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I was diagnosed with OCD at the tender age of 41 – about 27 years after I first started to notice my OCD-like behaviors and about 41 years after I learned that OCD was far more than wanting things to be a certain way or being bothered by imperfections.

As a teenager, I would do things that were not “normal.” Things that could easily be identified as “OCD behavior”:

Rewriting school notes as many times as it took to do it.

Writing each subject in their designated color without using whiteout.

Never changing the sizing of letters or pen weight or spacing.

Etc.

It was exhausting, exhilarating, oddly beneficial, (I never had to study because I’d written everything out so many times it was locked in my brain through the process) and most of all it was compulsive.

This was the time of my life where the “C” was living in its prime, it was absolutely in control of me.

The Compulsion Part of OCD

I lived my life with this “C” (compulsion) day in and day out for years upon years. It was helpful at times.

It actually made me look like I had everything together.

My house was spotless. Everything was organized. Not one thing was visibly out of place. (What was going on inside my head was another story.)

It energized me at the same time that it exhausted me. The drive for organization, order, cleanliness, and perfection made it so I’d always find the time to get it done.

But that same “drive” (compulsion), would also not let me rest nor allow me to enjoy the calm and order I created around me.

It was never enough, never good enough, never perfect.

I use the term “was” as if this is all in the past. It isn’t but it is different now than it used to be. I have my kids and my husband to “thank” for that.

Honestly though, eventually, I just couldn’t keep up. The house became ours rather than mine and no amount of compulsion will keep this beast organized and cleaned to my “C” standards. So I gave up in a way, but it still lives in me.

It likes to rear its ugly head usually when my hormones are raging or I’m under extra work pressure or I had a terrible sleep – all things that happen far too often.

The “C” (compulsion) aspect of OCD is different in all people. But for me, it is a dire need for order, cleanliness, tidiness, and perfect balance.

I can’t win at it anymore.

My school notes were a lot easier to control than a house full of people.

Work is another thing. The compulsion is alive and well there but that’s another story for another day.

The compulsion side of OCD is one that most of us identify with most easily. It is the basis for many a meme and many hands raised when asked to identify as a person with OCD.

It Isn’t a Quirk. It Is an Illness

The reality is, this would bother almost every single person on the planet.

Humans like order. We like things to be as expected. Even when we want chaos (as in art), we want it to be presented in a certain way.

This out-of-place cookie is not an OCD test. If it is, then I’d say it’s likely that OCD is not, in fact, a disorder at all but rather a natural human trait.

OCD is not a fun little quirk to be proud of. It is a very debilitating disorder that takes incredible strength and energy to live with.

I think it is great that we all can share a bond over our quirks and be able to laugh at the desire for order that we all share but there is potential for harm in doing so.

I am not certain that throwing terms like OCD around so casually is a good idea.

For me, a person that struggles with it, it actually devalues my struggle. It highlights for me the misunderstanding that exists in regards to what OCD really is.

I can’t make it stop. I can’t walk away from it.

I can’t just say “this triggers my OCD,” laugh, and carry on.

I will ruminate on that (whatever it is), until I either eventually work through it or enough time passes that I get distracted by something else and I am forced to let it go.

The Obsession Part of OCD

The “O” is what led to my diagnosis. I’m sure the “C” would have too had I ever talked to anyone about it. I didn’t.

I think I felt it was silly and seemed overdramatic and in all honesty, I thought I should be able to control it. I thought it was my fault. I didn’t understand.

Actually, let me rephrase that.

The “O” is what caused my complete breakdown, which led to my husband researching, which led to him finding an article which led to me talking to my therapist, which led to my diagnosis.

Thank God!

I had experienced a major trauma years ago. I was working through it with my therapist. I was working hard. I was doing all the right things. (Though in all honesty, it had been a long time coming, I should have reached out sooner.)

I couldn’t shake it. I couldn’t move on. I couldn’t be “normal.” I wasn’t functioning.

I would go to bed thinking about it and wake up thinking about it.

