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A concerning 1 in 2 of Gen-Z struggle with anxiety. Various factors, including apprehension about the future, influence how anxious Gen-Z is, with the internet constantly fuelling the fire. Feeling the most negative about social media, Gen-Z is open about their mental health online, as it becomes more integral to their wellbeing. Excessively using social media, or “doomscrolling”, is used as coping mechanism by 54% of Gen-Z when they feel anxious, using it as a distraction. When in an anxious state, it can be a desperate struggle to try and come out of, especially when overwhelmed by wellness advice. But, when someone appears on your feed claiming they can “heal your anxiety”, you might as well give it a try.
Wellbeing in the form of spirituality on social media, especially TikTok, has gained huge popularity, notably since the pandemic. Due to lockdown preventing us from seeing other people and having less freedom, it was a suffocating time for many. Social media and online spaces therefore became the only place for people to connect. Lockdown also became a time when people were dedicated to protecting their mental health: going on daily walks, being creative, and also exploring spirituality.
#Spirituality has over 30 billion views on TikTok. It’s a phenomenon that has struck a chord with not only Gen-Z, but millennials too. Despite these younger generations becoming less interested in organised religion, some are embracing different meanings of the word, such as “mystical healing”. The beauty of these spiritual practices is that it doesn’t require to be observed with others; it can be done from the comfort of your own home, hence the increase in popularity during COVID 19. Spirituality on social media covers a wide range of practices including reiki, energy cleansing, tarot readings and manifesting, one of the most popular forms on social media.
With 24.3 billion views on TikTok and a 669% increase in searches on Google from 2019 to 2020, manifestation is a much loved form of spirituality. It’s based on the law of attraction and essentially revolves around bringing something into existence through believing it already exists. Examples of different methods made popular on social media include “369”, where you write down three positive affirmations every morning, six during the day and nine before you go to bed. Manifestation threads through most spiritual content, practising affirmations through tarot card readings, astrology and even crystals. A hot topic on TikTok was dedicated to a certain type of crystal: Moldavite, a very rare tektite (small glass debris from meteorite impact) that’s known as the most powerful crystal. When used to manifest, Moldavite helps remove obstacles from your “destined path” and, essentially, transforms your life. TikTokers, mainly Gen-Zs, would post videos at the start of their “Moldavite journey” with the intention to change their life. Whether the crystal had a powerful influence or it was all in their minds, Gen-Z seemed to have put their belief into this practice in order to improve their wellbeing.
Another huge part of the spirituality movement on social media has been energy cleansing and healing. Practices such as Reiki, singing bowls, guided meditations and using essential oils all fall under the same intention to improve wellbeing and remove negativities. Reiki, used for energy healing, originated from Japan as a technique for guiding energy flow with gentle hand movements from the Reiki master. It promotes wellness and aims to reduce stress and anxiety by redirecting and plucking away negative energy. On social media, short Reiki sessions stop people from doomscrolling and act as a “checkpoint” to cleanse their energy. It can range from anything like healing sounds in certain frequencies to guided meditations, helping calm those who come across the video.
With stress surrounding uncertain futures, practising spiritual techniques, such as manifestation or Reiki, could be a way for Gen-Z to have any sense of control for what’s to come. It’s a conflicting concept, as social media undoubtedly triggers anxiety in many who use it. However, if consumed in moderation, spirituality on social media is a harmless way to manage anxiety and offers a moment of solace, away from the overwhelming reality.
+ Highlight Image: © Omkar Jadhav via Unsplash