My first “TikTok made me buy it” moment arrived six months into the pandemic. It was a pair of high-waisted black pleather pants from Aritzia that stylish, skinny women on my For You page kept raving about. The style was called the Wilfred Melina. In pre-Covid times, I knew exactly what I would’ve done before committing to the pants: Head to the closest Aritzia store in SoHo and try on pairs in various sizes. But stuck at home, buying the pants on impulse was my only option. Swiping out of the TikTok app, logging onto the Aritzia site, and pasting in my credit card information, I had just a few moments to dwell on my need for new pants.
Unfortunately, social media platforms want to eradicate those five precious minutes of deliberation. The pandemic has already upended our usual shopping habits, accelerating the sad but inevitable collapse of