How TikTok has (almost) got me believing in fairies – Hayley Matthews

During the week, my eldest was watching funny videos on TikTok to keep himself amused.

Tinkerbell is real, possibly (Picture: Carl de Souza/AFP via Getty Images)
Tinkerbell is real, possibly (Picture: Carl de Souza/AFP via Getty Images)

And before the backlash from opinionated parents starts, he only gets to watch them when supervised.

Also, they can be really entertaining and educational once you've sifted though the mind-numbing rubbish. It's why we sit with him when he's scrolling, to keep an eye on the content, plus, we can't keep them wrapped up in cotton wool, protecting them from the dark corners of the web for ever, so gently does it.

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He was amazed at this video trend where someone takes a mouthful of water, makes a clicking noise then they're able to blow out what looks like dragon smoke.

I knew instantly the smoke was from a vape. However, as much as I'd like to think he's not gullible, he fell for it. I instantly burst his TikTok bubble by explaining that not everything you see on the internet is genuine and how it was a vape, and as I saw the wheels turning, I also realised I ruined a little bit of magic for him.

Maybe I should have let him sit, trying to make dragon smoke from a bottle of Highland Spring for a few hours. Oh well.

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But my late night TikTok scrolling has left me scratching my head over a few things so it's not just our pre-teens who are falling for the wonders of editing and filters on the social media site.

I feel so old and out of touch when my eldest tells me what's trending at the moment, and what hashtags are popular. One I couldn't wrap my head around was to do with fairies.

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This opened up an entire box of delights as I sat at 2am watching videos of teenagers pretending to catch fairies. There was that little part of me that I recognise in my eldest, that part wants to believe in a little magic that some lucky so-and-so has managed to capture on camera and share it with the world.

As I sat trying to work out how people had apparently caught fairies (there’s an entire fairy catching/fairy trap trend – go look if you don't believe me) I couldn't help but be roped in to thinking this could be real. It could actually be a real fairy. I mean, it looked so genuine.

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Then 4am came and, as my eyes started to close, I nodded off into a dreamland of fairies blowing dragon smoke! Insomnia is a terrible thing after a few hours of watching home-made fairy videos.

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But I can't help but wonder what the deal is. Why are millions of people videoing themselves catching, or pretending to catch, fairies? Haven't they got better things to do with their time? Would people be putting this much effort into something if it wasn't worthwhile? Or am I just really old and missing the point?

Whatever it is, it had me engrossed for a while and wondering what if… just what if there are fairies out there.

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Maybe I need to take some of that advice I've been giving my eldest, to not believe everything you see on the internet. After all, not everything is what you think it is.