The Point

Teens Are Developing TikTok Tics

09/15/21

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John Stonestreet

Maria Baer

Pediatricians in multiple countries are reporting skyrocketing numbers of young girls over the past year with facial or verbal tics similar to Tourette’s Syndrome. These patients have one thing in common: they spend a lot of time on social media.

Neurologists in Canada have concluded these girls aren’t suffering from actual tics, but from “functional tic-like behaviors.” They aren’t faking it. This is what’s called a “mass sociogenic illness.” It’s a reverse-placebo effect. You watch someone with a tic; you begin manifesting a tic. 

“Mass sociogenic illness” was not a scientific concept at the time of King Solomon, but he was in the ballpark when he said, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

Social media tics aren’t necessarily marks of unrighteousness, but maybe foolishness? The more time we spend meditating on something, the more that something can change us. Better it be the Word of God than social media.

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