Prominent vision doctor and TikTok influencer Brian Boxer Wachler says the platform has taken over his life and caused a rift in his family life – and required formal intervention.
In his new book, Influenced: the impact of social media on our perceptionwhich was published at the end of October by Penguin Random House (an excerpt of which was published on Initiated), Wachler said what started as something suggested by his children turned into something that consumed his life.
“The need for dopamine for more followers gnawed at me to hit the accelerator pedal like a race car driver,” the essay reads. “My daughters had innocently created a TikTok Frankenstein.”
Wachler is indeed a popular influencer, with 3.4 million followers on TikTok, and an eye surgeon by trade, who practices in Beverly Hills, California. He posts videos on a wide range of topics, from the so-called Navy Seal sleep hacking technique to menstrual cramps to eye problems.
@brianboxerwachlermd keratoconus is a herniated eye #keratoconus ♬ original sound – Dr Brian Boxer Wachler, MD
According to a 2021 press release, he had become a “go-to person for exposing what’s wrong and what’s right when it comes to viral health topics” on the platform.
Wachler’s TikTok addiction started innocently enough, according to the snippet. His twin daughters said it would be fun if he got on the platform after his clinic was shut down by the pandemic. Wachler said he wanted to prove he was a “cool dad”.
So he created an account, then applied himself with mathematical precision, determining the ideal ratio for likes, views and shares, on each video until he ended up creating a “ratio of Subscriber Effectiveness” which included the number of subscribers a given clip would gain. him.
He started spending two to three hours a day making videos, going to the platform’s live feature and answering questions, and responding to user comments — and ignoring his family.
“Being an influencer has the potential to be addictive and destructive. Mine is a cautionary tale,” Wachler wrote in the excerpt.
“What if my kids started resenting TikTok taking all my mind and I ignored them – I had much bigger fish to fry,” he wrote, that is. say reach his goal of having one million subscribers.
Eventually, Wachler’s family staged an intervention, which Wachler ignored, he wrote, until he got into a viral rut with his video views (and therefore struggled to get the same shots of dopamine).
Wachler wrote that his story follows the trajectory of that of a drug addict. He still posts on the platform and says he approaches it from a “totally different, grounded, healthy perspective.”
@brianboxerwachlermd #duet with @mdmotivator it’s important to keep your feet on the ground on social media and maintain a healthy perspective. Sometimes people can be influenced in unhealthy ways and have challenges including neglecting relationships with family and friends, school, work, etc. My new book INFLUENCED discusses these effects and how to live a balanced life with social media. the book also gives advice to those who want to be influencers on how to do it in a healthy and responsible way #socialmedia ♬ original sound – Zachery Dereniowski
TikTok, in a more colloquial sense, has a highly addictive personalized algorithm, according to Popular Science. A group of state attorneys general is investigating the platform’s impact on young people – just over two-thirds of 13- to 17-year-olds say they’ve used TikTok, according to the Pew Research Center.
Separately, the platform is facing regulatory issues due to reported delays in an agreement with President Biden’s administration on how the Chinese-owned platform could operate in the United States.
TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment.