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Don’t Believe Everything You See on TikTok

Remember when we were younger and we constantly heard not to believe everything we heard on TV? Or everything we read on the Internet? I feel compelled that we now need to add one to the list — don’t believe everything you see on TikTok.

I know how it is. You’re aimlessly scrolling through TikTok for entertainment. And you see all of these experts who are your age (or worse, younger than you) who seem to have their life together.

Or they are already millionaires and know exactly what you need to do to become one too. Maybe they have quit their 9-5 corporate jobs (and you should too!) and now do affiliate marketing and make so much more and go on trips!

They seemingly have a picture perfect home they designed themselves. I can go on and on and on with examples, but I’m sure you get the gist. And I’m sure you’ve seen it too!

It can be hard when you’re scrolling and see all of this not to feel like you’re doing something wrong.

It looks like they’re living the life you want to be living. But it’s so important to remember that you can’t believe everything you see on TikTok.

It’s easy to portray a life you wish others to see, to give off that vibe and only that glimpse. And it’s important for you to remember that you should not be made to feel bad about yourself because of it.

man holding phone with tiktok app open sitting across from a woman in a yellow shirt

Here are just some things to remember the next time you fall into that trap.

You’re Only Seeing What They Want You To See

When it comes to all social media, TikTok included, you are only getting a glimpse into the person’s life. You are not getting the full picture. In fact, you’re only getting to see what they want you to see.

The parts of them that are #onbrand with the brand they are trying to convey. It’s only a part of the puzzle of their life, and many times, it’s a super edited part of their life.

I knew a girl who used to be an influencer (disclaimer: she isn’t anymore!). Her home looked picture perfect on Instagram and TikTok.

But in reality? It was a MESS! The house was always unkept, but when she was filming something, she would make sure that one small area that she was using looked picture perfect.

Everything not seen on camera? It looked like a tornado hit the house.

How Do You Really Know They Are An Expert In Their Field?

Let’s be honest… anyone can come off as an expert if they sound confident and convincing enough. But how do you really know that finance expert/relationship expert/career coach/fitness trainer/etc is actually an expert? It’s not like when you’re in a doctor’s office and you see their degrees hanging from their office or can find their accreditations online.

For the most part, you’re just trust their bio and the things they are telling you. But remember, just because someone sounds like they know what they’re talking about doesn’t mean that they do. And also, just because something worked for someone doesn’t mean the same thing will work for you!

I do want to note that there are actual accredited experts on TikTok, which is super cool. There’s a ton of doctors, dermatologists, pediatricians, fitness trainers, relationship experts, finance experts and so on who have taken to TikTok to reach a broader audience.

But just be careful as to whose advice you are listening to. It should be easy to do a quick Google search and find out more background on someone before you start following their advice.

Run Advice By Experts You Can Talk To IRL

I’m not trying to tell you that all advice and hacks and learnings from TikTok are bad, but I am trying to say be weary.

If you see advice that sounds too good to be true, it may be too good to be true. But if you find advice that makes sense to you, get a second opinion from an expert who you know in real life.

If you don’t know of any, ask your parents, family, friends, if they know of one.

For instance, I have a financial advisor I invest in to help me manage my money. He was a trusted recommendation from a family member and I have seen him help that family member grow their money.

If I see something on TikTok from a “financial expert,” I’ll run it by him first rather than just going ahead and doing it. Most of the time? He advises against me doing it. Why? Well that brings us to our next point…

Everyone’s Situation Is Different

My situation is not the same as the person on TikTok. Sure they may be similar, or they may seem like they’re similar. But let’s be real — you don’t fully know the situation and living circumstances of the person you’re watching on TikTok.

They could have parents helping them out financially, meaning that the risks they take investing can be riskier than someone who doesn’t have help financially.

They could have a fast metabolism, meaning this certain diet worked on them well, but it may not work on yours (everyone has different bodies!).

There are so many different scenarios we can share, but just remember that your situation, your body, your relationships, and so on are personal to you, and a lot of advice isn’t a “one size fits all” approach.

So Many TikTok Challenges Have Proven Not To Believe Everything On TikTok

Think about all of the TikTok challenges that have come out over the past couple of years. Sure, some have been super fun to take part in. But others? They’ve been disproved as not real!

There was a TikTok challenge that encouraged people to file down their own teeth, rather than letting a real expert aka a dentist do it. There was also the outlet challenge, where you partially put the brick part of a charger into an outlet and then slide a penny down the metal prongs that are exposed.

The result? Electrical sparks… and property damage. I can go on, but I think you get the drift. (And no, I’m not claiming that experts are the ones taking part in these challenges, but merely providing a reminder that any sort of video can become a trend that people begin to believe on this platform).

This is why I remind you: don’t believe everything you see on TikTok. Like all social media, it’s just a glimpse into someone’s life or situation.

About the Author

Michelle Ioannou

Michelle graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelors of Arts '13 and a Master of Arts '14. She's currently working in corporate America with a side of freelance writing. She wants you to learn from her experiences and mistakes so your 20s can be your best decade. When she's not working, she's likely planning her escape to a tropical island.


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