Desperate to contribute to a conversation with something authoritative, 28-year-old Dana Walker is about to couch a fact in the backstory of “having read it in a book once” even though she definitely just saw it on Tiktok.
“I read somewhere that hurricanes with female names kill more people than hurricanes with male names because people are less scared of them and take fewer precautions,” said Walker to a group of her friends over brunch, according to sources. “It’s pretty crazy.”
The conversation was about misogyny and double standards in general, and, lacking anything meaningful to contribute, Dana recalled a 60-second TikTok about “crazy but true facts” she’d watched while on the toilet the day before.
“Ultimately, information is information,” says Walker. “I simply wanted to get my message across, and felt ‘reading it somewhere’ sounded more legitimate, and that my friends probably wouldn’t ask where.”
It should be noted that this fact about male and female hurricane names is not true, though neither Dana nor her friends bothered to check.
Over the past year, Dana has become more and more dependent on TikTok as her primary source of information on pop culture, history, science, trends, the news, and pretty much everything else.
“I figure anyone with enough clout to end up on my For You Page is probably getting their information from a reputable, academic source, so in a way, it’s like I’m reading,” Walker says. “Also, some people are are audio-visual learners, and gain more from videos than texts. I found out about learning styles from a very helpful TikTok.”
Thanks to TikTok, Walker now knows the plots of all the movies she was never going to watch anyway, the distinct trials of mothering a biracial baby, and enough nutrition “tricks and tips” to give herself a variety of eating disorders.
“It’s actually not any worse for you than other social media platforms, because…hold on, I think I have the explanation in my Likes,” added the source, pulling out her phone and navigating to TikTok.
After Dana explained the hurricane nomenclature phenomenon, her friend Marguerite added that the same was true of blizzards, because she heard it on a news podcast.
“Oh yeah,” says Marguerite. “I think I made that up.”