TikTok and the Clock | Psychology Today Canada

TikTok and the Clock | Psychology Right now Canada


Nobody can deny that TikTok is without doubt one of the trendiest social platforms. Individuals are fascinated and entertained by quick movies that vary from dancing to singing to comedy, and so forth. Just lately, a brand new kind of video has emerged: a play-by-play account of 1’s every day life. Often, it’s an adolescent that paperwork and performs for the web. Timestamps flash throughout the display screen: “2:30 tidied up and listened to a podcast”; “3:15 bought prepared for my run.” At 3:30, she runs; at 4:00, she hydrates; “4:15 bathe” (Haigney, 2022). One may ask: Why would anybody need to watch these sorts of movies? What’s so fascinating or entertaining in watching another person create a schedule based mostly on the clock after which execute it?


A TikTok video.


Humanity’s obsession with time, and extra importantly, with quantifying time into measurable models, shouldn’t be new. It may be traced again to using sundials in historic instances, adopted by the industrialized societies throughout Taylorism. Taylorism advocated that the “one greatest method” to realize maximal efficiency is by defining a supposedly optimum, customary time to carry out a job. Taking this method to fashionable time, we nonetheless discover that the prevalence of the clock by its impression on effectivity stays a foundational precept of contemporary economics.

Our analysis (Avnet & Sellier, 2011), nonetheless, discovered that there’s a rising physique of people and even entire cultures that favor to make use of a unique method to time. They undertake an “event-based” methodology to time, the place duties are carried out extra by a to-do record, and one begins an exercise when the subsequent one ends. Evidently, in contrast to the Taylorism view, adopting both an event- or clock-time technique to duties’ efficiency can each result in superior efficiency. It simply is determined by the duty at hand. When people have to carry out effectively, they may depend on the clock, which inserts with the concept of Taylorism. However when people have to carry out creatively, they may depend on occasions, because the inventive course of can’t be quantified by time.

Gaining management by the clock

How does this relate to the TikTok phenomenon? Properly, one other attention-grabbing consequence of adopting one methodology of time measurement over one other is its impact on the sense of management individuals have over their lives. When individuals really feel that they’re answerable for their atmosphere, they may have a tendency to use extra of an event-style methodology. When individuals really feel like they’ve misplaced management over their atmosphere, they may attempt to acquire it again by utilizing the clock. As if controlling time can in some way additionally management their atmosphere.

Sami Abdullah/Pexels

A clock.

Supply: Sami Abdullah/Pexels

This brings us again to TikTok. This phenomenon suits with the signal of the instances. The final two years of COVID-19 left many people, particularly youngsters, feeling fairly susceptible. Their lives have been turned the other way up into turmoil, and their world grew to become unsure.

The adults of the world, who have been at all times in management, appeared at a loss, and the governments gave the impression to be confused as to which path to take. As well as, the clock schedule that we used to comply with so fastidiously throughout our every day lives (begin faculty, go to work, and so forth.) has been taken away and pale into lengthy, timeless days spent at dwelling in social isolation. Immediately, the day was an extended stretch with none quantitative time models. Subsequently, it’s no marvel that persons are attempting to achieve again what they’ve misplaced. A way of timed construction the place the clock dictates our every day routines and life appears below management once more.

Construction versus management

The paradox of all of it is that our analysis exhibits the other impact of the clock on management (Sellier & Avnet, 2014). Those that naturally are likely to depend on clock-style time measurement are those who report the bottom sense of management, whereas those that are likely to naturally depend on event-style time measurement are those that report the best sense of management.

In conclusion, though it appears as if counting on the clock beneficial properties one a way of management, it really does the other. By counting on the clock, individuals give an exterior cue (the clock) the ability to determine how their day will go by and subsequently give up management over their lives to a clock. However, the day is deliberate forward, and it’s clear when issues will begin or finish, so not less than the sense of ambiguity is diminished, and the sense of construction returns.


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