Older TikTok users use an online platform that is considered a virtual platform for teens to challenge the stereotypes of older people both technophobic and weak. The Guardian reports: Research has found that an increasing number of accounts are owned by users aged 60 and over with millions of subscribers. Using the platform to demonstrate their energy and vigor, these TikTok elders are rewriting expectations as to how older people should behave both on and off social media. “These TikTok elders have become successful content creators in a powerful countercultural phenomenon in which older people actually challenge old age stereotypes by accepting or even celebrating their age status,” said Dr. Ruben Ng, author of Not Too Old for TikTok: reviewing aging, and an associate professor at Yale University. Interestingly, Ng said that most of the seniors at TikTok are women who “fiercely oppose the common stereotypes of older women as passive, soft and weak, instead choosing themselves as fierce or even ugly,” he said. […]
The article reviewed 1,382 videos posted by TikTok users aged 60 and over and having between 100,000 and 5.3 million subscribers. In total, their videos, all of which openly discussed their age, have been viewed more than 3.5 billion times. Ng found that 71% of these videos – including those from accounts like grandadjoe1933, which has 5.3 million subscribers, and dolly_broadway, which has 2.4 million subscribers – were used to counter age stereotypes. The “glamma” motif, a wallet that combines “glamorous” and “grandma”, was often repeated with videos, including a video of a 70-year-old woman happily marching through the streets in a top with a prop.
Almost one in five of the analyzed videos shows age-related vulnerabilities, and one in ten mentions ageism among both young people and their contemporaries. Other videos have positioned older users as superior to younger people. “I may be 86, but I can still drink more than you, lightweight,” – says one clip. “I may be 86, but I can still squeak better than you,” says another, pointing to an eight-year-old man jumping from a fall down a ladder with a squirrel.