Watching scenes, episodes, films and Grey’s Anatomy on TikTok
Caitlin on March 17, 2023
You’re watching TikTok and a gripping scene from Grey’s Anatomy comes on. You get sucked in only to find out that the video ends before the end of the scene. What happens?! Is she getting poisoned by her stepmother, did they rescue the baby or will the doctor successfully do the brain transplant? You quickly go to the comment section or the profile of the account who posted and find part 2, part 3, part 4 – and all of a sudden you’re at part 16.
It doesn’t actually matter if you’ve watched the scene before or if it’s from an episode you’ve not seen – Grey’s has 19 seasons after all. When we watch scenes on TikTok without all the context and full storyline, we need more, and are pulled into a medical drama rabbit hole. But could these entertaining/time-wasting vacuums actually be causing harm?
Like most social media platforms TikTok requires its users to be at least 13 years of age. On Disney+ Grey’s Anatomy is rated 16 with a warning note for violence and content that may disturb. On top of the age issue, the scenes that are being shared and pushed on the popular platform aren’t exactly the ones that would fall below that 16 threshold. It’s the good stuff – open heart surgeries, complex character storylines and relationships, and when the very lives of the hospital employees that we know and love are threatened.
Grey’s Anatomy aside, there are many other films and series that have very challenging scenes which are shared widely on TikTok. So what happens when a scene pops up on your For You page (FYP) and this time it doesn’t suck you in? Instead you watch something that doesn’t sit quite right.
If a lot of context is missing and you watch something like a graphic murder, kidnapping or domestic violence situation this can be quite confronting. Maybe if you had watched it within the episode or film, knowing the characters and what is going on, the scene might not have had as big of an impact. Or maybe if you were able to see the age rating and content warning you would have been able to make an informed choice to watch something else instead.
Here at the tari we think that before you press play on films, series and games on all your favourite platforms and devices you should have all the information to make the best and safe choice for you and your whānau. While series and films on streaming platforms and at the cinema carry New Zealand age ratings and content warnings, the internet is a wide open space that doesn’t have those same kind of safeguards.
It is not a secret that TikTok users are at the mercy of their FYP and see things that sometimes they feel like they didn’t sign up for. With anything that comes up on your feed that doesn’t make you feel good, instead of just scrolling past, try clicking “not interested” and report the content that made you feel off.
If you want to find an age rating and content warning of something you have seen on TikTok or any other social platform, check out our Find a Rating page on our website. And if you find yourself lying awake at night thinking about something you have watched on TikTok, at the cinema, on a streaming platform or in a game that you have played, reach out for help and chat to someone you trust. See the helplines below if you need more support.
We also want to recognise that these are only some of the really challenging videos circulating on social media platforms, and many don’t compare to fictional scenes from series and films. Below we have attached an article about some of the more dangerous content on TikTok that’s especially harmful for young people. It lists helplines and emergency numbers for those who are struggling or supporting someone who is struggling. Netsafe also provides a range of information, tools and advice for parents and young people about using and staying safe while using TikTok.
- Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
- Safe to talk
- Teen mental health crisis: ‘TikTok has completely changed the game’ – NZ Herald
- TikTok: Advice for parents – Netsafe
- TikTok Family Safety Toolkit – Netsafe
- Understanding TikTok - Netsafe
- Find a rating
- Why are ratings and content warnings important for me and my whānau?
- Talking with young people about what they’re watching
- Classification labels
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