University of Twente Student Theses


Scrolling through Emotions: An Exploration of TikTok Content and its Effects on Self-Compassion and Mood in Young Adults

Schneuing, Lina (2023) Scrolling through Emotions: An Exploration of TikTok Content and its Effects on Self-Compassion and Mood in Young Adults.

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Abstract:TikTok has become a popular social media platform among young adults, with more than 1 billion users worldwide. While TikTok is associated with fun and entertaining content, there is also a growing concern that some content can have negative effects on wellbeing. Mood and self-compassion show strong positive links to wellbeing, which is why the aim of this study was to investigate the different types of content that young adults between the ages 18-25 come across on TikTok and how it affects their mood and self-compassion. Despite the app’s popularity, there have been barely any studies on TikTok, and the only studies that have been performed were quantitative.. This study wants to fill a gap by qualitatively exploring the effects of TikTok content on wellbeing. This was done by means of a diary study. After going through a screening questionnaire which included questions about their demographics and TikTok use, 22 participants completed daily diary entries for 5 days. The diary study asked open questions regarding the type of content they engaged with, and their mood and self-compassion levels. The answers were analysed with thematic analysis, using a data-driven codebook. Results showed that content in the „Entertainment“ category mostly showed positive results, while content in the „Current Affairs and Societal Matters“ category affected participants more negatively. Regarding self-compassion, the research showed that there have been positive links to common humanity and self-kindness, two of the elements of self-compassion. Around half of the videos did not have an effect on self-compassion though. The findings suggest that there are definitely links between certain TikTok content and their effects on mood and self-compassion. These insights can be used for further research on this topic with bigger sample sizes and different target groups. Furthermore, more awareness around the topic of self-compassion can be created and its importance in regards to TikTok use.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies, 70 social sciences in general
Programme:Communication Studies BSc (56615)
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