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A new behaviour trend that is sweeping social media has been called out for being “toxic” and “selfish” – but could you be doing it without even realising?

What started out as a simple soup recipe has morphed into a heated online debate over a certain “toxic” behaviour that many are guilty of committing online.

TikTok user Kara took to the platform last month to share an easy recipe for her delicious bean soup, which she said would be a great dish to help those who were also struggling with an iron deficiency.

“All my anaemic girlies, this one is for you,” she wrote in the caption.

The clip rapidly blew up, raking in almost 8 million views since it was posted in late August.

While many users thanked her for the wonderful idea for a quick meal, there was a barrage of others who complained on her video that they “hated beans” and asked what they could use instead of beans in the bean soup.

'What about me' trend sweeping social media

The drama was swiftly picked up by others who pointed out the “ridiculousness” of their requests and highlighted how this kind of behaviour represents the “selfish” nature of some people in the modern world.

One content creator named Sarah Lockwood dubbed this the ‘What About Me?’ effect, with her response going viral on the platform.

“I’m going to talk to you guys about something I’ve decided to call, the ‘What About Me?’ effect,” she began the clip, which has since attracted 4.5 million views since being posted last month.

In something of a missed opportunity, she did not include Australian Idol star Shannon Noll’s 2004 hit ‘What About Me’ in the background of the clip.

“It basically combines individualistic culture with being chronically online, and it is rampant on TikTok.

“I feel like it is very easy to write it off as a lack of common sense or critical thinking, but I don’t think it’s that.”

“The ‘What About Me?’ effect is when someone sees something that doesn’t really pertain to them, or they can’t fully relate to, and they find a way to make it about them.

“Or, they try to seek out certain accommodations for their very nuanced personalised situation, instead of recognising that they are just not the target audience for that thing.”

Sarah then references the bean soup video that Kara had posted and explains how the response to that clip is a perfect example of the effect.

“It’s called bean soup, and she got all of these comments being like ‘well, what do I do if I don’t like beans?’, ‘How do I make this without the beans?’ and ‘Can you substitute the beans?’

“Instead of just saying, hey if I don’t like beans, maybe I should watch this bean soup video. Again, it could be brushed off as a lack of common sense, but I don’t think it is that.

“I think it is this individualistic culture that we have created in the United States and maybe elsewhere. I live in the US and see it running rampant here.”

“We make everything about ourselves, and seek out accommodations for everything and validation for everything.”

She delves into another example of when a bald person becomes infuriated over hairdressing clips online.

“We make everything about ourselves, and seek out accommodations for everything and validation for everything,” she adds.

“I am talking about, when I sit down after a long day, and I come on to God’s internet, and I see videos that are like ‘here is how to put your hair up into a really cute hairstyle’ and someone comments and asks ‘What if I’m bald?’

“Imagine if I had a gluten intolerance, and I went on every single video of someone baking bread, and I was like ‘well I can’t have gluten’. That would be ridiculous.

“Remember that things are nuanced. Not everything can apply to every single person and there doesn’t always need to be a specific accommodation for you.”

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By Rahul

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