A study showed where Americans first turn to when they need to learn about health topics. According to their results, one in five Americans prioritised TikTok over seeing a doctor.
The study itself was conducted by CharityRx, a discount service at select pharmacies. It was also based on a sample of 2,000 U.S. adults—including Americans of different age groups: Gen Zs, Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers.
In general, 65% of Americans surveyed used Google first before consulting their doctor, 33% of Americans go to YouTube first, and one in five Americans prioritise TikTok over other sources. Delving deeper into age groups, 44% of Generation Z respondents turn to YouTube and 33% to TikTok. Compared to the older generation, they are less inclined to consult Google first, as only 27% of them do so.
Older generations, instead, are more likely to head to Google. This includes 32% of Millennials, 36% of Generation X, and 36% of Baby Boomers. Meanwhile, 39% of Millennials, 30% of Gen Xers, and 21% of Baby Boomers go to YouTube. And when it comes to TikTok, it’s preferred by 26% of Millennials, 14% of Gen X, and 4% of Baby Boomers.
CharityRx also revealed 55% of those surveyed cite medical accreditation or certification as the reason they trust creators on social networks. 40% say the influencers’ years of experience are a factor, 26% mention relatability to a shared experience, and 22% believe that the fact they healed from a certain condition makes them credible.
Additionally, the healthcare system in America is also notoriously expensive, as a 2017 survey of the healthcare systems of 11 developed countries found the U.S. healthcare system to be the “most expensive and worst-performing“. However, Americans say that they trust influencers and celebrities far less than doctors—with just 17% saying the contrary.
In July, we reported that Google’s internal data revealed nearly half of Gen Z users prefer to use TikTok (and even Instagram) for internet searches instead of Google Search and Maps. Depending on TikTok for information is pretty dangerous—because viral videos can often come with misinformation.