Everything on TV was a reminder. Everything I read I could draw a comparison.

It was everywhere. There was no escape. (There still isn’t but it’s getting better.) I was obsessing.

Now obsessing over a traumatic event is totally normal too, much like wanting the cookies to be lined up right.

BUT what isn’t “normal” is never, ever, ever being able to think about anything else no matter what. It ruled my life.

My obsessions were more than a compulsion. They were my brain, my heart, my breath, my life.

Every single day, I’d wake up hoping somehow I’d have a breakthrough moment – a switch would flip and I would forget (or at least forget to remember for 10 seconds). But it just couldn’t happen.

In an attempt to save my family from myself, I began to try to pretend to not obsess. I’d say I was doing much better.

I was hoping the idea would wear off on me. It did help a bit because I was forced to grin and bear it so I did find moments where my obsession would give up cause it knew it wasn’t winning my attention in this moment of this day. But that takes so much work, it isn’t sustainable.

I won’t go into the work I have done thus far that is working for me to help get through this. That would be a whole article in itself.

I will say though that with the help of awareness and a great therapist and a supportive partner, I am doing a lot better. I have hope.

The Disorder Part of OCD

So what about the “D” (disorder)?

Well, that part is easy. It is a “disorder.” Plain and simple.

That means it is “an abnormal physical or mental condition.”

It isn’t the usual. It isn’t the normal way of living. It isn’t how it should be.

It is, however, how it is for me.

In looking back on my life with the viewpoint I now have, one with an understanding of OCD and it’s complexities, I can see this has been a lifelong struggle for me.

I have the urge to jump back in time to a little 5-year-old me and give myself a hug and tell that little girl it’s OK.

I am sad for her. I wish she knew that she didn’t need to worry so much and that her brain was quite frankly being a bit of a bully.

I can’t go back.

But I can go forward.

Living with OCD

Having a diagnosis of OCD has changed my life. It has given me that hope.

In my cognitive behavioral therapy class, we have a saying:

“If you can name it, you can tame it.”

And I strongly believe that to be true. I know I will never live without OCD, but in knowing that I have OCD I can learn to live with it.

I hope that in some way my story has helped at least one person to maybe either realize they aren’t alone or maybe realize that OCD is different than maybe what they once thought it was.

Knowledge is key. It changed my life.

(Shout out to my husband and business partner, Dave Davies for his mad researching skills that got me to this place!)

More Resources:

Image Credits

In-Post Images #2-3: Provided by author

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Do You Think Smart Speakers Can Be Trusted?

One of the biggest trends right now in technology seems to be smart speakers, such as the Amazon Echo, the Google Home, and Apple’s HomePod. They can do and answer so much for us. But should we trust them?

They’re still an electronic device, and because you need to be able to converse with them, they have speakers and microphones. But that means potentially they can hear what you’re saying even when you’re not talking to them. Additionally, sometimes they may have unexpected situations, like with the HomePod, as it will allow just anyone to listen to your text messages.

We asked our writers, “Do you think smart speakers can be trusted?”

Our Opinion

Miguel answers not at all, as “anything with a microphone connected to the Internet presents an eavesdropping risk, whether the manufacturer intended it that way or not.”

Fabio agrees with Miguel and believes “the speakers will try to gather as much information on you as possible.” He wouldn’t have one near him unless it was absolutely necessary.

Phil agrees that while they do provide some benefits, “the cost of that is that you will very gradually over time let go of parts of your personal privacy.” He notes they have to listen all the time to be able to provide context for their answers to your questions. And if that info is out there, it can be stolen or used in an unsavory way.

Alex doubts that smart speakers are spying on users in a “Big Brother” type of way. He doesn’t think the current ones on the market do that, as “they would need to either transmit information every time someone speaks or record a massive amount of data and then upload gigs of data in spurts.” He doesn’t believe these devices have the technology that would be required to make long recordings, and they don’t upload large batches of data.

He supposes it would be possible for them to only listen for specific keywords and then upload just the data relating to that or create a summarized digest of conversations, but he doesn’t believe the current processing bandwidth would support that. The hardware in the Echo indicates that it only listens for “Alexa” or “Computer.” All that said, he admits that smart speakers do “creep me out a bit.”

Ryan understands the concern with regards to the “big-brother-is-watching-esque paranoia,” but he doesn’t really see an issue. With as much personal information as we give on a daily basis to Google, Facebook, and others, he finds it “hard to believe people are really afraid of their virtual assistants spying on them.” And if people are, he figures they’ve never read an end user agreement before.

I haven’t bought a smart speaker yet, but the reason I haven’t has nothing to do with not trusting them. I’m on my iPad all day long, and most things I would want available to me are anyway. But I tend to see it like Ryan. If someone wants my information badly enough, they already have the means to do so. That said, if I did have one, I’d be sure not to talk about certain things in front of it, such as financial information and account numbers and passwords, and I’d be sure to set it up so that there wouldn’t be incidentals, such as text messages being read by anybody who dares to ask for them.

Your Opinion

Do you have a smart speaker? Are you worried about your privacy when you’re speaking near it? Does the Big Brother aspect worry you or do you feel it’s not really a big deal?

Do you think smart speakers can be trusted?

Image credit: Google Home device in front of closed blinds

Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site’s sponsored review program.

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Honda Has Realized Its Ev Transition Plan May Not Be Good Enough

Honda has realized its EV transition plan may not be good enough

Honda is preparing to accelerate its EV roadmap, considering pulling forward the launch of new electric models after talk in Europe about much stricter regulations around internal combustion vehicles. Honda has so far been targeting 2040 for EVs making up its entire range, but freshly proposed rules in the European Union could make that unfeasible.

Revealed last week, the EU’s European Green Deal cranks up the pressure on anything that emits carbon dioxide, with transportation a particular focus. “The roadmap to our new target of at least -55% of greenhouse gas emissions until 2030,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said of the new rules. “We chose carbon pricing as a clear guiding and market-based instrument with a social compensation.”

While everything from air travel, haulage, and shipping are in the EU’s sights, for consumers it’s likely to be the cars they can buy which represent the biggest change. If the proposals are passed, newly-registered cars must reduce emissions by 55-percent – compared to 2023 – by 2030. By 2035, they must reduce emissions by 100-percent, effectively making every model sold a zero-emission vehicle.

Although not specifically framed as such, it’s basically a ban on internal combustion models. That the EU is weighing such a step isn’t new news to automakers, of course, but the timeline for the transition may be more aggressive than many were hoping for.

“If the rules change, we’ll have no choice but to respond,” Toshihiro Mibe, President and CEO of Honda Motor, said of the prospective EU regulations. The transition to electrification-only “could be expedited,” the exec added, Nikkei Asia reports.

“We’ll assess the suitability of our company’s electrification plan, and we’ll make adjustments if necessary,” the CEO said. Despite the scale of the EU, it’s actually only responsible for around 2-percent of Honda’s global automotive sales each year. Still, the automaker is seeing it as a weathervane for EV intentions more broadly.

“The regulations will become stricter by the day,” Mibe pointed out, flagging that Canada has also said it will ban sales of combustion engine-powered vehicles by 2025. “Of course, we won’t be able to do business if we don’t match international trends.”

Honda’s strategy for electrification includes both in-house development and partnerships. Its first all-electric SUV for the North American market will be the 2024 Prologue EV, and built atop GM’s Ultium platform as the two automakers collaborate on two models. The Prologue will be followed shortly after by a new, as-yet-unnamed Acura luxury SUV, also built atop Ultium technology.

However, Honda has also been developing its own platform, dubbed Honda e:Architecture. That won’t be ready until the second half of this decade, however, and is initially earmarked for the North American market. Broader sales of EVs based on the platform will follow.

It raises the question of just how rapidly Honda can accelerate its European EV offering. At the moment, the company only has one all-electric vehicle for sale in Europe, the Honda e; the compact urban car isn’t available in the US or Canada, where its range is believed to be uncompetitive. The automaker’s other European electrified options are all hybrids, potentially acceptable under the first transition step the EU is considering making mandatory, but certainly not for its 2035 goal.

