Suspended Ethics and TikTok

March 8, 2023

In this edition of The Weekly Wave, ethical lines recede, fewer Americans trust the news media, and higher education is becoming an illiberal institution.

Two young people recently went viral on TikTok and what they went viral for may shed light on the ethical landscape in the culture of the social media age. Their behavior is one thing, society’s reaction is another. What is going on here?

Read more about this below in this week’s Deep Dive Section.

In the News

Upping the Ante: A random employee with a TikTok account has been scrutinized for boasting about holding 3 full time, remote jobs instead of just one. 

  • Doing this honestly and effectively may sound impossible, yet she defends herself against allegations of poor ethics. (Daily Dot)

Freedom of Speech… Sometimes: The illiberalism of faculty in higher education is rising. (Reason)

A survey revealed that only 37% of faculty under the age of 35 say it is never okay to “shout down” a campus speaker.

  • Only 79% of faculty within the same age cohort say it is never acceptable to use violence against a campus speaker. campus

There was also a divide amongst faculty who identify as liberal and conservative.

  • For liberal faculty less than 35 years old, only 23% believe it is never okay to “shout down” a speaker on campus, compared with 88% of conservatives. 
  • Shockingly, only 64% of liberal faculty under 35 years old believe it is never okay to use violence to stop a campus speech.

Diversity, just without the Conservatism: According to a survey, only about 9% of college faculty identify as politically conservative. (Inside Higher Education)

Trigger Warning! The trigger is here: A study out of Australia suggests that trigger warnings exacerbate the mental health issues that they are purported to address. (Washington Examiner)

  • Why? The trigger warning heightens awareness of the perceived threat. It’s a bit like using an alarm clock to stay asleep.

Grand Closings: These 3 colleges have recently closed. Could this be a part of a broader trend? (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Other News

Eroding Trust: More Americans now have little to no faith in the news media. (Knight Foundation)

  • For the first time in 40 years, more Americans report having no faith than at least some confidence.

Question the Source: Besides Google search, the second most popular source of news for Generation Z is TikTok, according to a new survey. (Morning Consult)

TikTok Ethics – A Deeper Dive

For the latest examples of social decay and juvenility, we once again turn to a familiar place. This would of course be TikTok, where the weirdest content performs the best. Whether it’s a user who claims she dutifully “works” 3 separate full time remote jobs or another who boasts about the carefree attitude she takes when getting fired from several jobs, ethics do not appear to be high on the list of priorities for some of TikTok’s most famous personalities. (Daily Dot)

You may recall that the recent quiet quitting trend started on TikTok with a similar viral video. Much to the dismay of those who absorb lots of news, thanks to prominent news outlets like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNBC and many more taking notice, the topic captivated the western world for a few months.

Shock and Awe

Perhaps the shocking nature of the content is what generated so much attention. These people are unique (or so it seems). They are interesting. They generate conversation. But this may also say something about the world we all share, and the message may not be super encouraging.

Is there push back on this sort of thinking? Yes. 

Is there enough? It’s debatable.

Maybe it doesn’t matter anymore. In both of these cases, these individuals are TikTok stars now and people are always capable of improvement.

The lesson is that TikTok is a bad place for ethics. It is a bad place for news. It is a bad place for the future of American democracy. It is a bad place for, well… just about everything.

What I’m Reading

Orthodoxy – GK Chesterton 

If a man is not to believe in himself, what is he to believe in? Chesterton’s answer to this question differs from contemporary answers. For one thing, Chesterton would suggest that belief in God and basic human reasoning are positive forces for the world.

My favorite thing about this book is how Chesterton takes on dogmatic and extremist thinking. He refers to these people as lunatics. For contemporary citizens, extreme partisanship has now replaced much of rational thinking, so this is a good book for those who are concerned with the future of the free world

A wise person approaches life with curiosity. An extremist already has things figured out. If you already know, why seek to understand?

If you already know, there is nothing to figure out. 

Quote of the Week

“There is a thought that stops thought. That is the only thought that ought to be stopped.” GK Chesterton 

Extremism must be rejected.

Articles of the Week

Fitting In: Do you fit in at work? Here is how you can. (Indeed)

Emotional Divorce: When old friendships end, it leads to life’s next phase. (Margaret Rutherford)

The Value of a Dumb Phone: Have you considered swapping out your smart phone for a dumb phone? (Persuasion)

From Deep Dive Careers: Forget about Goals: This New Year, Try a System

  • Now that Q1 of 2023 is winding down, how are those New Year’s Resolutions looking? 👀

By the way, it is never too late to make a New Year’s Resolution. You just need to do so without the neatness of a new calendar year. What are you waiting for?

Other Fun Stuff

Stump your barista, tell her you want a “coffee.” (Wall Street Journal)

Don't know, don't care

Customer: “I’ll have a medium coffee.” 

Barista: “Uhhh. With what? Hot or cold? I’m confused”

Dad Joke of the Week

Dada says:  

~ I am over the moon! 

Totally over it.

It’s just a giant orb that doesn’t even provide heat. ~


*This post may contain affiliate links. These help financially support the Deep Dive Careers platform.

Subscribe here to get this newsletter delivered directly to your email. Be sure to share with a friend who you think would enjoy this content.

1 thought on “Suspended Ethics and TikTok”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s