Gen Z Is The Worst Generation to Cheat On
When I was cheated on in high school, I did the most aggressive thing I could think to do: I took it to Facebook. I wrote a scathing message on my ex’s wall outlining his betrayal for all to see and sat back waiting for the likes to roll in from my peers. Nobody touched it. Everyone was just pretending they hadn’t seen this forbidden glimpse into a normally private moment that was communicated in perhaps the most unhinged way possible. Ten years later, though, and something like this gets six million likes on TikTok.
On Wednesday night, Dixie D’Amelio posted a video on TikTok about her ex, Sway House’s Griffin Johnson. It was a series of screenshots and videos and messages the TikTok star allegedly sent to other women while he and D’Amelio were dating, seemingly confirming what was already widely rumored.
“Real convenient…” D’Amelio captioned the video, throughout which she makes a number of faces and lip-syncs to a diss track Johnson wrote about their relationship. Her sister, Charli D’Amelio, twisted the knife in the comments.
“@imgriffinjohnson,” she wrote, tagging the offending creator. “This you?”
This tag-team attack racked up almost 30 million views, and had popular creators like Tana Mongeau and Brittany Broski cheering for Dixie in the comments. In response, Johnson posted a number of vague tweets about forgiveness and...fish?
hand someone a fish, they eat for a day let them into your house to learn to fish, they play with your emotions— Griffin Johnson (@lmgriffjohnson) September 23, 2020
While the public call-out is juicy, it’s already yesterday’s news on TikTokRoom, since these kinds of videos are standard fare in what’s come to be known as “Messy TikTok.”
Like Straight TikTok and Alt TikTok, Messy TikTok is a genre of videos on the app that live for drama. They’re petty, ruthless, and often involve calling out exes who cheated, or other people who have wronged you, in the most public way possible.
A quick investigation into some of these videos suggest that every so often they’re staged just to go viral (in one popular video, a creator admitted in the comments that the “girlfriend” in question was actually just his good friend). But more often than not, it seems as if you’re really watching some shit go down. For D’Amelio and Johnson, this type of entertainment is part of being a public figure, but when I spot a genuine call-out in the wild between normal people, my breath catches in my throat. It feels so insanely reckless to open your relationship drama—including people’s photos and identities—up to potentially millions of people, but it’s almost like the neverending stream of viewers makes things all the more anonymous. Rather than calling out your boyfriend in front of high school peers who have a stake in the drama, these videos are just drops in the bucket of the 100s of other videos people scroll past on their For You pages every day. But still, it would make me think twice about cheating. No illicit affair is worth the ridicule from TikTok teens.