Although Honda recently announced it would end sales of the Clarity Fuel Cell, its hydrogen-powered car, that doesn’t mean the automaker is giving up on fuel cell technology altogether. There’ll “definitely” be another hydrogen-based model, Mibe insists, despite lingering questions around factors like fueling infrastructure and just how green hydrogen power actually is.

Researchers Think 9/11 Gave First Responders Cancer—But Proving It Will Be Nearly Impossible

Every day for almost three years, a group of firefighters would travel from a clinic in Brooklyn to a laboratory in the Bronx, says Amit Verma, an oncologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. They had precious cargo in tow: blood samples collected from individuals serving in the Fire Department of the City of New York, many of whom were first responders to the World Trade Center attack on 9/11.

Once they arrived in the Bronx, New York City’s northernmost borough, Verma says, researcher Orsolya Giricz would purify and log them in a rapidly-growing blood bank. Over the coming days and weeks, other scientists, namely Ola Landgren at Memorial Sloan Kettering, would analyze the serums, looking for signs of cancer and other diseases lurking in the blood. What, the researchers wanted to know, was the physical effect of running not away from, but directly into, one of the largest urban rescue and recovery efforts in history?

In two articles published Thursday in the journal JAMA Oncology, cancer researchers and their collaborators in the New York City fire department lay out some of the initial results of this work. Both papers argue that first responders who worked at the World Trade Center site from Sept. 11, 2001 to July 25, 2002 (the day the site closed to recovery efforts) were exposed to unprecedented environmental toxins and, as a result, have increased risks of many types of cancer, including prostate and thyroid cancer, melanoma, and multiple myeloma.

But the results are not without controversy.

Research on the effects of environmental toxins at the World Trade Center to first responders have been ongoing since 2002. Deposit Photos

Firefighting is a dangerous profession. First responders aren’t merely exposed to acute risks like, well, fire. They’re also exposed at much higher rates than the average person to known and suspected carcinogens like polychlorinated biphenyl, or PCBs, released from leaks or fires in electrical equipment; dioxin, a dangerous byproduct of combustion; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, from melting plastics; and asbestos, from exposed (and burning) insulation, among other toxins.

On 9/11, every available firefighter in the greater New York City area rushed to the scene. In the immediate aftermath, an estimate 412 emergency responders died, including 343 firefighters. But according to the fire department, the deaths didn’t stop there. They continued quietly in the form of cancers and other illnesses. “The exposure [on 9/11] was so varied and included so much particulate matter… substances that can actually alter your DNA,” says Verma. “There was a cloud of dust over lower Manhattan for a long time.”

Previous studies have called attention to these risks, many led by David Prezant, the Chief Medical Officer of the Fire Department of the City of New York and a professor of pulmonary medicine at Albert Einstein College. On Sept. 12, 2002, just one year after the World Trade Center attack, where Prezant was among the first responders, he and his colleagues published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine on “Cough and Bronchial Responsiveness in Firefighters at the World Trade Center Site”. The last 16 years have been filled with subsequent publications, much of the recent work funded by the Zadroga Act, which gaurantees health evaluations and treatment services to 9/11 responders until the year 2090. Prezant’s team now hast one of the largest data banks on firefighters in the country.

“It’s been an incremental evolution. We’ve always done extensive [health] exams pre-hire,” he says. “They included chest x-rays, but not until 1996 did the pre-hire exams and the annual exams expand to include pulmonary function tests. And not until 9/11 did it expand to include blood banking, chest CT scans, and many of the things we’re looking at now.”

While early research focused on cardiopulmonary function—Prezant’s speciality and an area of great concern in the context of World Trade Center first response—the two studies published in JAMA Oncology are rather different. The first, led by Prezant, provides an estimate of future cancer burden among this population. The second, led by Verma, looks at this firefighting population’s rates of the blood cancer multiple myeloma specifically.

