Andy Cohen isn’t dead. Michael B. Jordan is not dead. But if you don’t pay attention to the news and someone says they do, would you believe it?
This is the latest trend engulfing the TikTok feed, with the hashtag #celebritydeathprank having over 200 million views on the platform. Especially children play pranks on their parents.
But not everyone enjoys trends. According to psychologists, videos come with a price and can be traumatic for the prankster. Parents have a responsibility to set an example by talking to their children before the joke goes too far.
“We have to get to a place that bridges the gap with this lack of empathy, especially in children,” says counseling psychologist TM Robinson Mosley.
Elsewhere on TikTok:TikTok tried to solve an Idaho murder case. Instead, it spurred an online witch hunt.
The Future of Comedy Series:where is the comedy going? USA TODAY explores a future that makes people laugh with new series
Andy Cohen ‘doesn’t want’ to watch videos of people he thinks are dead
- After joining the trend, Slater Vance, the son of Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance, told his mother and father that his “Black Panther” co-star Michael B. Jordan, 35, had passed away. I apologized. It felt especially cruel considering the untimely death of another co-star, 43-year-old Chadwick Boseman, from colon cancer in 2020.
- “I hope this is a lesson for others who use social media as a tool and source of entertainment to truly understand that their actions can have consequences beyond their own. I’m here.”
- Andy Cohen, 54, is also over trending. We asked people to stop creating, sharing, and tagging .
In case you missed:Andy Cohen says he ‘didn’t see’ Anderson Cooper greet Ryan Seacrest on New Year’s Eve special
‘Real mental trauma’
Children are more interconnected than ever on social platforms and assign value based on likes and popularity. “Constantly seeking approval online is related to these attempts to post something that goes viral,” says Mosley.
Don’t let the laughter in the background of these videos fool you. Real sensitivity remains.
“It’s easy to see why some people dismiss this kind of child prank as harmless fun,” says New York psychologist Joseph Sirona. “But for some fans, the death of a celebrity can be an emotionally significant and traumatic event. This arguably innocent prank can result in real emotional trauma.” ”
People can appreciate parasocial relationships for that. In other words, you can develop a one-sided relationship with a celebrity that is comparable to a real-life relationship.
Hmm:Kit Connor and the dangers of queerbait accusations
“In many cases, the time you spend ‘socializing’ as a beloved celebrity fan can be more than you spend in an actual relationship,” Cilona says.
Furthermore, “Sudden, unexpected death, whether it’s someone you know or someone you respect, is traumatic,” says Mosley.
Benjamin Goldman, a mental health therapist, suggests that this kind of prank can even cause parents to face their own death. Loss of youth culture, loss of cultural significance. ”
Not all pranks are the same
Of course, there is plenty of room for mischief to spread. Even with this, some parents seem to be into the joke.
“We don’t want to call all forms of pranks and all forms of comedy cruel or dark or malicious because there is so much to come from comedy as a form of connection,” Goldman said. says.
It’s about the intention behind the said prank.
“We see this as a way of weakening the relationship between caregivers and care recipients or poking at power dynamics,” says Goldman.
important:Kanye West, Twitter and how to free yourself from social media hate
Either way, it doesn’t mean someone lacks empathy.
Clinical psychologist Regine Garanti says, “Pranks in general can be cruel when overdone.” But that doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of empathy or something wrong. .”
Example: How is this different from Jimmy Kimmel’s segment where parents tell their kids they ate all their Halloween candy? “There is no stronger reaction to this prank than to any other,” Garanti says. “But I understand the argument that it’s not good to play pranks on other people.”
Harm – and the pleasure of that harm – may simply come anyway, despite the intent: an instant dopamine hit,” says Mosley.
How to Talk to Kids About TikTok Celebrity Death Pranks
- Think about why there was such an instinctive reaction. For example, did the joke about Lady Gaga’s death hit you because she meant a lot to you?
- Don’t be afraid to show your emotions. If your child hurts you, let them know.
- Consider what your child was doing. Was this just a silly TikTok prank, or is your child wanting the attention you’re otherwise not giving?
- Ask for an explanation, but don’t ask why. Mosley suggests asking: That. “
- Give the prankster the benefit of the doubt. “Intention really matters. I’m completely open to the idea that someone had beneficial, even healthy intentions when doing any of these pranks,” says Goldman. It’s hard to imagine what the intent might be, it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer.”
key:The “stan” culture needs to be stopped, or at least radically changed. Here’s why: