Can you be TOO OLD for Tiktok?
Ask any Gen Z or Millennial and they will immediately shout Stay Off !!! Stick to Facebook you Boomers. But let me tell you my experience as an over 40 using the Tiktok app.
I have always tried to stay up to date with technology and trending social media. I truly believe it is a great way to stay young at heart and to ensure you don’t lose connection with what your kids are up to.
Our daughter Miss 9, had been asking to get Tiktok. There were other kids at school who had accounts and apparently it was the cool thing to do. So off I went to check it out and what I found surprised me in more ways than one!
What is Tiktok you may ask?
TikTok is a social network for sharing user-generated videos, mostly of people lip-synching to popular songs. Users can create and upload their own videos where they lip-synch, sing, dance, or just talk. You can also browse and interact with other users’ content, which covers a wide range of topics, songs, and styles
Initially, I found the platform to be very entertaining. I literally found myself laughing out loud (or LOL for the youngsters) within watching the first few videos.
I had found my tribe!
- Sarcasm – Check
- Over the top acting – Check
- Catchy Music – Check
- Smart Ass sayings- Check
- People highlighting everyday issues – Check
- Regular people dancing poorly – Check
It was totally up my alley and I immediately watched it non stop. However…… it was NOT child friendly.
Swearing (heaps and heaps of it), sexual innuendo, provocative dancing, and adult themes. And of course a lot of “perfect” girls that make you feel bad and ask yourself why you look like Yoda with a hangover compared to them.
I had to explain to my daughter that she was not allowed to download the app on her phone. Which is is my ancient Samsung Galaxy which basically is a glorified tablet and only works on the home wi-fi). This was met with the obligatory cries of “Mum everyone else has it”, “I am going to be left out” and my personal favourite “You don’t understand!”.
Did I Just Get Called A Boomer?
So I gave it a few more weeks and watched the app regularly (just for research of course) and even started making a few videos to see how it all worked. Which by the way was very confusing at the start. It is quite a complicated app for us “oldies”.
After uploading my first video, I got a couple of likes and felt like a million dollars and then got my first comment. And let’s just say the comment was not exactly what I was expecting. I got a BOOMER comment……yes I got called a FRIGGEN BOOMER!!
Well, I immediately lost my mind and wanted to tell the little shit (who looked like a 12-year-old) to google boomer and apologise. However, being the more mature person (in theory) I just let it slide and kept scrolling.
I continued creating more videos and had some hits and misses. After all, you cannot be funny every time and the algorithm is really hard to figure out. But I gained confidence and followers and was having a fat old time.
My Most Popular Video
I even hit over 360,000 views on the easiest one I created and have over 40,000 likes and 200 comments!! See below for how simple it was, I was even wearing my pj’s and no makeup!
What I Like About Tiktok
The thing I really like about it is, you can spend 3 mins making one or 3 hours depending on how much effort you want to put in. I only use my phone camera and a tripod that I have had for years.
As I got more experienced, I created this one with costume changes and a long script. It is one of my favourite skits. So when I saw they had the sound byte for it, I lost my mind and had to recreate immediately!
Anyway, my obsession with Tiktok continued and I made more and more videos. I learned so cool tricks and shortcuts courtesy of Youtube and Google (which I will share in a future blog). However, this did not solve the problem of what to do with my daughter.
The Agreement I Made With Our 9 Year Old
As I got used to the app I saw that you could have a Family Paring account. Intrigued I Googled and saw that it is a good way to introduce Tiktok to kids without them being exposed to the big scary world of seeing it in full. It allows you to control the settings and have access to their account so you can monitor what they are uploading and doing.
So I made a compromise with Miss 9 and said how about we try the Family Paring account and see if that works. I laid down VERY STRICT rules, which included
- Not allowed to scroll or watch the FYP (For You Page Feed where they suggest content based on your likes and comments)
- No uploading videos showing your face or voice (she is only allowed to upload videos with music – which I have first approved – and use Star Stable videos clips)
- Privacy setting must be set to PRIVATE and I need to approve your friends
- A general rule of, Mum can change the rules at any time and remove the app from her phone if I feel necessary
Luckily for us, we have a very honest and extreme rule follower child. The type that tells me off if I steer the car with one hand, or say “Shit” every now and then. So she is trustworthy and if anything over the top with telling us everything she does.
So we are 3 months in and she has made a lot of videos (pretty much 100% Star Stable music clips – seriously she is obsessed with the bloody game). We have experienced no negative issues and she is still following the rules. And we have navigated thru a difficult stage of figuring out if social media is suitable for her.
The Bottom Line About Tiktok
The bottom line is, Tiktok is certainly not an app that I would allow kids to roam freely on. There are rude, sweary, dodgy adult topics being shown and some people cannot help but make negative nasty comments on your videos. However, with the Family Paring account, you at least have some control and can monitor best you can.
UPDATE: At the start of Sept 2020, there was a terrible video uploaded onto many social media platforms including Tiktok. It was a live stream of suicide. Someone had screen recorded the live stream and then purposely uploaded onto social media.
Apparently they even create an innocent start with a kitten to lure kids and unsuspecting adults into watching. It then switches to the sad and gruesome scene.
Now I have not seen this video nor will go looking for it. However, it highlights the importance of monitoring social media for your kids (and yourself). You must ensure they do not have open all-day access to it without your supervision.
Do I Recommend Tiktok For Over 40’s?
For the over 40’s I highly recommend getting on and having a go. Don’t freak out about China getting all your info as let’s face it Google already knows it all. Just enjoy some lighthearted good laughs. Remember don’t take life too seriously all the time….
Make sure you follow me on Tiktok and to watch my videos CLICK HERE. Let me know if you want a tutorial on how to create one, and I would love to hear your thoughts if you try it out.