In the first study, researchers isolated a group of white male firefighters with a mean age around 50 who were at the World Trade Center site in the days and months after 9/11. They then compared their projected risk of cancer to average New Yorkers of the same race, gender, and age. The researchers report that among World Trade Center-exposed firefighters, one can expect a “modestly higher number” of cancers, specifically prostate, thyroid, and the skin cancer melanoma. “The [World Trade Center Health Program] must budget for appropriate resources, given the anticipated increase in cancer incidence,” the study concludes.

In the second study, Verma and his colleagues compared multiple myeloma and its precursors (non-cancerous cells that could be evidence of future disease) among their population to a sample of middle-aged white men in Olmsted County, Minnesota. They found that the rate of multiple myeloma precursors, specifically those correlated with a rare form of light-chain precursors, was elevated among World Trade Center responders compared to Minnesotan men who were demographically similar.

Taken together, the researchers say these papers will help the fire department treat existing diseases and plan for its future. “We are a true example of translational medicine here,” says Prezant. “We actually run the healthcare program for these firefighters. It’s not just a research effort. We need to prepare for the future.” But some experts aren’t so sure the future these studies envision will come to pass. Or that every cancer in the firefighting population can be assigned a cause.

In to the fire

It’s not just the fire or the risk of building collapse that can endanger first responders. It’s the smoke and the toxins in it.

In a JAMA Oncology editorial accompanying the two studies, Otis Brawley, the American Cancer Society’s Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, lays out a strongly-worded critique of the World Trade Center cancer research. “The WTC attack is an emotional subject. Cancer is also an emotional subject. There is a tendency to want to blame something for every diagnosed cancer,” he writes. “When these WTC heroes are diagnosed as having a cancer, even a cancer common in the population, there is a natural tendency to assume it is due to their service at the WTC.” But, Brawley essentially says, not so fast.

In addition to laying out concerns endemic to all epidemiological studies (the multiple myeloma study, for example, is centered on just 16 cases) and an increasingly common expression of concern about excessive cancer screenings, Brawley expressed concern about the emphasis on 9/11 itself. Research has shown that firefighters are at higher risk of many diseases, including multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and prostate and testicular cancers, simply due to the nature of their work. At least one study has also showed an increased risk of lung cancer with every fire a firefighter fought. As a result, comparing firefighters at the World Trade Center to non-firefighting New Yorkers or Minnesotans is fundamentally imperfect. “It would be preferable,” Brawley writes in his editorial, to compare these 9/11 responders to firefighters of the same age, race, and gender who were not at the site.

But that wasn’t possible, according to both Verma and Prezant. At least not at the time. There were, in short, essentially zero firefighters in the greater New York City area employed in the early 2000s who were not exposed to the World Trade Center site. While younger firefighters unexposed to World Trade Center dust have joined the department’s ranks, they cannot be used as a comparison population, because cancer studies like these must be adjusted for age. And, Prezant says, fire departments in other American cities are only now starting to assemble and share data that would be useful in a comparison study. (Data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which has published research on the health of 30,000 firefighters in Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, could be among the information utilized.)

“We don’t disagree with any of [Brawley’s] statements,” says Prezant, a statement echoed by Verma. But, Prezant argues, Brawley overlooked a few positives of the study, namely the high retention of firefighters (some 90 percent are still involved in this research) and the sheer depth of the New York City fire department’s data on its workers, before and after 9/11. In the future, Prezant says, he believes there will be opportunities to do the kind of intra-firefighter comparison Brawley and others desire.

Fire station

The New York City fire department, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and numerous other entities have focused their attention on firefighter health.

The two JAMA Oncology studies are now complete; they’ve wafted into the wider world. But the utility of the bank of New York City firefighter’s biological specimens, tucked inside a lab in New York City, will stretch far into the future, as the health risks to first responders—whether they were exposed to the World Trade Center site or not—are better studied and, hopefully, better managed.

