TikTok popularity irrefutably correlated with U.S. unemployment claims
What the scientific model means for you, your loved ones, and our national security
Economists strive to form meaningful connections across socioeconomic indicators. Quantitative techniques from difference-in-differences estimation to the method of instrumental variables comprise this coveted realm of econometrics, weaving sense into our complex world.
Wielding the statistical powers vested in me by the impressive likes of Professors Joshua Angrist and Abhijit Banerjee, I’ve concluded an incontrovertible correlation between initial weekly U.S. unemployment claims and the popularity of TikTok.
Reaching this conclusion required extensive investigation, as TikTok does not report on annual output nor provide malleable data tables for marginal user fluctuation. But finally, by running a linear regression of the logarithm of the relative volume of Google searches for Tiktok per week against that same week’s NSA-reported novel initial unemployment claims, a correlation once backed by instinct is now grounded as a statistical gospel.
Additionally, my two and a half years and singular virtual month of elite collegiate practice has enabled me to confirm the existence of a positive feedback loop. This spectacular natural phenomenon occurs when the product of a reaction leads to an increase in that reaction. As we increase the log of Google search interest in TikToks, we see an irrefutable rise in initial unemployment claims as reported on a weekly basis by the NSA. Similarly, the more initial claims accounted for, the greater relative interest in TikTok Google Trends reports.
We economists, of course, must always demonstrate constant vigilance in the face of distortive omitted variable bias. Omitted variables are those which contribute to our estimated effects, but which go unaccounted for by our statistical model. If not accounted for by control variables, they can bias our model in one direction or another, distorting our results with their overlooked influence.
As only an aspiring economist, I would ordinarily turn to my world-renowned MIT professors: an impressive class ranging from Ivy League graduates to Nobel laureates. Due to the current global pandemic, however, I realize that these elite academics already have enough on their plates, and that the morally responsible path forward is to individually and senselessly follow my own natural instinct. In the case of nationwide TikTok popularity and weekly initial unemployment claims, I have thus concluded that no omitted variables can possibly exist, and that this is a direct, perfect, and indisputable correlation.
These conclusions must leave you with burning questions. What does this mean for you, your health, and the health of your family? What does this mean for U.S. national security, and the future society we leave to our children and grandchildren?
Have no fear. You’re asking the right questions, and bold statistical models are here to comfort you with pragmatic answers.
Business-as-usual, we know, would spell certain disaster. As a result of the natural exponential rise in the video app’s recent popularity, as well as our indisputable discovery of the two variables’ positive feedback loop, watching more and more TikToks would inevitably result in 100% nationwide unemployment. But ignoring TikToks, as we’ve all tried and failed to do, would easily lead to a decrease in overall nationwide health, especially in light of recent social isolation mandates.
Luckily, there’s a path forward. If we want to continue getting our daily dose of TikTok without spiking its measured popularity and thus nationwide unemployment, we have to take our appreciation for these short video masterpieces offline. This entails downloading every TikTok ever made onto local drives and deleting the application from our phones forever.
We understand that this will be an incredibly difficult task for many Americans, and that lack of wireless bandwidth as we struggle to make this transition as a country will result in mass oversaturation of mental health hotlines. But this is the only way forward to preserve both our country’s economy and our enjoyment of the wonders of TikTok.
If you love your country, clear space on your hard drive and download every TikTok ever made as soon as possible. The entire U.S. economy depends on you. Every American is in this together. Statistics never lie. This is your Vietnam. Godspeed.