As the lines between physical and digital spaces continue to blur, students across the globe are turning to social media, specifically TikTok, to foster a community focused on studying. At the forefront of this trend is VaNessa Thompson, a doctoral student from Oakland University.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Students are increasingly using TikTok to stream their study sessions, creating a digital study community. The act of going live prompts them to stay focused and accountable to their followers.
  • The virtual ‘body doubling’ trend, rooted in clinical treatment for ADHD, allows students to feel the presence of others, enhancing their focus and task completion.
  • Despite the potential distractions of social media, students like Thompson use it as a tool for maintaining study habits, finding a balance between digital socializing and academic productivity.

The girl has found that streaming her study sessions on TikTok not only helps her stay accountable but also provides a sense of camaraderie in the often solitary world of academia. This innovative use of social media is reshaping how students approach studying, blurring the lines between social networking and academic diligence.

Streaming to Study: The Power of Online Accountability

As Thompson explains:

“People that follow me on TikTok, they’ll get a push notification, ‘VaNessa’s going live.’”

This live-streaming habit essentially forces her to stay focused on her tasks for at least a couple of hours. “It’s holding me accountable,” Thompson says, acknowledging the social pressure created by her TikTok followers to stay on task. Her perspective highlights an interesting benefit of the digital age – using the ever-present eyes of social media to enforce personal discipline.

Body Doubling: From Clinical Practice to TikTok Trend

The origins of this practice trace back to a clinical treatment for ADHD known as “body doubling,” where having someone watch a task being performed helps maintain focus. Michael Meinzer, director of the Young Adult and Adolescent ADHD Services Lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago, speaks about this phenomenon:

“A core symptom of ADHD is being distracted easily. Another symptom is difficulty completing tasks and following through.”

While Meinzer acknowledges that a virtual body double may not be as effective as a physical one, the trend nonetheless shows promising potential in creating a sense of shared focus.

Online Role Models: The Rise of Study Influencers

Isabel, an 18-year-old from England known as isabelthearcher on TikTok, serves as an example of how study streaming can combat procrastination. After watching her favorite YouTubers broadcast their study sessions, she was inspired to do the same, “It helped me stay focused,” she says.

For both Isabel and Thompson, a key motivator is the potential to inspire others. Thompson, in particular, as a program coordinator for Oakland University’s Center for Multicultural Initiatives, sees the opportunity to use social media platforms like TikTok for academic outreach. She asserts, demonstrating the potential for social media to extend its impact beyond personal interactions and into broader educational initiatives:

“I’m about making higher ed accessible and achievable.”

Top 10 Study-With-Me TikTok Accounts for Motivation

Boosting your productivity and academic focus is just a TikTok away. Join the thousands of students worldwide tuning in to Study-With-Me TikTok accounts for motivation, inspiration, and a communal studying atmosphere. Here are the top 10 Study-With-Me TikTok accounts that you should follow to stay motivated and focused:

  1. @VaNessa: (VaNessa Thompson) – Watch her focused study sessions and be inspired by her dedication to higher education.
  2. @isabelthearcher: (Isabel) – From the shores of England, she provides a refreshing perspective on focused studying.
  3. @jackbenedwards: (Jack Edwards) – A YouTuber-turned-TikToker who brings his study sessions to life.
  4. @evecornwell: (Eve Cornwell) – Law student turned study influencer, Eve creates an engaging study atmosphere with her sessions.
  5. @rubygranger: (Ruby Granger) – Best known for her studious and disciplined approach to learning.
  6. @adamwaithe: (Adam Waithe) – Combines humor and study sessions to make studying more enjoyable.
  7. @unJadedjade: (Jade Bowler) – An advocate for mindful studying, Jade offers a unique perspective on learning.
  8. @thestudyquill: (Seo) – The perfect blend of study tips, stationery reviews, and quiet study sessions.
  9. @tbhstudying: (Seo) – Provides detailed study routines and tips on how to make the most of your study time.
  10. @studywithjess: (Jess Holsman) – Her enthusiastic study sessions make her a great study buddy.


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