“We take that risk,” Prezant says of the flames, smoke, and toxic chemicals his colleagues deal with on a regular basis. “We’re there to save lives.”

Is Verizon Not Working? Here’S What Could Be Happening

Update: April 21, 2023 (12:28 AM ET): Verizon customers across the US are reporting that their service is down. There are multiple complaints on Twitter saying that people are unable to make and receive calls. Some Verizon users are also unable to send text messages. The outage seems to have started around 4:50 PM ET on April 20. Since then, the service has been restored in some parts of the country. However, complaints are still pouring in on Twitter.

A Verizon spokesperson told Cnet that the company is aware of an issue impacting voice calls for some Verizon customers. “Our engineers are engaged and we are working quickly to identify and solve the issue,” they said.

Meanwhile, you can try restarting your phone and see if the service is back up for you. You can also read the article below to check if you are affected by the outage and follow the steps mentioned to try and resolve your problem.

Also read: These are the best phones for Verizon users

Editor’s note: All step-by-step instructions in this article were put together using a Pixel 4a running Android 11. Some of the settings and steps may be different depending on your device and software.

Is there a Verizon outage?

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

While rare, Verizon outages happen. Most are local, but nationwide service downtimes are possible too. This is likely the first thing you want to check for if your Verizon service suddenly stops working.

The first place to check is Verizon’s website. Just sign into My Verizon, and the carrier will have a notification or alert for you at the top of the page. This is, of course, if the company has any knowledge you’re affected by a Verizon outage. You dig deeper into the issue by opening a chat window and entering “network outage.”

A great alternative is the website chúng tôi The site tracks consumer reports and will let you know if you’re not the only one dealing with Verizon not working. It even has a map that shows localized outages.

More: The best mobile phone plans for every type of user

Confirm the line is active Are you within the coverage area?

Make sure airplane mode isn’t on!

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

It may sound like a silly suggestion, but accidentally turning on airplane mode is a very common mistake. It doesn’t hurt to check!

How to turn airplane mode on/off:

Open the Settings app.

Go to Network & internet.

There’s an Airplane mode section with a toggle next to it. You can use said toggle to turn the mode on or off.

Is your mobile data turned on?

There is an option to turn off mobile data in the settings. Sometimes users can accidentally turn off internet access. Or maybe you lent the phone to a kid and he dug too deep into the options! Make sure your mobile data connection is on, just in case.

How to turn on mobile data:

Open the Settings app.

Go to Network & internet.

Tap on Mobile network.

You’ll see a Mobile data section with a toggle to its right. Turn it on.

You can also turn on the Roaming option here. It might get you connected if you are outside your coverage area or outside of the country.

Check the APN

Open the Settings app.

Go to Network & internet.

Tap on Mobile network.

Hit Advanced.

Select Access Point Names.

Tap on the three-dot menu button on the top-right corner.

Select New APN. (You might also want to try Reset to default first, just in case something happened to your previous settings).

Edit the following information:

Name: Verizon

APN: vzwinternet

MMS Port: 80

MCC: 310

MNC:12

APN Type: internet+mms

Tap the three-dot menu button and hit Save.

Related: How to unlock a Verizon phone

Reset your network settings

Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Sometimes we mess around too much with the settings and don’t know how to get everything back to normal. Like mentioned before, it could have been that you mistakenly changed something. Whatever the case may be, resetting your network settings to their defaults may be a worthy method to try when you’re having issues with Verizon not working. It might get everything back to normal.

How to reset your network settings:

Open the Settings app.

Go to System.

Select Reset options.

Tap on Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth.

Select Reset settings.

Enter your PIN.

Update your smartphone

Open the Settings app.

Go to System.

Hit Advanced.

Select System update.

Tap on Check for updates.

Follow instructions if you have an available update.

Next: Here’s everything you need to know about Verizon prepaid

Check your SIM card

The SIM card can be a very common culprit when you think there is a Verizon outage. These tiny chips can move around, lose contact with the pins, or sometimes even get dirty or damaged.

