TikTok, sober October and early voting


FYI for your FYP

Current trend: TikTok has become a breeding ground for health misinformation. You may have seen videos talking about taking a glass of lemon juice to delay your period. Insertion cloves of garlic up your nose to help with congestion. Inhale hydrogen peroxide to “treat” COVID-19. (To be clear: none of these things work.) But how far is too far?

The story

Misinformed health tips and tricks aside, there are some TikTok trends that cause serious concern. These days, doctors and pharmacists worry that their patients with type 2 diabetes may have trouble finding Ozempic – an injection that helps regulate blood sugar. That’s partly because TikTok users have been promoting off-label use of the drug for weight loss. #Ozempic has over 300 million views and the demand has compounded existing supply chain issues. But the drug comes with risks of serious side effects, including pancreatitis, gallbladder problems, kidney failure, and even cancer. This is just one example of the many viral “health” trends whose popularity is causing health experts to sound the alarm.

Why is this going viral?

Because every day millions of people are inundated with these kinds of stories on their FYP. Note, a quarter of American adults do not have a primary care physician and about 26 million do not have health insurance. So, finding information online can often seem like the easiest solution. But critics say social media apps aren’t designed to prioritize accurate or useful information: They’re designed to feed users whatever gets the biggest response, so people keep engaging. Today, many creators can take advantage of viral “health” trends by posing as health experts or coaches, even if they are not accredited. And ride the wave of the algorithm by making outrageous claims to generate views.

Is anything done?

While TikTok has measures in place to crack down on misinformation (see: information banners), users upload new content every day. That means it’s really hard to follow. So it’s up to you to protect yourself – by doing your own verification. Since, spoiler: Just because someone on TikTok wears a lab coat or says things that sound like science doesn’t mean it’s legit.


Social media apps like TikTok are unlikely to ever be completely free of misinformation. So for now, the rule of thumb remains the same: when it comes to your physical or mental health, always try to talk to medical experts.


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What happened to Maya…how inexplicable pain changed the life of a 10-year-old — then exposed flaws in the child welfare system.

The Promise and Peril of Space Tourism…the industry promises to take people to infinity and beyond. But it is expensive.

Break time

Downtime doesn’t have to mean doing nothing. Here is an idea to make the most of your weekend.

For some, this month is Sober October. (Think: dry January, but towards the end of the year.) So there’s no better time to take inventory your relationship with alcohol and drinking culture in general. This could mean watching when and why you drink, and how you feel. For some, the answer might mean reducing the drinks they will have in a day or a week. While for others it might lead to cutting out alcohol (and hangover) totally. Whatever you choose, you’ll be in good company: The early days of COVID-19 brought an increase in alcohol consumption, especially among women — although the data shows that people are consume less alcohol globally. So if you are considering a sober curious lifestyle, here are some tips to help you take a break from alcohol:

  • Swap a cocktail for a mocktail. ICYMI, non-alcoholic drinks made the buzz. The bartenders were therefore be more careful their cocktail without alcohol menus these days – and it shows. Not to mention that there is a growing number of non-alcoholic beers and spiritsso you can easily to mix together something worthy of a toast at home.

  • Have a plan. If there’s a chance you’ll be bombarded with questions (think, “Why aren’t you drinking?” or “Are you sure you don’t want to drink?”), it can be helpful to prepare your response. Which can be something short and sweet, like “I don’t feel like drinking.” Because, remember, you don’t actually owe anyone an explanation.

  • Evaluate how you feel. Did drinking less lead to better sleep and more energy? Or maybe you felt clearer and calmer? If the discount worked for you, ask yourself if (and how) you could incorporate it in the future, especially with the holidays fast approaching. And if that wasn’t your thing, that’s okay too. Just try to go back to drinking rather than binge drinking as soon as the callus rocks in November.

Eyes On: Early Voting

The 2022 midterms are just over two weeks away (reminder: mark your cal for November 8). But Americans are not waiting for Election Day to vote. More than 7 million people would have voted thanks to early voting in more than 30 states — including critical states such as Michigan and Georgia. In fact, in Peach State alone, more than 131,000 people turned out for the first day of early voting, setting a new state record for a midterm election. And the analysts expect this year’s attendance is on par with 2018, which beat a record of more than 100 years. It may be because the fate of Congress is at stake – with important questions such as reproductive and right to vote. And with some elections expected is it close, every vote counts. Including yours.

PS: October 28 is early voting day. To find how, when and where you can vote earlier.

PPS: Do you have feelings about the midterm elections? Leave us a voicemail at (929) 266-4381 to share your opinion. And he could appear in an upcoming episode of “Skimm This.”


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