Is TikTok Giving Teen Girls Tics?

A look into why young women have developed tic-like behaviors during the course of the pandemic.


Episode Notes

Why have so many young women developed tic disorders during the course of the pandemic? Well, apart from the obvious pandemic-related stressors, TikTok could be a big part of it. On today’s episode, Rachelle and Madison talk to science journalist Maddie Bender about her report for Vice unpacking this medical mystery. They discuss the correlation between exposure to Tic Tok, a subculture on TikTok where influencers share videos of their tic-related symptoms, and the rise of young women who have developed tic-like behaviors. Though social media could be a trigger for this phenomenon, they’ll discuss if TikTok could also be a part of the solution.

Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder, Derek John, and Samira Tazari.


About the Show

Join Rachelle Hampton twice a week as we gaze deep into the online abyss—and tell you what’s gazing back.

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  • Rachelle Hampton is a culture writer and reporter at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. Her work has appeared in the New Republic, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian Magazine, and In These Times. She still hasn't recovered from Tumblr’s demise.