5th May 2022
In order to see less of what you're not interested in, TikTok recommends long-pressing on videos and simply hitting the "not interested" button to remould your FYP. I briefly considered this approach but worried that by smacking the algorithm whenever it misbehaved I might end up getting bounced to some weird random corner of the app, like sheep-shearing TikTok. I decided this tactic would be cheating, but still resolved to take a more proactive approach the next day.
Date Around three
Rather than trust the algorithm, I decided to take matters into my own hands and actively look for content more befitting the state of my love life, or lack thereof. As I ventured for the first time into the Explore section of the app, I clocked my teenchat pÅ™ihlÃ¡Å¡enÃ suggested searches: "boyfriend gift ideas," "cuddles with boyfriend," "boyfriend appreciation." For fuck's sake. I had never searched for any of these things in my life yet TikTok was basically calling me a simp to my face. I ignored the slander and instead used the manual search option to find and furiously engage with every video I could under hashtags like #breakup, #heartbreak, and #dumped.
As it turned out, I was late to the party: separation TikTok is actually one of several app's really energetic subcultures (the #breakup hashtag alone has over 9 billion views). It was here I found weepy, snivvily solace among dozens of Gen Z-ers documenting their breakups day-by-day by shooting themselves whining, mulling more than the destroyed partners, or doling out sobering guidance.
Was this self care or self-destructive? I wondered. To answer that, I reached out to Gillian Myhill, a sex and relationship expert who once ran her own tech company. We agreed algorithms can be cruel things and she assured me it wasn't unnatural to be annoyed by the couples polluting my FYP, rather, "you're more in tune to it" when you've been through a breakup. "You have a different tint on your vision," she said.
Therefore is delving towards #separation TikTok a wholesome coping mechanism, after that? "I do believe once the human beings we discover peace and quiet otherwise facts knowing we're not really the only ones, knowing we are not by yourself - there are other some body going through may be," Gillian explained. "There clearly was a sort of camaraderie you'll find by this. Often when you're unfortunate just be around individuals who understand the aches or that experiencing it. It's part of the fresh healing process where you disappear and you will lick the injuries - and you can a method you can think about the connection is to try to keep in touch with most other human beings regarding your discomfort along with your event."
Big date Four
My foray into the miserable world of breakup content seemed to have worked. Perhaps spurred on by new re-launch of Taylor Swift's disastrous break up record album Purple, 12 videos about the now painfully relatable "All Too Well" jumped up at me. In some of them, women joked on the splitting up using their men for the sole purpose of fully immersing themselves in the song's much anticipated 10-minute version (I mean. be careful what you wish for). Maybe TikTok was just reflecting the cultural moment as it should, or maybe it was finally reading the room. To keep the momentum going, I doubled back through my liked videos and forwarded all the sad ones onto my friends for good measure. In Taylor's words, this was exhausting.
I was not the first individual fully grasp this problem. Lydia Venn, 24, a fellow TikTok member whom had a break up earlier this 12 months, mutual my serious pain. "To what I remember it definitely decided the fresh new formula is actually aiimed at video I would personally spotted while in a love," she appreciated. "I got to switch my personal formula thus i would not be found them as it's of course not really what we need to see in the course of a separation."