TikTok feels emotional damage from the market crash
My TikTok For You page is generally a wonderland of soothing cooking videos, lesbian carpentry, dieticians foaming at fitness scams, and whatever it is @yoleendadong is on. But every once in a while my FYP will land me in FinanceTok and CryptoTok. And friend, I don’t think everyone is okay there.
I’ve never turned down an opportunity to jump down the TikTok rabbit hole, and going through the #marketcrash2022 and #cryptocrash2022 tags is truly tragic. there is this baby going through a rollercoaster of emotions and watching stocks go up and down. There is also a grown adult man do the same, set to the Emotional Damage vs. Pompeii by William Li. Actually it seems a lot grown men are crying about their cryptocurrency and investments portfolios to fuel.
Those are just the tip of the iceberg. FinanceTok is a menagerie of self-proclaimed money experts who tell you which stocks to buy and sell. Looks like they’ve all read rich father poor father and I will teach you to be rich but come to very different conclusions about what the lessons should be.
But once a crash actually happens, so do new types of videos. There are the smug makers who called the crash a few months ago and use that as an influence so that you will hit “plus for more”. Then there are the smug makers say why they are “not worried about the crash” because “historically markets always rise after a crash”. An absurd number are obsessed with that a warren Buffet quote“Be afraid when others are greedy, and greedy when others are afraid.” It is used to justify either HODLing (i.e., keep holding) or have a crypto buying frenzy when the market is low.
Meanwhile, a TikTok astrologer who tilted to cryptocurrency has over a million followers. One of her latest YouTube videos, a 22 minutes clip on how Pluto returns to US’s second financial house, hints at economic slump (and a good time to invest in crypto), has over 36,000 views.
Even real estate TikTokkers is participating, sighing at the conversation on whether this is exactly the same as in 2008. Others are happy to explain why or not a housing crash is happening the route because the Fed goes nasty raise interest rates. It all sounds plausible when you see it on TikTok. Housing markets usually cool when interest rates rise — and the Fed plans to raise rates this year — but most of the time it does many more factors they go in house busts.
If you’re trying to get an idea of who is worthy of trust in these videos, I recommend closing the TikTok app and sticking your head out the window for some fresh air. Finance is labyrinthine. Entertaining snippets on TikTok and other social media are digestible. Every now and then you scroll away knowing something you didn’t know beforehand. But as confusing as investing can be, it may not be the best idea to rely on “advice” you’ve seen on TikTok (or r/wallstreetbets). That’s how the GameStop chaos started.
It’s all nice, but some of us actually use these platforms for investment advice. Just as influencers and social media have helped drive the market up, it’s possible they could also accidentally send it the other way. Sure, many influencers are urging us to use HODL and see falling prices as an opportunity. But it only takes a few scared people in an echo chamber to stir panic sales. This is how memes get into people’s minds when they make real decisions.
Stocks may go up or down, but FinanceTok just made an important discovery: markets are going up or down provides good fodder for the mill.