The Wall Street Journal wrote a scary story about TikTok and teenage girls’ weird things. Alarming is the best word to use to describe the situation. They keep getting more worried about how the dancing app has spread worldwide and across the world. But is TikTok the main reason or just a factor?
Curious Study Cases
This is what three scientists wrote in the British Medical Journal in early 2021:
“The tics mostly occurred at school, and she was sent home.” They included complex head turns with neck thrusting and flailing hand movements and coprolalia and yelping noises. There was no mention of a foreboding urge.”
Most countries worldwide took extreme measures to stop the spread of the virus. The UK was no exception. Lockdown is a new thing for people in the most recent generation. They were born in a world where things were made. There have been no world wars or pandemics that have affected people’s lives in generation Z until now.
During COVID-19, no one could have foreseen how it would affect people’s mental health. This was a first. As Russia invaded Ukraine, a figure of speech said that a possible World War III was on the way.
During the pandemic, journalists and reporters sent a lot of information about the virus to the newspapers and news channels. More people are dying every day. There were COVID-19 cases with underlying conditions and issues of cytokine storms that turned a remission into a relapse and led to death. These numbers are part of the reason why teenagers are becoming more anxious.
If the pandemic wasn’t bad enough, the chance of a third World War is out there. It was only a matter of time before Russia went to war with Ukraine without reason.
Adolescence is a significant time in our lives. It’s when the foundation of our brain is being built. This is the time when we become who we are as young adults. In standard time, neurons connect the parts of the brain that need to work together in response to the things that happen. As long as these experiences are different, the brain will be able to adapt to its surroundings.
Another tic disorder is Tourette syndrome, and it is one of the many types. It says that the Tourette Association of America says this:
“Involuntary and repetitive tics are the primary symptoms of Tic Disorders, a group of childhood-onset neurological conditions known collectively as Tourette Syndrome (TS), Persistent (Chronic) Motor or Vocal Tic Disorder, and Provisional Tic Disorder.”
Because TS causes are still unknown, we don’t know what it is. It’s also thought that both genetic and environmental factors play a role. Some people have tics that last into adulthood. Tics usually start in childhood between the ages of 5 and 7.
Tics in Teenagers
The investigation took place in many different psychiatric centers across the country. Doctors said that more teenage girls were going to them because they started having tics.
Experts did their regular checks, but they couldn’t figure out what these never-before-seen conditions were, or at least where this condition came from.
But one day, psychiatrists found a key piece of information that could help them solve this case. They looked at the daily habits of these teen girls who had been abused. Then, what did they learn? They found a commonality between these poor teenagers, so they helped them get through their hard times. It was a lot of TikTok use, especially watching the same short video repeatedly, which was terrible. They were watching videos about Tourette’s syndrome all the time. Tourette’s patients show off their condition in short clips of videos.
Indeed, it is essential to speak up for this kind of condition. It makes the general public aware of it, even if we were born healthy and without genetic changes. However, it seems that watching the same type of content over and over can harm the mental health of vulnerable teens.
A Curation Algorithm Issue
There aren’t any teenagers to blame for this. The problem is that TikTok is “pushing” its users to watch short videos repeatedly, which is not a good thing. They want to try new things, but the app’s algorithm chooses videos based on what they’ve already seen. To put it another way, the problem comes from videos that say “recommended for you.”
Nancy Doyle in Forbes said, “No, TikTok is not making people have Tourette syndrome.” A strong statement that I agree with, which makes me even more excited to read. But I would also say that TikTok and other social media keep weakening a group that is already weak, like teenagers.
Ok. In The Verge, Cummins says it’s a bad idea to blame TikTok. There was probably already a lot of pain in these teens’ bodies. Seeing these symptoms just made it impossible not to notice.