Never Too Old to Try: Seniors & TikTok

The social media platform TikTok has exploded in popularity in the past few years, and now seniors are getting involved in a big way. Nothing keeps us young, like trying new things - this might be something your seniors would love to try.

TikTok is more than the sound of a clock. It is a social media frenzy. Throughout the world, people are participating in TikTok for multiple reasons.

Businesses use it to promote goods and services, dancers use it to audition for performance opportunities, and singers use it to showcase their vocals.

TikTok is one of the major places where life is happening in the virtual world, and it’s showing no signs of abating. It is now home to yet another frenzy.

Seniors are now using TikTok and enjoying themselves immensely.

For over two years, TikTok has been a social media option and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought seniors into the fold in great numbers.

It found its success when investors merged the app with another called Musical.ly. Effective rebranding found a plethora of new audiences.

As the former app name suggests, it was initially designed to showcase the musically gifted.

That has since changed and TikTok makes talent a sliding scale.

It hosts lip-singers, dancers, comedians, and pranksters to provide a moment of laughter. And now seniors are numbered among the world’s TikTok users.

HOW DOES TIKTOK BENEFIT SENIORS?

At the outset of 2020, people over 25 years of age thought themselves too mature for TikTok.

That has now changed in a major way.

One positive aspect of the pandemic was the expansion of youthful engagement. Now, countless adults are using and creating on TikTok as well.

Popular hashtags include “#worklife,” “#getcrafting,” and many more. Short videos on TikTok are now an effective means of passing traditions, teaching new skills or simply entertaining.

It is where seniors have been incredibly beneficial to TikTok’s younger crowd.

Clips explaining how to sew, make baskets, or solve relational problems are just the tip of the iceberg.

Mechanics, home repair, and yard maintenance have found a home in TikTok’s arsenal as well.

TikTok’s Director of Creator Community, Kudzi Chikumbu, says, “TikTok is a place for everyone, from Gen Z to grandparents going viral, and it’s inspiring to see different generations connecting.”

Connection is critical, and TikTok connects people with people creating a new form of passing skill, talent, and wisdom. Seniors are learning new dances, songs but also passing along much-needed skills to others.

Below are examples of what seniors are doing on TikTok:

  • 82-year-old user @charlesmallet has more than 4 million followers. TikTok changed his life, and he is grateful for its availability. He is more connected with others now than ever before in his life.
  • A 78-year-old grandparent duo from Korea has more than 900,000 followers. The user identification, @grandpachan’s page, exhibits multiple dancing and lip-synching performances to popular songs.
  • Stephen Austin, 82, reached TikTok stardom earlier this year. Known for his colorful bucket hats, Mr. Austin records himself making scrambled eggs and toast. “Cooking with Steve” is a series on TikTok now. Also, Mr. Austin performs magic tricks and dances to popular hit songs. He even peruses the internet purchasing random items to show his TikTok audience. He says, “the young people want me to be their grandpa.” And for those who may not have one, TikTok has made way for Mr. Austin to be a grandfather to many. Lexi Talbert, 17, follows Mr. Austin’s TikTok account and enjoys him thoroughly. She says, “His laugh, his jokes, the way he says his expressions, it reminds me of my grandpa.” She lost her grandfather three years ago but has made Mr. Austin her adopted grandfather. TikTok made way for this to happen.
  • German fitness enthusiast Erika Rischko, 80, gained a following on TikTok by posting videos of her practicing plank exercises and performing dance routines with her husband, Dieter, 81. @erikarischko boasts over 80,000 followers. Mrs. Rischko can hold a plank for 8 minutes and says, “Sometimes, these days, older generations, they miss that kind of respect.” She is glad to be an inspiration to many.

While seniors are in the minority of TikTok users, their popularity is increasing.

TikTok and other social-media apps allow users to learn about diverse perspectives. Most people understand race, ethnicity, and gender as diversity, but age is another element, too.

TikTok is different in that you have generations that are teaching each other and connecting in entertaining and creative ways.

INNOVATIVE LIFE ENRICHING TIP FOR SENIOR ASSISTED LIVING

Seniors are making headway in the world right from the comforts of their own homes. TikTok’s platform provides seniors with both meaningful engagement and contribution.

The infamous generational divide in America is fusing, one video at a time. Explore TikTok and see if this could be another way to help your seniors engage in community.

To learn more about tips for quality senior care for seniors, please visit the Residential Assisted Living National Association. Free membership with RALNA provides newsletters, blogs, discounted group purchases, legal support and so much more.

Click www.RALNA.com to join the only national association that’s changing the way the assisted living industry views quality senior care.

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