Tips&TricksTikTok, Dorito Theory and the surge of trivial addictions in the pandemic era

TikTok, Dorito Theory and the surge of trivial addictions in the pandemic era

The Dorito theory is very popular on social media.
The Dorito theory is very popular on social media.
Images source: © Getty Images | Aleksandrenko Anastasiya
12:44 PM EST, February 21, 2024

TikTok user @celeste.aria_ voiced her thoughts on these addictions and their connection to the internet, and her Dorito Theory soon went viral. She argued that we become addicted to shallow, insignificant things that offer immediate gratification. Below, you can read about her comparison of human behavior to a bag of chips.

The Dorito Theory and internet addiction

One chip, two, five, half a bag - that's usually how snacking on chips goes. No matter how much you eat, you crave more. It's intriguing that a few fried potato slices can bring more pleasure than a large meal or a satisfying steak, which could sustain your energy and satiate your hunger for hours. The simple act of snacking becomes addictive because the peak of enjoyment is while eating, not in its aftermath.

The same applies to social media scrolling. Once the TikTok app is open, it's nearly impossible to shut it down after just one or two videos. A simple swipe regenerates content, leading to prolonged periods of mindless video-watching that offer no valuable contribution to our lives. This is where the Dorito Theory comes into play, asserting that individuals tend to become addicted to less valuable things, promising temporary satisfaction.

The Dorito Theory's impact on mental health

Technological advancements have been so rapid that we're persistently overwhelmed with new gadgets, apps, and services promising to improve life quality. Amid this barrage of stimuli, our psychology adjusts to a continuous emotional rollercoaster. Consequently, we develop an addiction to adrenaline, which commonly accompanies us in situations that should naturally deter us. Indulging in alcohol or drugs, associating with toxic individuals, and overall, the spiral suggested by the Dorito Theory perpetuates.

Consistent use of social media marks the start of internet addiction. Initially, we may feel in control, but over time, the excessive hours spent in front of the screen begin to interfere with our work and responsibilities. The pandemic, which wrangled most of us into home confinement, saw an increase in social media usage due to a lack of specific activities. This period also saw a rise in depression, anxiety, and addiction cases. The Dorito Theory seeks to raise awareness about our proclivity for developing addictions, which often begin with seemingly innocent internet browsing.

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