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Debunking TikTok Psych Hashtags

I don’t like to admit it, but I love TikTok. Twitter is my news app; Instagram is for networking and TikTok … TikTok is my entertainment. I love that it has a community for everyone! There are so many different communities that you can explore through easily using hashtags. Now, this isn’t a review of the app. This is more so directed towards the psychology and mental health communities of TikTok. As useful as TikTok can be, it can also be a hub of false information that gets spread in real life. Debunking these myths is not my idea. There are experts from licensed psychiatrists to professors like Dr. Inna Kanevsky actively debunking the popular beliefs on TikTok while offering true evidence. Mental health has always been important so any chance to point out fallacies, I’m taking it.

#attachmentstyles

This hashtag is interest. Mary Ainsworth furthered attachment theory using her study on infants that were left in a room filled with toys. The reactions of the infants when a stranger would leave and returned were recorded. From this experiment, four main categories of attachment were developed: secure, anxious-ambivalent, avoidant, and disorganized. Now, TikTok has the basics of these categories and the information tends to generalize people within these categories. Labeling everyone who’s quiet within their friend group avoidant. Styles can be consistent across lifespan, but they can differ between relationships. A person can exhibit secure behaviors towards their partner, but more avoidant when it comes to professional encounters.

#personalitytype

Personality typing was popularized through the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. After taking the test, people are labeled with four letters each coming from one category: favorite world (Introvert or Extrovert), information (sensing or intuition), decisions (thinking or feeling), and structure (judging or perceiving). The test itself is controversial because of its origins and lack of racial diversity (Persona: The Dark Truth Behind Personality Test is a good documentary about this). But the problem with the hashtag is most people are using websites like 16personalities instead of paying for the real test. Knock off version of the test use a criterion that is overestimate or undervalues certain categories. To be honest, this leaves you more in the dark about your personality before the test.

#psychologyhack(s)

This hashtag ranges from tips on how to get your crush to like you to the best ways to deal with anxiety. Psychology is a broad topic, but the range alone shows this isn’t the most trustworthy hashtag to get quick tips from. Even with this broad range, the information given is basic and can apply to regular social situations. I would suggest researching anything you see in this hashtag.

I follow pages like brianboxerwachlermd who’s main purpose is to debunk the myths they see on TikTok, but that doesn’t mean I don’t process the fake information that is out there as well. Even if they say they are a doctor, doesn’t mean they are. If you don’t want to read through articles about a topic, at least look up the credibility of the user.

 

By Triniti Maye, Saint Xavier University, Junior

Instagram: thatssotrin__

Written by Triniti Maye

Currently a struggling college student trying to be the greatest researcher ever! I'm double majoring in biology and psychology with a minor in African American studies. I've been with True Star since 8th grade and through them I've improved my writing and communication skills.

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