Guilt Trip Tales: Small Businesses

If you’re on TikTok you might already have seen videos where a small business owner shows a random video with millions of likes and views and makes a face that clearly means “1 million for this?”. Then they proceed to show their time-lapse video of them making the product they sell or art they commission – a beaded necklace that a five-year-old could make, for instance or an acrylic tray that’s bound to end up in a landfill in the next 6-8 business months- which is completely fine by itself! Supporting small businesses is very important. However, small business owners who make these videos tend to guilt-trip people into supporting them instead. So here’s a literal translation of what they actually want to convey:

“You have to support me. I don’t care that my videos don’t show up on your for you page. I want you to search up my username, click on my profile, watch all my videos, and then proceed to click on the link in my bio which will take you to my linktree where you will buy my products from my shop even though you’re not really obligated to. I am making this video for the sole purpose of guilt tripping you into buying my products even though they’re mediocre and you can get way more and much better products for the same price I charge them for. I need a way to manipulate you, you lazy bag of garbage, into following me and supporting me because I can’t really find an ethical way to promote myself.

Look at this video of a person biting into a gummy bear getting 1 million likes. Is this what society has come to? Free will? Now look at this painting I made which took 20 hours of hard work but no views even though I sit here everyday trying to make people pity me. Come now. Support me. I can’t have you scrolling past my video. I need money.”

They don’t actually say this but videos like this sound very dramatic, condescending, and insincere.