You probably saw some of TikTok’s most popular videos this year if you used the app.
They include the notorious huge chocolate giraffe, the Corn Child, and Squishy the Chipmunk devouring nuts.
With so many doctors and nurses considered influencers on TikTok, as well as regular individuals talking about their experiences with their physical and mental health, and the healthcare system as a whole, it should come as no surprise that 2022–2023 witnessed many popular viral videos addressing health-related topics.
Here are the top seven health videos from the past twelve months.
Roe v. Bros
@roevbros Welcome to a special Georgia Runoff Edition of Roe v Bros: The game show where we find out how much men know about women's bodies. Episode 7 #GeorgiaRunoff #GeorgiaVoters #RoeVWade #WomensRights #WomensVoices ♬ original sound - ROE v BROS
In a TikTok video aired in November, a woman asked guys on the street what they understood about women’s bodies and reproductive health.
The film was posted by the “Roe v. Bros” account. “Can Women Pee With Tampons In?” was the title of the viral video, which garnered almost two million likes and more than 13 million views.
Unsurprisingly, most, if not all, of the men's responses were false. In a another recent popular video, the user asked guys about hymens, fallopian tubes and human eggs, only to receive inaccurate responses each time.
The account asks visitors to learn about women’s reproductive health and to cast their votes, possibly in response to Roe v. Wade being overturned in June.
Perks of health care vs. tech
@rthardwell #duet with @vivviey For all you undecided out there, pick wisely lol. #rt #nurse #healthcare #tech #analyst #developer #fyp #foryou ♬ Super Freaky Girl - Nicki Minaj
A total of 1.7 million people liked a TikTok user’s video showcasing the benefits of working at a tech business, which included free breakfast, snacks, and hair products in the bathroom.
User @rthardwell, who claims on his account to generate “relatable dark medical humour”, responded to the video with his own, mocking the “perks” of working in health care. He mentioned that the hospital’s breakfast wasn’t free, that patients could only have patient-only snacks, that lunch lasted just about a half hour, and that workstation arrangements were generally unpleasant.
About 700 000 people liked the video that highlighted some of the burnout problems experienced by many healthcare professionals. One reader said that the advertised 30-minute uninterrupted meal actually lasted only five seconds.
The nurse ‘ick’ video
Atlanta’s Emory Hospital Midtown has fired four labor and delivery nurses after they shared their “icks” about maternity patients on TikTok. pic.twitter.com/kusLMVVzcA— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) December 11, 2022
Not all TikToks are amusing; in fact, some of them have the power to alter the health-care system.
The largest healthcare-related scandal on TikTok in 2022 most likely stemmed from a single TikTok video that labour and delivery staff at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta posted.
The nurses talked about the “icks” of caring for patients and working in the delivery room, for example when relatives pestered them for assistance.
The now-deleted video sparked outrage from both TikTokers and medical professionals, who saw the nurses’ remarks as being unprofessional and evidence of poor bedside manners.
The employees in the video were fired by Emory Hospital as a result of the dispute. Several nurses started uploading their “reverse icks” and criticising the video on TikTok, stating that having polite bedside manners was something they valued in their work ethic.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, when social isolation and a rise in the need for mental health services pushed many young people to look for “self-help” advice on social media, TikTok has grown into a significant platform for mental health material.
On the platform, so-called mental health influencers have emerged, including therapists and psychiatrists who provide their opinions on issues like depression or treatment. Yet a recent study found that TikTok is also rife with false information on mental health.
Despite this, many young people utilise the app to start discussions and promote openness about their personal difficulties with mental health. An example of a video that went viral in 2022 was user @hannahloynds’s video describing how she handles her depression, which has received close to four million views.
After a patient died, a nurse recorded a video of herself “grieving” and it went viral in 2020, eliciting a strong response.
Although it seems she intended to demonstrate how much she cares for her patients, the criticism stemmed from the perception that she was ostensibly doing it to gain influence or attention on the platform.
Since then, the video has sparked a bigger discussion about how doctors, who are increasingly adept at using TikTok, utilise the platform at work and if they are treating their patients with respect.
In a recent video, Ryan Lombard mocked the concept by acting out a “Healthcare 2022” scenario in which a patient comes to the hospital in need of medical assistance.
The clip then jumps back to the original 2020 clip of the nurses posing for TikTok while grieving rather than attending to the patients. The video raised concerns regarding how and when health-care practitioners were utilising the platform more and more in the course of their work.
Healthy food isn’t boring
@eva.koper Nah I got you ✨ #healthyfood #healthyfoodinspo #healthyrecipes #food ♬ original sound - Stan :)
FoodTok is huge, and TikTok has given rise to a ton of popular recipes and culinary fads, from baked feta spaghetti to green goddess salad. However, it’s vital to take healthy eating recommendations with a grain of salt, much like the mental health and health advice on the platform.
But it’s a location where regular people may discover new dishes and test them for themselves.
One culinary and food-related video by Eva Koper, which has received almost three million likes, encourages people to eat healthily by demonstrating that it needn’t be monotonous or unpleasant.
Mental health conversations
One can state with certainty that the dialogue and knowledge regarding mental health treatment have grown along with the rates of mental illness, anxiety and depression, which have risen in recent years and contributed to a national mental health crisis among young people.
The TikToker account @rozysmagicalworld emphasises the value of talking openly about mental health, even if it’s simply with your immediate family or close friends. She said: “I may not be the favourite child, or the password child, but I’m the one who educated my family about mental health.”
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