HALIFAX – After a particularly harrowing week online, local University student Becky Clyborne was left with no choice but to explain the inner workings of TikTok to her therapist.
“I told her, ‘It’s an app for short videos,’ and my therapist was like ‘Oh, like Vine?’ and I said, ‘Longer than that,’ and she said “Oh, like YouTube?” and I was like, “No, it’s a completely different vibe,” recounted Ms. Clyborne, clearly exhausted. “Just when I thought she got it, turns out she was thinking of that old Ke$ha song.”
Ms. Clyborne explained TikTok never came up in therapy before, but then she had a video go viral which naturally caused a mental health crisis.
“The ‘When was the last time you went outside?’ TikTok Tips girl used to be all the TikTok self-care I needed,” she added, sighing.
Her therapist was finally starting to understand the app when Ms. Clyborne made the mistake of dropping TikTok knowledge that was too advanced. “I accidentally referred to the sea shanties. Then I had to explain shadow-banning. Then I casually dropped TikTok being a data-mining operation by the Chinese government,” said Ms. Clyborne. “Now, my therapist is treating me for paranoid delusions.”
Gen Zers have reportedly found it difficult to discuss TikTok culture with their therapists, as the intricacies take longer to explain than they do to become out-of-date. “Plus, my therapist has three degrees on his office wall!” bemoaned Mark Torsney, biologist and popular TikToker in the FrogTok community. “I can’t look at his PhD and then explain what ‘simping’ is.”
Anabelle Tudson, a rugmaker from RugTok, concurred. “Once, I told my therapist I got dogpiled on TikTok for using the crying-laughing emoji rather than the skull emoji, and my therapist was like ‘But I use the crying-laughing emoji!’ and after that it felt like I was the therapist and she was the patient?”
When reached for comment, Ms. Clyborne’s therapist would not divulge any information about her client, but did confirm she feels “very, very old.”
“On the bright side, I now have an excellent feta pasta recipe!” she added.