Take out the SIM card and see if there is any apparent damage or dirt in it. When you reinstall it, ensure all the pins align well, and the SIM card fits snugly. If it feels loose, it might be that you don’t have the right size for the phone. You could try looking for an adapter.

Get help!

If there is no Verizon outage and none of these fixes work, then it might be time to go get some help. The easiest way to do this is by physically going to a Verizon store. You probably already know where your local one is, but Verizon has a store locator, in case you don’t.

Verizon also has a Support website with plenty of articles, as well as a link to their chat service and contact hub.

What Is Tiktokand Should You Trust It

Ok, it’s no secret that TikTok followers are incredibly hard to come by. Especially once you get past your friends and family. Getting strangers to follow you on the social media app takes hard work and a lot of patience. To meet this demand, a number of sites have popped up that claim to boost your follower count.

One such site is TikTok chúng tôi But how legit is it? Should you trust it? Here is everything you need to know about it.

TikTok chúng tôi is a website that offers TikTok creators what they dream of; up to 50,000 followers. The site claims to be able to hack the TikTok database to secretly add the followers to your account.

This is not the first website to offer such services. In fact, ever so often, new websites pop up that claim to do almost the exact same thing. It looks like these sites are preying on people’s troubles by giving them a quick solution. A lot of time and effort goes into creating an organic followers base, so naturally, people are attracted by tales of free followers when they hear them.

TikTok chúng tôi claims to be able to add up to 50,000 followers within a span of five minutes. The site even offers you a choice between 1000, 5000, 10000, 25000, and 50000 followers. Although, why anyone would opt for fewer followers, doesn’t really make sense. The main kicker is that the website offers all its services for free! But how legit is that claim? And will they even deliver on their promise? Let’s find out.

Is TikTok chúng tôi legit?

Well, no. TikTok chúng tôi does not look very legit as far as we can tell. In fact, it seems to emulate just about every single website that claims to offer free followers (it’s weird). Neither does the site deliver on its promise, nor is the site itself safe. Our antivirus picked up sixteen trackers on the website. Of course, this is not uncommon, but in this case, the website is empty, and simply redirects you to use it on a phone instead.

When you access the site on a phone browser, you are asked to input your TikTok username. There is no option to confirm that it actually is your account, which immediately raises red flags.

As great as it would be, nothing is for free

TikTok chúng tôi does not deliver on its promise of free followers. In fact, it does not deliver anything. We went ahead and gave it a try so that you don’t have to. Here is what we found when we accessed the website from a mobile browser.

Once you do that, a lot of fanfare ensues of the website attempting to ‘hack’ the TikTok user base. It then shows you that the website is transferring your followers. But suddenly, oops, the server is overloaded and you have to ‘manually’ add the followers by taking a few surveys.

However, no matter how many surveys you take, they just keep telling you to take more.

Should you risk it?

Well, we wouldn’t get our hopes up. There is no ‘secret hack’ to get free followers on TikTok. While some sites do in fact sell followers, these are always bots and not organic followers. Bot followers never interact with your content. Besides, you run the huge risk of getting your account shadowbanned, since it goes against TikTok’s Community Guidelines.

The best thing to do is to slowly build your follower base with organic followers. This not only ensures the safety of your account, but it will also increase your visibility on the app.

How to increase your follower count on TikTok

Here are some tips to increase your follower count on TikTok.

Be consistent in terms of content: You TikTok followers follow you for your own personal brand of content. Consistency in your content is a great way to build your followers

Don’t leave gaps: People stay on the TikTok app for hours a day. This means that they need new content to watch continuously. So why not give the audience what it needs right? If you leave too long a gap between your posts, you run the risk of your followers unfollowing you.

Use relative hashtags: Like Instagram, hashtags act as search engines on TikTok, helping users compile a list of similar content. Using relative hashtags will help your content appear for the users that are actually looking for similar content. This increases your chances of getting more followers.

Promote cross-platform: If you have accounts on different social media platforms (like every person in the world), you can promote your TikTok account by posting on them. TikTok even lets you link your Instagram account to directly post content there!

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