Gen Z are bringing back 00’s chain email...on Tik Tok
We were all hooked by 00’s chain emails for a time, whether you’d like to admit it or not. I’d say I was a fairly sceptical receiver (no thanks to my nan who was clearly a big fan of scaring the living daylights out of me) but I must admit, there definitely were times I absolutely was not going to risk someone murdering my entire family that night if I didn’t pass it on.
I must admit, there definitely were times I absolutely was not going to risk someone murdering my entire family that night if I didn’t pass it on
However, I thought I’d seen the back of these mass communication trends once we had collectively decided as a nation that if an email came through with the subject line **DO NOT DELETE!!!!!!!!**, we should probably delete them and no, they would not bring us bad luck for 7 years.
However I was mindlessly scrolling on TikTok for 5 minutes or 5 hours (it’s hard to tell once you’re in a hole) and came across a video of a girl making herself a strawberry milkshake, with the overlaying text saying “If you use this sound your dad will receive the best news this week”. This video has 1.6 million likes and the sound itself has 105k videos also using it.
The original sound was uploaded by an account with 32k followers who regularly posts videos titled “POV: You skipped so you will be the ugliest in your school” or “POV: You skipped so everything will turn bad”. These videos always have this instruction underneath:
“Interact 3x to unclaim and use this sound it can be private”
Clearly this account is trying to drum up followers and engagement statistics while terrifying (probably fellow) Gen Z’ers simultaneously. I know we’re all trying to get our numbers up but christ mate, where is the line?
Of course this isn’t the only account using the same tactic to grow on the app, some accounts appear to be giving manifestation or spiritual advice, encouraging anyone gullible enough to not swipe past their content as the sound they have tagged really will “make him text first”. Honestly, can the manifestations of teenage girls be a little more ambitious than trying to get a boy to send them an Insta DM? The bar is in hell.
However, using “manifestation” to gain followers is a clever strategy for these TikTokers - the hashtag #manifestation has over 26.5 billion views on the app, clearly it’s a popular topic.
Many psychological scientists will debunk manifestation, which makes sense. It seems highly unlikely that simply wishing and hoping for something to come true will automatically make it happen. However, scientists like Dr Carol Dweck argue that if you believe you can do something, it’s more likely that you will be successful in that endeavour. She calls this a “growth mindset”.
I very much subscribe to this mindset - I love setting my goals, I get a lot of benefit from being more grateful, so I'm not rubbishing the idea of manifestation, at all. I'm just not quite sure the ancient spiritual gods revered by the oldest civilisations on the planet are at the beck and call of someone commenting “unclaim” under a video of a teenager with fake eyelashes miming to a song, telling you to interact with their post.
But if a video comes on my FYP saying "repost this and you'll host a mega TV show, earn hella schmoney, have the house of your dreams...and have Michael B Jordan fall in love with you"?
Well, it would be rude of me not to repost, wouldn't it?