I joined TikTok a few days ago. If you’re over 25 and have no idea what that is, it is a social media video sharing site. The videos are short (15-60 seconds) and usually involve music, dancing, bottle flips etc. It is the definition of tiny, instant, entertainment. If your video doesn’t grab attention in the first second there are billions of others, and yours will get scrolled past unwatched, and die.
My tween daughter has been using it for a while and enjoys it and she told me there are people sharing witchy stuff on there so I thought I’d check it out.
It turns out #witchtok is a thing. A BIG thing. I was surprised, impressed and disturbed.
You can watch someone do a (60 second) candle spell/ protection spell/ ritual bath/ hex/ summoning/ anything. There are (hundreds of) thousands of accounts offering help , often via DM, to #babywitches. If you’re over 20 you’re an #elder. There are reams of info posts about all kinds of witchy topics – you can learn about anything you want (provided the algorithm likes it) in less than a minute. Number of followers, views, likes, and comments, is the marker of respect and authenticity.
Can you see any potential pitfalls with this? I’m guessing you can. And you’re right. All the problems you can imagine with this kind of set-up are there. But that isn’t what surprised me. The most shocking thing about #witchtok is that (admittedly from the limited amount I have seen to date) there is some good stuff happening there.
There are (young) people supporting other (young) people on their paths. There are posts with some really great info shared, in an entertaining way, reaching those who do not have access, or impetus, to buy books (and there are plenty of posts recommending people read actual books). There is debate and disagreement, showing that there is not one universally accepted right way to do this. There is kindness, acceptance and encouragement, of others. As a medium it is far from perfect, but it is not all bad/ doom/ young people these days have no clue etc. And it can be fun.*
Now, along a parallel thread (there’s a point, I promise), at the start of this year I joined an online membership programme offered by an elder (my criteria is 50+) whose work I respect. I was excited about the content being offered. It looked to be well planned, researched, and presented. The modules were meaty and substantial. I was expecting truly wholesome nourishment. The buddha bowl to my TikTok junk food. (You can see where I’m going with this, I’m sure. I’ll stop now).
Perhaps I expected too much, but what I found, while fine, did not give me what I was seeking. Some of the offerings felt rushed and even a little sloppy at times, with citations not properly referenced, and some very basic and generic info. My word this year is kind, so I am not complaining or calling out, but I am noticing. I am seeing what previously I may have let slip past, because I did not want to see it.
I am disillusioned.
2020 the year of clear vision. The wool is being pulled away from our eyes.
*DISCLAIMER: I wanted to make it clear I am not recommending TikTok. I’m not sure how long I will stay on there myself, and it can be a MASSIVE time suck, and for sure can be unhealthy if you crave the validation of views and likes etc. which I think we all do a little bit. Just saying that there is good there too.