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Viral TikTok from Maine sparks heated debate over digital tipping

One of my best friends, Wade Light, the owner of the travel agency Light Travels, recently posted a video on TikTok. The video went viral and sparked a lot of opinions and debates.
In the video, Wade recorded Gelato Fiasco in Old Port, Maine, collecting tips through a digital machine. The TikTok post quickly garnered a huge amount of strong opinions and widespread attention.

The video currently has almost 1 million views and thousands of likes and comments.

@light_travels The new digital way to tip! #tips #digital ♬ Original sound – Light Travels

It shows an unconventional method of soliciting tips, sparking a debate. It's a modern practice that's gaining momentum. Many TikTok commenters have posted different reactions.

Some praised how easy and convenient it was, while others criticized how unnecessary it was. This is a growing trend and reflects the ever-changing attitudes and practices towards tipping culture. This has become a heated debate, and it's even more so since establishments have adopted digital tipping.

Responding to the viral attention, Wade explains:

“I'm so excited to share that a video I made about the increasing demand for tips and the new digital tipping methods has gone viral! The video resonated with many viewers and sparked a lively discussion about the evolving landscape of tipping culture in our society. Thank you to everyone who watched, shared, and contributed to the discussion!”

How should you handle digital tipping these days? If you don't tip, will employees think less of you? If you do tip, will you tip double because your first purchase might have been enough?

The popularity of the video highlights the shift in tipping, technology and consumer behavior. Technology is changing norms and many of us are unsure how to handle it.

One commentator highlighted the following:

“I think the government needs to pass a law that requires everyone to have a living wage so that we don't have to tip because we're paying their wages while the worker saves the money to buy their jet.”

Sometimes I even get confused about digital tipping, technical cues, payment machines, mobile apps, and those damn QR codes. Don't even get me started on QR codes.

Some people argue that this is a normal development and helps make things more convenient and faster, but the pressure to do something is real.

What do you think?

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