Tik Tok – Healthcare Friend or Foe?

TikTok and the ability for a teenager to spend all their waking hours on it, is currently the source of 95% of the arguments in our house (the other 5% revolve around picking clothes up off the floor and putting dishes in the dishwasher – just in case you were wondering).

Everytime our daughter Rachel launches into one of those epileptic-fit style dances my blood pressure goes through the roof, especially when it’s at the dinner table, when I’m trying to tell her off, when I’m trying to get her to listen to me, when she’s supposed to be doing her homework … OK, pretty much anytime she launches into one.

And when I read about the TikTok fad that was doing the rounds a few months ago where kids were filming themselves rinsing their mouths out with neat bleach to whiten their teeth, I felt vindicated that our 11 year old wasn’t allowed to be on it, despite the fact that “all of my friends are.”

But this week I have to say I might be changing my tune slightly.  That doesn’t mean I’m about to launch into the aforementioned crazy-loon dancing, but two things happened in the last few days that are making me potentially rethink my stance.

Woman dancing and cleaning

This morning while cleaning the bathroom I was listening to the New Scientist podcast and catching up on all the COVID news (I know I need to get out more, but we’re in Tier 4 right now so there ain’t much happening here). The last couple of weeks have heralded some fantastic announcements about vaccines and people are getting carried away with themselves booking holidays and the like.  However, despite the fact that several pharmaceutical companies have announced encouraging results from their clinical trials and there is the hope that a vaccine may be available late this year or early 2021, there is growing concern that the lack of  public confidence in the safety of the vaccines due to the speed at which they have been developed, could potentially have an impact upon their uptake. 

In an attempt to counteract this so-called vaccine hesitancy, scientists across the world, who are involved in the development of the COVID vaccines have come together to form a  campaign called Project Halo.  You can check out their website here.  The volunteers in Team Halo are reaching out to the world via short videos on TikTok and Instagram to explain their part in the vaccine effort and to answer any questions you may have about the COVID vaccines. Watch their videos and ask them questions here or search on TikTok using #teamhalo #learnontiktok. I genuinely can’t think of a better use of TikTok and I would encourage you, if you or your children have any worries about having a vaccine against COVID, to check this out. Any kids out there who have an interest in science too – it’s definitely worth a look.

Team Halo on TikTok

The second, and probably more selfish reason that I may be changing my opinion of TikTok is based upon events that happened the other evening.  I’d asked all the staff to take a short video of themselves removing their mask and smiling – I wanted to show all our patients that underneath all our PPE we were all still smiling at them.  Seemed like a great idea, until I realised that I now had 12 little videos to seamlessly link together and make amusing!  Rachel walked in on me in the kitchen while I was attempting this on imovie.  

“What are you doing, Mum, why don’t you just do a Tik Tok?” 

“Hmm, why don’t I indeed?”  I thought.  “Perhaps because I don’t have a bloody clue how to?”  Then inspiration hit!  Here in front of me was the daughter who was TikTok obsessed!  “Rachel,” I said in my sweetest voice “how would you like to earn some pocket money?”

Literally 5 minutes later, and I mean 5 minutes, she came back with this awesome video

So now we’ve found the sweetspot of TikTok: if she’s using it productively (to help me with work), then I don’t shout about it anymore!  I might even put her on the payroll!

If you’d like to connect with us on social media go to www.facebook.com/coatbridgedentist, or on instagram @coatbridgedentist and look out for some crazy-loon dancing videos from us on TikTok soon🤣