The Price of TikTok’s Productivity Trend
Written by Caileigh Finck, Account Executive
Point of view: you are in your dorm room lying on your bed after a long day of class, and you finally have the chance to relax. You open TikTok, scrolling through countless videos; chances are, one of those may be a “vlog” or “day in my life” video.
This isn’t just a typical vlog but the “5 to 9” trend. It’s a trend where both women and men capture aesthetically pleasing moments of their well-curated lives with minimalistic captions and in-sync music.
Here’s the problem: if someone’s daily routine doesn’t involve three well-balanced meals, a 10-step skincare regimen, two 45-minute workout sessions, and some alone time meditating, it’s safe to assume someone is having the worst day of their life, right?
Nope! These videos are proof that social media is just a fabricated highlight reel.
Now, don’t get me wrong; part of me loves and appreciates seeing these types of videos come across my feed because it motivates me to romanticize the daily habits of life that sometimes feel like just another chore on my to-do list.
One trick I have used in the past to keep me productive is pretending like a film crew is following me for the day. The concept is a bit odd, but hear me out, it makes me feel on my A-game. In hindsight, it isn’t a true representation of life because nothing is perfect, but it does help my well-being.
This theory is referred to as social facilitation, which unveils that humans tend to perform better on particular tasks when they know they are being observed. The same theory applies to social media. When we see people, in this case, content creators, posting videos about their days doing typical activities in a day, many of us have an inclination to do those things, but even better.
The problem with that mindset is that it can lead to things like burnout, which is something many college students experience. This is why it’s important to focus on the intention of your actions during your day as opposed to the attention you might receive from individuals if you post something about them online.
I love to watch the vlogs and occasionally get a new workout recommendation here and again, but sometimes my self-care routine doesn’t involve yoga or meditation. Instead, it’s me just enjoying a bag of crunchy Cheetos while watching the newest season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians — and that’s good enough for me.