Cannot inquire me why. But whenever i sat to my bed room flooring, ears ringing into the echoes from my personal today-ex-boyfriend’s wobbly sound advising me personally the guy wanted to crack anything of, We reduced my cellular telephone and you will, shortly after punctually purging they of all the proof of my defunct dating, open TikTok.
Immediately the For You Page, blissfully unaware of what had just happened, served me with a video off several lovable gays filming an adorable skit for its lovable couples webpage. Clearly, despite their sensed omniscience, 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: boyfriend memes, couples’ skits, soppy compilations of Ian and you may Mickey out-of 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.
We started to inquire the length of time it would make the formula in order to suss aside just what got took place on the other hand out-of this new display screen (tl;dr boyfriend: went, heart: broken) and you will punt me personally back to #SingleTok in which I belonged. And so i set-up a straightforward try out: Each day I might go on TikTok and search the latest FYP for about a half hour, disregarding relationship-inspired articles and you may twice-tapping almost anything to would which have breakups or becoming solitary. In the process I’d try out additional methods to push the newest software throughout the best recommendations. With a bit of luck, I’d have the ability to return my personal feed in order to a point where We wouldn’t need to hurl my personal phone along side room. I could handle losing the newest boyfriend, however, We wasn’t about to let TikTok forgo a fight.
Day One to
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 somber Brokeback Slope 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 the event the date,” three couples bragging about their sex lives, 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 in the getting led with the and away from skits in the spooning, TikTok wasn’t hearing me.