A popular content creator known as Ms. Rachel said she is taking a break from TikTok for her mental health after receiving “hurtful videos and comments” on the app.
Rachel Griffin Accurso became known for her “Songs for Littles” YouTube channel, where she sings educational children’s songs and has amassed more than 3 million followers and garnered more than 1,780,000,000 views.
But this week, when Accurso posted a video of herself singing on her TikTok, the song was about leaving the app for her mental health. “Hurtful videos and comments, no matter how much attention they get, will not bring you want you want. Only love can do that,” she wrote in the caption to the video.
Last month, she posted a video of herself “skipping away from mean emails,” saying “hurt people hurt people.”
The break from TikTok comes after Accurso and her “Songs for Littles” co-star, Jules, who uses they/them pronouns, started receiving backlash online last month.
One TikTok user, who describes herself as a traditional mother, declared in a video that she had to stop watching because Ms. Rachel introduced they/them pronouns.
The mother also called out Jules, a singer-songwriter who also performs children’s songs online, for posting a video about an upcoming surgery they were receiving as a way to teach kids about bravery. Jules did not mention the type of surgery in the video, nor their gender or pronouns, but some commenters condemned the video. Many others, however, said there was nothing wrong about it.
In a TikTok video posted on Thursday, Jules said they wanted to address the elephant in the room “by teaching kids about love and acceptance.”
“Kids around us, they are absorbing and [looking] to us for our responses, how we react, how we treat others. They remember what we say and what we believe and it can either bring them closer to us, to share their truest selves with us or push them away,” they wrote in the caption.
Most of the comments on both Accurso and Jules’ videos have been positive. “I fully support. Protect your peace,” one person commented on Accurso’s video about the social media break.
“We love RACHEL and JULES!!!!” another wrote.
“In this household, we love and accept EVERYBODY. I’m sorry you’re experiencing this Jules! Thank you for being you and all you do!!!” a TikTok user commented on Jules’ video.
“Our kids will continue to watch and enjoy Ms Rachel & her Crew,” another wrote.
CBS News has reached out to Accurso and a representative for “Songs for Littles” for comment from Accurso and Jules and is awaiting response.
Several recent studies have uncovered the harmful impacts of social media on mental health. Scrolling social media can distract you from priorities, make you feel bad and can make you compare yourself with others online.
“When we are feeling bombarded with posts, comments or conversations that are not in alignment with our morals or values, that can negatively affect our emotional well-being,” Melissa Dowd, licensed marriage and family therapist, told CBS News.
“While it can be fun and inspiring to follow along on others’ journeys, it can also lead to harsh comparisons and feelings of shame or inadequacy,” she said.