How Gen Z brought back the chain letter: TikTokers are scaring each other into making videos to prevent bad things happening – as some claim failure to comply led to deaths, house fires and break-ups
Those who are old enough to remember the early 2000s will likely have vivid memories of chain mail – the annoying letters sent via Hotmail, DMs and social media sites with ominous threats about how terrible things will happen if you don’t forward it on.
It may be a child ghost coming into your room at midnight to kill you, your family being killed in a horrible accident or some more plainly just missing out on good luck if you don’t pass it on.
And just like the noughties trends of low-rise jeans, exposed thongs and handkerchief tops, Gen Z TikTokers from around the world are bringing back chain mail but of course with a 2020s twist.
Rather than sending physical letters or emails – or even texts – the latest incarnation is warning that people who don’t make a video using certain popular TikTok sounds as the audio will have back luck.
British TikTok user Mia Wardle claimed she had a run of bad luck after failing to use the ‘I’m So Lucky’ sound on her video
在一个剪辑中, that’s racked up an incredible 14million views, one user claims that by failing to use the ‘I’m So Lucky’ sound, she experienced unbelievable bad luck – including her boyfriend breaking up with her and catching Covid a week before Christmas.
The comments are full users talking about it being ‘secondary school chain mail all over again’ with those in their late twenties and older shocked to see the trend returning.
More than a million videos have been used with the so-called ‘magical’ sound, called ‘I’m so lucky lucky’, with thousands saying not using it caused them problems.
One goes as far to claim their dad and mum’s best friend died, while their sister’s house also burned down.
Another said that they had their ‘worst day ever’ and their phone stolen after skipping the sound.
Some are more positive, and claimed that making videos using the sound has brought them good luck, from passing a test, to an unexpected present and even a proposal.
在一个剪辑中, that’s racked up an incredible 14million views, one user claims that by skipping a ‘I’m So Lucky’ sound she was caused her unbelievable bad luck – including her boyfriend breaking up with her and catching Covid a week before Christmas.
Share this sound! One goes as far to claim their dad and mum’s best friend died, while their sister’s house also burned down (剩下) Another said that they had their ‘worst day ever’ and their phone stolen after skipping the sound (对)
Millemial Twitter users have said they find the trend ’embarrassing’ and accused Gen Z of bringing up the past
'我如此幸运’ is just one of the many sounds that TikTok users have made viral, that Gen Zers use to ‘manifest’ their desires.
The new trend comes months after the trends of ‘timeline shifting’ and ‘reality shifting’ went viral on TikTok, which saw users mediate into another realm – including visiting Hogwarts and other fictional worlds.
While timeline shifting saw people claim to move into parallel universes where their desires are more likely to come true.
The cause of the videos is likely due to TikTok’s algorithm, the more people that interact with content means it’s placed or more ‘For You Pages’.
If more people feel compelled to interact with a clip it’s more likely to be seen by more people and go viral.
One psychologist thinks that the trend is in part cause by people struggling to get help they need and looking to platforms like TikTok for mental health support.
说话 Dazed, Dr Audrey Tang said that the lack of access to mental health services means that people look to trends like TikTok chain mail to help them validate their feelings and be reassured.
‘With these videos, they don’t have to express themselves, they don’t have to be told, ‘I’m not sick enough’, they don’t have to go through any of that shame – they just need to share a video,” she explained.
Explaining the spiritual side, astrologer Hannah Siddiqui from San Francisco explained in a video: ‘If you’ve spent any time on Tiktok then you’ve probably seen at least one person talking about manifestation.
‘Manifestation is based on the law of attraction.
‘And it basically says that our thoughts create our reality. So whatever it is that we’re focusing on, good or bad, we’re going to attract and manifestation works in four parts asking, believing, working hard and receiving.
‘So how does this sound tie into manifestation? 好, you probably have at least one thing in mind that you want could be any dream or goal for yourself big or small.
‘That’s step one, the asking, step two is believing and this is where the sound comes in.
‘In order to manifest anything, we have to believe that’s possible for us, even if it’s just a little small amount. And this sound which is just repeating I’m so lucky over and over is a way of using an affirmation to help us believe that we actually are lucky.
‘Just as our thoughts create our reality. We’re also a product of the stories we tell ourselves. That’s how the sound works’.
然而, Dr Audrey believes the sounds that are making people believe good things are happening in their life is a confirmation bias.
‘When you save these videos, you’re priming the mind with what you want to happen, so you’re then going to look for it. We look to confirm our biases,’ 她解释.