Cannot inquire myself why. But once i seated to my bed room floor, ringing in the ears on the echoes away from my personal now-ex-boyfriend’s wobbly voice telling me he wanted to crack something off, We paid off my personal cellular phone and, shortly after punctually purging it of all proof my defunct matchmaking, unsealed TikTok.
Immediately the For You Page, blissfully unaware of what had just happened, served me with videos off a couple of adorable gays filming an adorable skit for its adorable people page. Clearly, despite its imagined omniscience, hornet giriЕџ TikTok’s algorithm had not been listening in on my calls, nor had it been reading my texts.
When I next braved the app three weeks later, nothing had changed. There they were, taunting me again: date memes, couples’ skits, soppy compilations of Ian and Mickey off Shameless. The FYP had been there for me in the darkest depths of the pandemic, but now it had forsaken me; left adrift and single in the depressing sea of #relationship TikTok. Well, I thought, if it isn’t the consequences of my own actions? Up until a few weeks prior I’d been in a (seemingly) happy relationship, so videos that spoke to that experience were exactly the sort of stuff I’d eagerly engaged with. TikTok was only doing its job, but for obvious reasons I desperately wanted out of this nightmarish pit of romantic content.
I started initially to ask yourself how long it could grab the formula to suss aside what got taken place on the other side regarding the latest display screen (tl;dr sweetheart: gone, heart: broken) and you will punt me back once again to #SingleTok where I belonged. And so i created a straightforward experiment: Every day I might continue TikTok and scroll new FYP for around half-hour, overlooking relationship-styled posts and you may twice-tapping anything to manage with breakups or becoming single. In the act I’d try added methods to push this new software throughout the proper guidance. With some chance, I’d have the ability to come back my supply so you’re able to a point in which I won’t need certainly to hurl my personal cellular phone along side place. I could manage shedding the new date, but We was not planning to let TikTok forgo a battle.
Date You to definitely
My first proper reunion with the For You Page was rough. During the 30 minutes I spent scrolling, I came across a nauseating 19 videos about relationships – including at least three couples’ accounts. Only one (a melancholy Brokeback Hill clip) seemed to capture anything resembling my current mood. As I waded through the thick sludge of content I noted down details of offending videos for later reference – we’re talking five skits with captions containing the phrase “in case your boyfriend,” three couples bragging about their sex lifestyle, and not one but two Mickey and Ian slideshows. As a result of my thorough note-taking I was perhaps guilty of letting those TikToks play all the way through, and the app possibly misread the watch time as a massive thumbs-up, curating even more scenes of romantic idyll I didn’t want. Needless to say I came away from the experience feeling emotionally drained, but unsurprised. This was not going to happen overnight.
For my second dive into the murky waters of the FYP, I needed a change of tack, so I resolved to mark a note on a piece of paper whenever any #relationship videos flashed up, and to swipe past them without hesitation. Once again I spent half an hour scrolling and once again I was made to feel worse for it. I’m unsure how many clips I got through in total, but 42 of them literally had the word ‘boyfriend’ in the goddamn caption. I fell back on the sofa, groaning. Try as I might to steer the algorithm towards memes from the getting added into the and away from skits regarding the spooning, TikTok wasn’t hearing me.