Posted inSocial MediaNews

Why are TikTokers obsessed with ‘Sludge’ content ?

Creators are using sludge content TikTok and users are obsessed with it

Why are TikTokers obsessed with 'Sludge' content?

What is Sludge content?

Sludge videos, characterized by split-screen displays featuring two, three, or even four unrelated sources simultaneously, have found a niche audience. Compiled from diverse content like game snippets, Reddit story confessions, ASMR clips, or cartoon scenes, sludge videos offer an overstimulating escape.

@d_andrew_g Family Guy Content #familyguy #familyguymemes #fyp #funny #content #sludge #shipost #quagmire #subwaysurfers #slime #satisfying #brickbreaker #minecraft #minecraftmemes ♬ original sound – D_Andrew_G

Abstract storytelling

Unlike straightforward storytelling styles like #corecore videos on TikTok, sludge content embraces abstract chaos. Experimental editing techniques create neatly split screens or dizzying collages where videos overlay one another. The origin of sludge content is unclear, but it is rooted in a tradition of repackaging recognizable internet bits, a practice seen in the evolution of memes.

TikTok escapism

To some, sludge content might seem like a nuisance, but for its enthusiasts, it provides solace and distraction. Users find playfulness in its abstract nature, making it an escape from the ordinary. Andreas Schellewald, a social media researcher, notes that sludge content serves as a playful, mind-distracting experience that unfolds right before the viewer’s eyes, requiring minimal mental engagement.

@toxicattending *eyes glaze over #subwaysurfers #adhd #medstudent #resident #medicalschool #hyponatremia #internalmedicine #residency ♬ original sound – Toxic Attending

Is it bad for you?

Amid the sludge content boom, concerns about declining attention spans and “brain rot” have surfaced. Some users worry that TikTok is accelerating the deterioration of attention spans. However, critics argue that such concerns often become moralized conversations about how people should behave. Sludge content, they emphasize, is a product made by someone for a specific purpose, not a natural phenomenon dictating societal behavior.

Stay updated on all of the latest news by subscribing to the ITP Live newsletter below and by clicking the push notifications.