Why I love Tik Tok as a millenial
A year ago, I downloaded Tik Tok out of curiosity, just to see what the hell was that app everyone was talking about. And I found myself completely lost, I didn’t understand it at all. Why do people enjoy scrolling though all those videos? Where do I find the menu? There are no photos here? I felt like floating in an unknown space.
Is this an app made for teenagers and not for me, a 29 years old millenial? I asked myself. I have to admit, I consider myself a little “snob”, I have the bad habit of being against all trends, so all the music trends and dance challenges did not help at all. However, fortunately (or not) I’m also a curious person so I decided to give this app a try.
I’ve been working in advertising for 7 years now, I have worked with Social Media since Facebook was the king of advertising. When Snapchat started, we thought that it wouldn’t work, and then Instagram launched the stories format and we had to shut up. At first, I had the same feeling with Tik Tok, but time proved me wrong.
Then, the covid pandemic started, we had to stay at home, and everything on my social media was either productive stuff or bad news about how the pandemic was growing. So I found that all my comfort apps failed me, I didn’t want to open Instagram and see how I wasn’t productive and that making me guilty. I didn’t want to open Twitter neither and check how the world was falling apart. That’s when I started to fall in love with Tik Tok.
I started scrolling, liking videos and making comments, and my FYP (for you page) started changing. Suddenly it wasn’t all about teenagers dancing and music challenges, suddenly it began to look like me.
What I found and why I’m falling in love with this app
The first thing I learned about Tik Tok was that there are several Tik Tok. Let me explain, depending on your activity the algorithm will show you videos that match with you, so if you are looking for recipes and where to eat dinner, it will show you more and more foodie videos. Therefore, you will be on the “Foodietok”, the foodie side of Tik Tok. I discovered this recently, and I’m doing my research about it.
A lot of people say there are two big Tik Tok communities: Straight tik tok or Alt Tik Tok. The straight side would have all the popular videos (I guess the ones I hated when I downloaded the app), and the Alt side would be like the opposite of this. On the Alt side, you’ll find jokes and parodies about the straight one, critics about it, or just videos you’ll never find there. I find this side very much interesting and, obviously, that’s the side I’m in.
But there’s more, I found this article about 13 sides of Tik Tok, from the Foodietok to the Queer Tik Tok or the Mental Health Tik Tok, there’s even a Frogtok (don’t ask me about it). Maybe there are more than 13, honestly, I don’t know, but I think it is amazing.
I found here people who are not afraid of telling how they feel, of talking about their traumas, or giving good advice. I find a community supporting each other, it doesn’t matter where you live or how you are. Yesterday I saw this video of someone asking just for support because she felt really bad, and all the comments were so kind and amazing. I also find very talented people, I honestly laugh more watching this app than with a lot of stand up comedians.
I see a great place for people to find a community and not feel alone or misunderstood, a place to create freely and feel connected. I’m writing this because in these weird times we are living, I found a comfort place here, and now I can say, proudly, that I was very wrong in judging this app at first.
I don’t want to get old and be one of those adults that says “this is for the kids, I don’t understand this” and never try to understand the youngest generations. We can always learn new things and, yes, younger generations can teach us. And, more importantly, we can have a community even though we have to stay home.