am not doing these things, keeping a clean and organized home, doing laundry on the daily, while working a full time job, I’m a sh*tty wife. I started to believe that this is what a wife should be doing, after all, that’s what they are doing on TikTok therefore I should also be doing it because that’s a completely normal way of life. Everything must be perfect.
Every night I would find myself falling down TikTok rabbit holes, spending HOURS on the app, switching between Amazon and TikTok, finding any and all products I could, so I purchase them and try them out myself.
That phase came and went when I started to realize that my spending was becoming problematic and mental health was suffering. I confessed to my husband that I was starting to feel more and more inadequate as a wife because I couldn’t keep up with the things other wives were doing. He agreed with me that I needed to hang it up for a while and not compare myself so harshly to what others were doing. Yes, they are doing these things, but they are also content creators- it was their job and livelihood to put out trending videos and promoting products and very often it was just an illusion of perfection.
It’s not impossible that there truly are people who maintain these cleaning and organization practices on a daily basis – we don’t know their backstory, they could be naturally an extremely organized person, or actually have the time to tackle these tasks.
My issue with TikTok is NOT with the content creators, it is within myself. My lack of impulse control, my insecurities that I am not a good enough wife because I can’t constantly be keeping up with housework and have dinner on the table by the time my husband gets home. It is just not realistic in my every day life, and that is OK. As long as I wake up every day, do my best at work and allocate time to take care of household chores, I am on the right path. Maybe one day I will become that extremely organized person, who is on top of everything, but right now, my life cannot fit that mold and again that is OK.
I have struggled with mental health issues since I was a teenager, although I didn’t understand what it was at the time. When I was 21 I started to see a therapist and started taking medication for depression. It was surmised that I do have bipolar disorder and possibly borderline personality disorder, as I show tendencies for both. Some days it is the hardest thing to do even the simplest of tasks like showering or brushing my teeth, and other days I’m running around like a mad woman and have an extremely productive day. I don’t like it, but that’s just how it is, and I continue to work on it the best I know how.
In conclusion, every person is different, and we need to be aware that not everyone fits the same mold, what works for one person may not work for another. We need to be kinder to ourselves and not hold ourselves up to the standards of others- it’s just not feasible or realistic.
I hope that, in writing this, that my post resonates with others who have had the same struggles that I have had and that it is not something to be ashamed of. Realizing that we are all human and are not perfect is the first step in discovering yourself and what you aspire to be, which should always be your authentic self.