‘Guilt tipping’ pressure takes a hit in viral video: ‘So awkward’

A woman has resparked the debate over digital tipping etiquette in a TikTok video that’s now gone viral.

In the clip, TikTok user Aubrey Grace acts out a scenario many of us have experienced — the immense (and awkward) pressure that comes when you’re asked to tip using an iPad.

Grace acted out the familiar scene with a friend, pretending to be a barista asking a customer to pay for their drink.

“The iced chai will be $6.49. Enter your card and it’ll ask you just a few little prompts here,” she says in the video, turning the iPad around to show a screen with options to tip 15%, 20%, 25% or a custom amount — or no tip at all.

The overlay on the screen reads: “the pressure to tip” as the woman pretending to be the “customer” then hovers over the options as the “barista” closely watches her wavering finger.

Many users agreed that digital tipping was awkward and pressured them into doing it.

“The awkward moment when they can see what you’re tipping,” Grace captions the video.

The video has garnered over 1.7 million views, with thousands of people agreeing it’s an awkward position they’ve found themselves in before.

“I used to feel so awkward but now I just hit the ‘no tip’ and walk away,” one person commented on the video.

“Been on both ends of this situation, it’s awkward either way,” added another.

“Unfortunately about 60% of my paycheck is from those tips so it does actually affect us a lot,” one user pointed out.

Research shows that digital tipping options typically result in customers leaving a tip ranging from 18% to 30% — and sometimes even higher — but some say they refuse to tip for self-serve experiences, which they’ve labeled “guilt tipping.”

It’s not the first time the digital tipping prompt has come under fire on TikTok, with users regularly making fun of being asked to tip at self-serve restaurants or sometimes even clothing stores.

“Tip for waiting in line placing the order myself paying myself and picking up the order myself? Yeah I think not,” one user declared, adding tips are for “waiters and drivers.”

Others say people should shame companies, not the people feeling uncomfortable over tipping.

“Imagine shaming people for not tipping, but not shaming companies for underpaid labor,” a user wrote, while others agreed.

“The sucky thing is, companies should be paying their employees more,” another added. “Instead baristas have to rely on tips to earn a living wage. So yes, please tip.”

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