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Image for article titled The Out-of-Touch Adults' Guide To Kid Culture: Why is Gen Z Developing a Tic Disorder?

This week, the kids are spreading a tic-disorder through social media, pretending to get arrested, and using furry-porn to fight COVID disinformation. Everything is extremely normal.

This week in mystery ailments: Gen Z girls are developing tics and no one knows why

Gen Z is developing “Tourette’s-like tics” at an alarming rate, and no one is sure why. These rapid-onset tic-like behaviors are so widespread, researchers are calling it “a parallel pandemic.”

Unlike traditional Tourette’s, which is largely suffered by males and generally presents at around age six, the subjects of this new disorder are almost exclusively girls and women between the ages of 12 and 25. They also present more complex tics than most people with Tourette’s, including, “hitting/punching self or family members, clicking, whistling, repeating a wide range of random and/or bizarre words or phrases, and blurting out obscenities.”

Many think the phenomena is a kind of mass sociogenic illness (it would have been called “mass hysteria” in the past). The theory is that denizens of TikTok and YouTube make videos of themselves ticcing, then viewers develop those same tics. Many TicTokers’ tics include blurting out the word “beans,” a behavior first seen on influencer Evie Field’s TikTok, an influencer who’s internet-famous for detailing her Tourette’s symptoms and seizure disorders. According to experts, 18 months of staying inside, plus the stress of COVID, may be contributing factors too.

If you want to dive down the rabbit hole of what might be a mass sociogenic illness spread via social media or might be kids acting goofy for clicks (the opinion of my teenage niece), check out some of these “TicTokhashtags—unless you’re afraid (beans) of developing tics of your own.

TikTok trend of the week: White dudes pretending to be arrested

While the young ladies of TikTok are spreading tics to one another, the young gentlemen are pretending to get arrested. It started with “thirst-trap” TikToker Gage Bills. (Thirst traps are a whole thing where good-looking guys make vids for women to drool over, like a post-modern version of 1950’s TV show The Continental.) In the video, Bills reenacts a scene from Netflix’s Outer Banks. Dressed in a tank top, Gage is slammed against a wall while lights flash, he then stares hunkily at the camera and mouths “I love you.”

Whether this is erotic or cringe-inducing depends on your point of view, but either way, over 21 million people watched it. This led to imitations, parodies, and a ton of “OMG, you dorks are so corny” comments.

Along with revealing the tastelessness and class/race-privilege obliviousness of white dudes, the POV arrest trend also reveals the huge gulf in talent between working actors and online-influencers. I’m glad they have a hobby, but these TikTok dudes couldn’t land a gig on a Canadian soap opera.

This week on Reddit: Anti-vax sub banned, furry porn destroys Ivermectin, ghouls celebrate COVID

There is so much COVID-related drama on Reddit. Last week, users and moderators called for the ban of vaccine disinformation subreddit r/nonewnormal. Reddit responded by saying it would not ban the board to preserve important “dissent and debate.” This week, Reddit pulled a 180, banned NNN, and clarified its policy on COVID denialism. Really sticking by your ideals, Reddit.

In other Reddit-COVID news: r/ivermectin, a board dedicated to the idea that people should fight COVID by taking a de-worming medicine usually given to livestock, was overrun with users posting porn images of sexy horses, horsemen, and horsewomen. The influx of furry porn drowned out all the healthy dissent and debate, earned the sub a “not safe for work” designation, and eventually a site-wide quarantine. This is a win for the nation’s angry “Just get vaccinated already, you dumb-dumbs” majority as well as furries everywhere.

Meanwhile, COVID subreddit “Herman Cain Award” is blowing up on Reddit. The board is a celebration of “I-told-ya-so” with users gleefully submitting the anti-mask and vaccine Facebook posts of COVID deniers, followed by their coronavirus death notices. It’s dark, morbid, and sad, but I gotta admit it’s funny that 90 percent of dead COVID-deniers are overweight white guys with bloatees and Oakley’s.

More COVID news: Joe Rogan tests poz

In related instant karma, after publicly downplaying the necessity of the vaccine in the past, lunkheaded podcast host Joe Rogan announced he has COVID.

“Just to be cautious, I separated from my family, slept in a different part of the house, and throughout the night I got fevers and sweats. And I knew what was going on,” Rogan said in a video posted on Instagram. “So I got up in the morning, got testedand turns out I got covid.”

Surprising no one, Rogan revealed he’s treating the disease with horse-deworming medicine along with other drugs, a practice to which the medical community has emphatically said “neigh.”

Viral video of the week: Milk crate challenge meets gender reveal

A video posted by @SamSanders on Twitter this week mashes two recent viral genres—gender reveals and the milk crate challenge—with hilariously disastrous results. As is expected with the genre, the crate-daredevil climbs his personal Everest only to fall, spilling the blue powder everywhere and revealing that it is going to be a boy. Smelling a bamboozle, I forwarded the clip to my wife, who knows everything.

“As a professional costumer and a mom, I’m sure the woman’s pregnancy belly isn’t real,” she said. “The whole thing is obviously fake. But, as a comedian, that video is hilarious.”

This week in personal opinions: DaBaby still exists

I don’t have a place for this in my column, but I wanted to point you to this video of DaBaby’s “Essence” video. If I didn’t scour the earth for things kids like, I probably would have missed DaBaby altogether—I’m outside of the target market for sure. I don’t want that to happen to you though.

 





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