Let’s face it, TikTok is usually ground zero for trends that don’t make a lot of sense. As much as we try to avoid them, it’s easy to get swept up with the crowd. One of the most recent trends is using manifestation music, or lucky sounds, to make positive things happen. Although this seems nice at face value, this trend has gradually become problematic.
Manifestation sounds on TikTok are audios claimed to have the power to affect events in a person’s life. Many users under this sound and others have said that their manifestations came true by posting or saving drafted videos with these sounds. This has led to a long list of videos featuring people’s testimonies about what the audios delivered to their lives. For example, there’s a sound featuring a short section of the song “Time In Oblivion” by iANO that people claim is lucky.
Don’t get me wrong, manifestation is a perfectly acceptable practice, and I’m not here to judge it as a concept. However, TikTok has made an activity that requires lots of focus and intention into a trend that feels reminiscent of chain mail text messages and emails from our childhoods. In both cases, these messages and videos give the viewer an ultimatum based on something as subjective as human experiences and circumstances.
Many of the videos I’ve seen give me the same anxious feeling that chain mail messages would in my youth. People have proclaimed that skipping these audios when they showed up on their “for you” pages led to awful things happening in their lives (car crashes, rejections, etc.). Drawing this connection between unfortunate events and failure to use a TikTok sound is glaringly problematic. In my experience, it’s done nothing but make me worry that maybe something wrong could come from skipping it, regardless of how ridiculous it sounds. On the contrary, positive reaction videos share people’s fantastic change of luck after using the sounds. Both categories still claim that you shouldn’t skip the sounds because doing so wouldn’t be in your best interest. You end up losing no matter which way you go.
Wanting good fortune in your life isn’t harmful by itself, but implying that a sound on an app is what delivers it is flawed. It sets up this expectation that something good will happen based on something unknown. This can instill false hope in someone that just really needed a win, only to be met with disappointment when what they manifested didn’t come true.
Although this trend will more than likely be short-lived, it reveals something important about the lengths people are willing to go to bring positivity into their lives. As problematic as I think this trend is, its role in giving people comfort shouldn’t be ignored. Users could focus on self-help practices and coping mechanisms rather than claiming that specific TikTok audios can impact manifesting. Hopefully, this trend ends up helping more people than it hurts.