If you think about it, social media is like a game of telephone — and although “ciusism” may be the word of the day on many platforms, none of us really know what it means. If you type the word into your search bar, Google may suggest that you meant to type “criticism” or “cynicism,” but the truth is, you’re just one of many in the world today who are searching for a word that may not even exist.
Since the word recently surfaced on TikTok, social media users are dying to know: What is the definition of ciusism and why is it suddenly a thing?
So, what does ciusism mean?
While you may have begun your Google search hoping to find the meaning of the word that is appearing on everyone’s social media feed, we are sad to tell you that the word “ciusism” has no concrete definition, but there is an explanation for how the word was born.
On Feb. 1, what started out as a social experiment by TikTok user @gadonkoze, or Waceline Cius, quickly spread like wildfire across the internet when Waceline asked viewers to comment “ciusism” — a word coined to be synonymous with self-care and self-acceptance — in the comment section of posts that appear on their “For You” page with no explanation.
“This is an experiment. You can either interact with this video, or you can leave,” Waceline said before taking a brief pause. “Oh, you’re a curious one. Careful with that, I wouldn’t want you to be led astray. Speaking of being led, in the next video that comes up, I want you to comment ‘ciusism’ with no explanation. Let’s see how far this travels.”
After the word gradually began to flood TikTok, inevitably, social media erupted with confusion. One user wrote, “Guys what is ciusism did I just sell my soul to a TikTok,” while another said, “This whole ‘ciusism’ thing tells me that I would accidentally join a cult no questions asked.”
Although the TikTok user hasn’t given a formal explanation of the word’s inception, it’s clear that the term originated from her last name which also serves as the name of her business, Cius Photography.
While some social media users have chosen to join in on the social experiment, others, who are unaware of the trend and have not seen the video, appear to be terrified. TikTok user Countavil commented on the video, “Needless to say I got a bunch of these comments and it scared me since there was no meaning, I deleted them. Thought I was going to die.”
The video, which feels like a strange form of hypnosis, has now garnered more than one million views, proving to be a successful social experiment indeed. Regardless of the mysterious word’s meaning, Wacaline proved that the power of social media influence is unmatched. Another user commented, “This is a genius way to demonstrate how dangerous and influential social media can be. [People] really just do things cause everyone else does them.”