What is TikTok 'brain rot?' Chronically online term explained

What is TikTok 'brain rot?' Chronically online term explained
TikTok Has Sued the Federal Government
ZMG - Veuer / VideoElephant

Many of us would admit that we spend too much time on our phones – and now a viral clip has delved into the notion of TikTok "brain rot".

Being chronically online is something millions of people will be familiar with, and addiction numbers are only rising – back in 2021, it was estimated that a third of young people are addicted to their smartphones.

TikTok user Joel Cave posted a clip which has racked up hundreds of thousands of likes, explaining the term “brain rot”.

And, quite worryingly, some of the symptoms will be familiar to many of us.

“One of the easiest ways to tell if someone’s brain has been destroyed by social media is to notice how often they reference internet jargon,” Cave said.

He also said that “brain rot” leads people to quote memes and viral posts that otherwise wouldn’t be referenced offline.


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Sharing his own experiences of encountering people who are “chronically online”, he said that some people at his college can’t speak articulately without referencing TikTok videos.

We all know how addictive smartphones are, of course, and previous research turned up some worrying findings about the impact of the constant bombardment of information we get from them.

While people often turn to their phones for their daily dose of dopamine, a previous study has revealed that it could "cause a breakdown in social values" and "inadvertently exacerbate feelings of despair while simultaneously promising to resolve" life's questions.

So, that's good...

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