Peak multitasking is essaying whilst frying those dopamine receptors through slime cutting videos with South Park clips underneath Maxim Ilyahov via Unsplash

Izzy Benardout: “Tiktok has a gravitas”

A new year. The ultimate caesura. An opportunity for change and growth. Yet, in a defiant act of free will, I am turning down this opportunity for reinvention in favour of the sweet comfort of staying the same. My TikTok habit – a codependent relationship based on niche informational videos, reams of blue light, and inexplicably catchy dances – has been one of the few constants of my adolescence and burgeoning young adulthood. From the dark days of, where one could lip-sync to explicitly misogynistic songs at the ripe age of 12, to TikTok, where it’s all the same – except you can now also learn something. How exciting!

“There is nothing more authentic than screen recordings of a HBO TV show cut into 56 dopamine-inducing parts”

TikTok has a gravitas, a level of establishment that Instagram Reels has not yet achieved. After a long day (known colloquially as 2pm), I find myself magnetically drawn to my phone, my thumbs itching to scroll and attain the quick serotonin boost that I know ‘TikTok time’ will give me. Reels – simply another string added to Instagram’s well-worn bow – may satiate one’s need for short form content, but only if you can stomach anachronistic animal videos and ambiguous 5-Minute Crafts clips. Of course, I see the joy it brings my friend to announce that “They don’t have TikTok”. Yet to shirk TikTok in favour of Instagram Reels is akin to a budding author using a typewriter instead of a keyboard for ‘authentic feel’. Trust me, there is nothing more authentic than screen recordings of a HBO TV show cut into 56 dopamine-inducing parts. And now, since I can say I have watched The Act without subscribing to yet another streaming service, I can’t help but feel like I’m winning.

Sofia Abbatista: “Instagram is more varied”


Mountain View

Hot or not: Tiktok, hanging out, flatcest, and rowing

What is the best social media for displaying short videos? I recently had a conversation about it with a friend of mine. “Well,” she said: “you’re getting TikTok reels on Instagram way later than us, that’s because Insta reels come from TikTok! So, obviously, they’re the same, only we get them earlier.” While that may be true to some extent, TikTok just didn’t work for me. I think it might be because I wasn’t well targeted enough (I bet she was). And so, I ended up deleting TikTok.

It might be because TikTok is a reel-based social media, while Instagram is more varied: we use it to post photos, stories, term dumps, and to investigate our crushes. So, I guess it’s easier to spend more time on Instagram and get casually trapped in the Reels-loop-bubble.

With Reels, you’d say ‘I’ll just open Instagram five minutes before studying or going to bed’, and then proceed to spend half an hour watching reels of cute cats, stand-up comedians, therapists’ advice, travel tips, and so on. While, if you’re using TikTok, you already know you’re going to spend time watching short-form content. Maybe it’s the ‘surprise effect’ that appeals to us Instagram Reels lovers.