Don't mind the 0 instead of an o in the title. I'm typing this on a school chrome book, and it might flag the page if it has a social media app in the title. I should be okay inside of the post though.
So my friend @PeterTheGhost
just posted about disabled therians and quadrobics, and I thought I would touch on that a bit with a question of my own. Is Tiktok hurting the therian community?
I discovered therianthropy along side Peter (he actually introduced me to it), and since we were young kids new to the community, we were exposed to the Tiktok quadrobics side of things. We still watched Therian Territory and PD, so we weren't too far down the Tiktok rabbit hole. But since we already both did quadrobics, we decided to give Tiktok a try. We made an account, doing quads and wearing masks. I realized that quadrobics did very little to connect me to my theriotype, and was a very exhausting sport.
So I stopped filming all together and got on TG and youtube. Therian Tiktok, in my experience, was not a fun place.
Just a warning, this post is long. Sorry if I made typos/grammatical errors, let me know if you see any so I can fix them!
What happens on therian Tiktok?
I'll shorten this to some basic points just so that I don't end up spending an hour typing this, since there is a lot to say.
Therians on that app are almost purely spiritual. Many claim that the definition of therianthropy is "A strong spiritual connection to an animal", or "someone who was an animal in a past life". pshycological therianthropy is overlooked and sparsely mentioned.
Many people make videos about their past lives and the "things that happened". In quotations because it's going to become increasingly obvious that they're making it up. many claim to die in gruesome ways like being chased off a cliff by hunters, falling off cliffs, drowning after being chased by hunters, you get the picture. There are hunting techniques where people chase animals off of cliffs, but not every arctic fox is going to be chased off a snowy cliff into a lake by a pack of hunting dogs.
There is so much misinformation spread on spirituality, and people often come to the conclusion that they are therians because of their "strong connection to animals", and then after identifying as a therian, they will start having flashbacks and shifts. Some also claim therianthropy to be a belief, religion, or spiritual practice like witchcraft.
There is a common phrase on the app. "you don't need gear or quads to be a therian", though so many push the narrative that you do. A tiktocker in their early 20's (who mainly posts fursuiting videos) claimed that they were called a fake therian by a younger group of kids (around 9-13) because they didn't do quads.
Nearly every single therian tiktocker does quads, and says it's a "great way to connect with theriotypes and relive dysphoria". Adding on to the age thing, most therians on the app are between 9-16, so there aren't very many adults that get popular on there. mostly just young quadrobisists.
Yeah dysphoria. That's everywhere too. I'm not trying to dismiss any therians who actually experience dysphoria, but yet again, nearly every single kid on that app has very severe species dysphoria. Many say "you don't want to be a therian, we have it so hard" or "it's such a pain living with these memories, I just want to go back". It's not a minority, it's the vast majority, at least out of the one's I've met.
Back to the point of fake therians, a post floated around saying something along the lines of "I'm so tired of fake therians. You're not a winged wolf or horned cat, stop trying to be special and realize that therians struggle every day". Plenty don't actually know what otherkin is, fewer know of Otherhearted.
There are a lot more problems there, these are just the worst I could think of.
The good side
despite the rant about the not so good things I've seen, there are a few creators that actually do good with their time. A tiktoker (who I believe their username is winding roots, or something with roots in it) doesn't post quadrobics content at all, and instead makes general therian content.
There are also some accounts dedicated to educating about therianthropy, the different types of shifts, etc. Even if some of these kids realize they aren't therians, they will at least be open minded to the community. Many people are kind and open minded, and although rarely post their experiences, are willing to share them.
Some of my mutuals while I was on the app knew they were just a typical tiktok therian, but wore gear and did quads for fun, and were open about it and educated others. Overall, just people minding their own business and having fun.
OKAY LONG POST OVER
now the final question, is tiktok hurting therians/the therian community? I would argue yes, but anyone and anything can improve. A boost in education and less misinformation could do wonders for the community. But I would like to hear other's thoughts on the subject.
Sorry if I sounded harsh towards these kids, my own experience compared to the contrast with this site makes me view many of these people in a negative light.
And again, sorry for any grammar mistakes.