Being a Millennial has never been easy. When we were the youngest generation, we were the go-to insult for Boomers and Gen-Xers alike. Lazy. Weird. Undependable. If you didn't know better, you'd think we did nothing but walk around demanding a trophy for this, or an explanation for that. “Why does a house cost 75X what I'm willing to pay you a year? It's just so like you Millennials to ask dumb questions."
From Gen-Xers to Millennials
Like the previously-maligned Gen-Xers before us, we hoped that the birth of the next generation would take some of the pressure off. But it didn’t. As it turns out, those snarky Centennials (or Gen-Zers, if you prefer) emerged more than ready to join in our mockery. More progressive and digitally-savvy than us, they were quick to scorn our haircuts, clothing, and inability to fully-grasp technology that had only been released minutes before.
Then came COVID-19. From a generational aspect, the pandemic has been a great equalizer. Not only are we all suffering the same consequences, but being stuck indoors with nothing to do has caused a significant amount of bleed-over in our interests. Some of us have taken up elderly hobbies like knitting, while others, like me, have decided to see what the kiddies are into.
Welcome to No Attention Span Land
And though I doubt any of those USB-goblin Gen-Zers looked up from their screens long enough to notice my arrival, my own personal foray into inter-generational entertainment came in the form of my joining TikTok.
If you don't know, this lightning-quick video-sharing platform is definitely designed for the split-second Centennial attention span. Still, I quickly found there was a lot to love about it. Moreover, I soon discovered that the powerful TikTok algorithm was just as good at carving out an entertainment niche for me as it was for my generational next-door neighbors.
You see, there is more to TikTok than just weird lip-syncing videos performed by tweens with multi-colored hair. There are also comedy sketches, DIY and craft videos, and even clips you might call downright "informative." And thanks to the simple "like" or "don't like" system (lovingly powered by "hearts"), it doesn't take long for you to dial in a feed that perfectly suits what you want from the app.
For instance, you might not be down with the “Throw it Challenge,” a game in which teens stand in a circle and toss objects in the air, eliminating whoever it hits. However, you might be interested in more Millennial-oriented weirdness, such as Goblincore. This is the appreciation for and/or collection of grasses, fungi, skulls, hollowed-out trees, and dirt. So if the LOTR character you most identify with is Gollum, #Goblincore is just what you're looking for.
And where Centennials love the "Hit or Miss Challenge," where they attempt to seek each other out in public by screaming "Hit or Miss!" in crowded places, you're 29-year-boyfriend might not appreciate the attention. Instead, you can seek out cocktail recipes, snack ideas, and even entire dinner concepts. In fact, TikTok is highly-regarded for its food content, and chefs have evolved into some of the platform’s top creators.
Can you learn to be Weird But Cool from TikTok?
Not sure if your boss is going to give you that big promotion if you follow the "Fox Eyebrow Challenge," otherwise known as shaving half your eyebrows off and then drawing them back on? Why don't you instead check out the hundreds of beauty and fashion influencers who have made TikTok their home? From new hairstyles to makeup trends to new outfit ideas, there's plenty of ways to use the platform to enhance yourself (not turn your face into the office joke).
You see, whether you're looking for something that fits your particular brand of "weird," your ever-evolving palate, or your desire to look your best – there's plenty on stuff on TikTok that's perfectly suited to our Millennial tastes. Personally, I'm a huge fan of the arts and crafts hashtags, which have given me tons of ideas for making my office and living room spaces more my own. Still, that doesn't mean I don't dip into the trending hashtags now and again. After all, we Millennials have never been the type to back down from a challenge (no matter how dumb).
So if you’re over 25, but find yourself becoming very “Tok-Curious” in these trying times, don’t be afraid! There’s plenty of content for everyone to enjoy. Who knows? You might find out you have more in common with your tween niece than your lawyer older brother. Wouldn't that make for interesting family conversation?
Josh from Exolyt
This article is written by Josh, who works at Exolyt as a Senior Social Media Consultant. Josh helps influencers, marketers and content creators to improve their engagement and take the most out of their accounts.