Help! My girls have contracted ‘Tiktokitis’!

Pandemic-wise we have had a very tough time of it lately haven’t we? First it was Baby Shark, then it was Covid-19 and now I have identified a new strain of illness. I’m not entirely sure but I think it’s ‘Tiktokitis’.

The latest condition appears to be exhibited by various bodily tics (pun unintended) accompanied by repetitive hum injury. I say injury as that’s the consequence linked to humming. The constant jingles coming from my girls results in a literal back lash from their brother.

Help! My girls have contracted 'Tiktokitis'!
Please prescribe me something for this headache. Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Girls certainly seem more prone to this disease than boys. It’s also apparently contagious, groups of girls have been spotted exhibiting similar symptoms. In fact, when two girls who both suffer from the same condition spend time together, they seem to exacerbate the signs in one another. I have noticed it’s definitely worse after they hang out together.

The most disturbing behavior I have have seen is when I might be chatting to a daughter while there is nobody else in the room and she will suddenly display the symptoms without provocation.

Symptoms of ‘Tiktokitis’ include:

  • Hand swishing
  • Alternate shoulder shrugging
  • Hip swinging
  • Head bopping (mostly side to side)
  • Excessive humming/jingle repetition

The cause as far as I can tell is due to spending hours in front of an uprightly balanced smartphone.

Latest events have taken a worrying turn, it appears that my son has succumbed to a slightly different variation of ‘Tiktokitis’. After total scorn for the platform and disdain for anyone who uses it, he came into contact with an admired friend who already suffers from this dread disease. He then decided to create a couple of ironic videos himself. (Peer pressure is real kids, don’t let anyone tell you it’s not!)

These few videos have racked up a bunch of ‘likes’. WAAAY more than his sisters, apparently. I have to take this on good authority – the girls told me. As his mother I have been forbidden to take a personal look. But this has meant that his sisters are irked by his success and tensions have been running high.

Things are not looking good. Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash

Thankfully he hasn’t started to show any of the symptoms I’ve listed above – I think he has a slightly different strain. The negative one.

Like all pandemics, the cure may be just to let it die a natural death. Wait till next year when we have something new and scarier. I haven’t heard whether there is a vaccine yet and if so I am sure there will be many opposed to taking it. I doubt our poorly girls will be keen to take up a social distancing option though.

Another cure is possibly to introduce a solution known as ‘flooding’. This is a term used in therapy already but I feel in this context the use may be slightly different. During lock down many mothers opened their own TikTok accounts and have been inundating the platform with mum vids – often incorporating wine or gin and versions of the mum dance.

(The mum dance is like the dad dance, only better.)

Seemingly this option is not available to me – I have been forbidden under the strongest terms by my kids from ever opening my own account. Far too embarrassing.

Have I not taught my kids anything? Being embarrassing is a part of the motherhood job description. They still haven’t realised that stopping a mum from being embarrassing is like asking the Niagara falls to flow upstream. It just ain’t gonna happen.

If I want to beat this, I might just have to join it. This is conventional wisdom. If more and more mums and dads fill the platform, it would become normalised behavior for us ‘old folks’ and it might actually save our children who would be driven off the platform out of sheer shame.

Life would be so booooring. Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

However, I have to confess I am not at all tempted to sign up. Not yet.

So in the meantime I will limit my embarrassing behavior to writing stories about them here on my blog instead. Oh yes and and jiggling on Instagram – just wait until my teenagers see this, they are going to love it!

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