TikTok is like the internet’s agony aunt when it comes to advice about life and love. Some of it helpful, some of it not so much. There’s plenty of information out there about avoiding toxic partners, what about those turning that advice on its head and encouraging bad behaviour?
In Jan 2021, TikTok creator Ilinca Sipos picked up the book How To Date Men When You Hate Men at a second-hand bookstore. Unpacking the advice chapter by chapter on her TikTok, her content quickly went viral, spinning into a series reviewing popular dating books. “It was interesting to see the evolution of dating through these books as the early-2000s dating advice just isn’t how we date anymore,” Ilinca tells Mashable.
It’s time to reclaim singledom as a symbol of power
Inspired by the toxic advice she came across in these books, Ilinca started posting her own toxic dating tips, mainly directed at heterosexual couples, for comedic value. Kiss him on the forehead, Ilinca advises. Make him get butterflies, make him fall in love with you and then randomly end it two days later. Or the next time you feel like being a little bit toxic, text the person you’re dating “here” and then go silent. Just watch it play out. “Obviously we still live in a patriarchal society. In enabling women with the types of dating tricks that men have always pulled, it grabs people’s attention,” Ilinca explains. “It’s like, if you think you can play the game, we can play it better.”
While the internet, and TikTok in particular, is full of meaningful relationship advice for improving communication, spotting red flags, and helping with deeper connections, some are dishing out the “treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen” approach. Encouraging others to embrace toxicity in their dating lives, the requirement of always being morally correct on the internet seems to be losing its charm.
Is it time to embrace toxicity?
“Toxic TikTok” is a corner of the platform where creators offer tips about texting, gaslighting, and crushing a man’s ego, to name a few. These videos have amassed a large following with the hashtag #toxictiktok gaining over 552.9 million views. This community is about choosing yourself, setting boundaries, and not letting yourself be walked over. Teaching their followers to reel someone in or get over someone using toxic behaviour, it’s a wake-up call for the people pleasers who have always compromised on their own wants …….