Effects of shorts, reels, and videos: A psychological analysis

Image Source: Education Executive

Videos of one minute or less in length are becoming increasingly popular and having an impact on society. Adults are more engaged in these videos. Tiktok introduced short videos in India. But before Tiktok’s 30-second video status was launched by WhatsApp, aside from a person’s status or current situation, we were using it just for our inner satisfaction. We are trying to fill the emptiness within ourselves. the emptiness of being liked or loved; the emptiness of celebrity We checked our phones every 10 minutes to see if anyone had seen my status and commented on it.

Recently, India banned Chinese apps for its citizens. Tiktok was also on that list. Now YouTube has launched shorts in its app. YouTube has spent millions of dollars on shorts. Data shows that views and watch time for videos have decreased since then. Ads in the form of short films are also being created.

Some Facts

 When we opened the YouTube app, we saw a video that was at least 30 minutes long. Do we open it to watch? Usually Not. What we do is skip the long videos because of time. We generally watch 3- to 5-minute-long videos.

We skipped the long videos due to a lack of time. But when we opened a short for just watching the curious thumbnail, it engaged us and generally took more than half an hour. It is mind-chasing programming by their owners to engage people. If we don’t watch, they don’t benefit.

And remember:- When something is free, you are the product.


Side Effects

 According to psychological research, videos that are longer than 30 seconds are more engaging and decrease our attention span, causing impatience. Shorts are programming our minds to want instant results. Just after 30 seconds, the content changed, engaging us continually. All this programming is unconscious, so we can’t notice it without deep thinking.

When attempting to study, a student who regularly watches shorts suffers from a lack of concentration. After reading just two pages of a book, his mind says to change the book or the content that he is reading. Because his mind was programmed to want an instant result or change in the content. Here I am not talking about students who generally don’t study, but about students who are good readers and are also facing these problems.


Islamic Perspective

Allah says in the Quran –  INDEED ALLAH IS WITH THE PATEINT. (Al Baqrah 153)

It is mentioned several times in the Quran in various words. So Allah says to be patient. Every day, we were told to recite the Quran. When we do something repeatedly, it becomes a habit. We can say Allah is programming us to be patient.

There is a theory in the behavioristic school of psychology named “classical conditioning,” which says we act on behalf of our programing and not on behalf of our knowledge. But because we watched too many of these videos, we are now irritable and sad.

Shorts are challenging our programming unconsciously. In life, most of the time, we need patience to achieve success. In fact, in our daily lives, we need patience to adjust to our surroundings.


Something related to content

Allah says in the Quran to behave in a good manner. We already knew about YouTube’s recommendation policy; it shows us what we want to see. If a person is violent and watches violent things, it will change or have a negative impact on his behavior.

According to psychology, our minds keep thinking about the last thing we thought before falling asleep all night. Suppose we are watching aggressive content, and it grows like a tree in our unconscious mind, and we aren’t aware of that. As discussed above, if a violent person is watching these kinds of videos, he is pouring gasoline on his mental fire.

I met a great scholar once. He also said that the videos or content we are currently watching can cause paralysis, brain strokes, and heart attacks. We never forget any information that goes into our minds, although we are not able to recall it. We use just 2 percent of our total mind. All information is saved in our unconscious mind. We can even remember the taste of our first bottle of milk if we use half of our brain. I read a book called “When Body Says No: The Causes of Hidden Stress” about Multiple Sclerosis patients (a chronic, typically progressive disease involving damage to the sheaths of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, with symptoms including numbness, impaired speech and muscular coordination, blurred vision, and severe fatigue). The author of the book was a physician. He wrote several case studies about people with multiple sclerosis. Based on these findings, he concluded that depression or hidden stress can cause the disease.

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Mohd Ursheel Husain
Mohd Ursheel Husain is a final year B.A Urdu student of A.M.U. Currently, he is working as a vice chariperson in an NGO named - PRAYAS EDUCATIONAL REFORMATION SOCIETY. It is working in the fields of educational reformation in poor and illiterate society Ursheel is also interested in Psychology and Psychoanalysis. He writes Urdu Short Stories. As of now, he is working on a Book with Three Perspectives - Spirituality, Psychology, and Practical Life. He can be reached at urs007.ahman@gmail.com


  1. Very good bro , Good research on short videos,you gave ample knowledge about short videos about side effects and also gave Islamic perspective. Those things you mentioned about short reels in your article all these things are 💯 percent true, your article is very impressive and pleasing keet it up bro 👏 👍

  2. You are on point exactly. For example I’m a medical student so I study more than usual. But in these days I can’t focuse on anything even reading a fantastic novel, and I checked my screen time then saw that 3-4 hours for youtube. The sad part of it i wasnt aware that ı was spending that much time. I am determined to reduce!!

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