Reflecting on 2019, it’s clear that TikTok became a defining aspect of Generation Z’s experience, earning them the moniker of the “TikTok generation.” Earlier in the year, Pinardin offered insights into what parents should know about TikTok and the potential risks for kids. With its user base surpassing 26 million in the U.S., we’ve delved deeper to provide parents with a better understanding of how and why their kids engage with TikTok.

As a writer for Bark, I initially downloaded TikTok to gather information, but I ended up keeping it on my phone because I found genuine enjoyment in it—particularly in the memes, inside jokes, and pop culture references. Despite being 36, my months of daily use have revealed that TikTok is reshaping the social media landscape for kids born after 2000. To my relief, much of this transformation is surprisingly positive, even though the platform does have its darker aspects.

Exposed to Expands

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In a departure from most social media platforms, TikTok introduces a shared journey for users through its “For You” page—an ever-scrolling feed that compiles trending content globally. The charm lies in the unpredictability of this dynamic global leaderboard, offering a delightful element of surprise.

Just recently, in the span of 20 minutes, my TikTok journey led me to an Air Force pilot showcasing in-flight maneuvers, a Korean grandfather sharing his bulgogi recipe, an English high schooler’s dance performance, and a college student venting about student loans. The variety extends to recipe demonstrations, intriguing “Did you know?” facts, and even bite-sized history lessons. This constant flow of seemingly random content contributes to making the TikTok generation more well-rounded and informed about both current events and obscure facts.

For Millennials and Gen Xers, the predictability of our Facebook and Twitter feeds often leaves little room for genuine surprises. In contrast, the TikTok generation is regularly treated to unexpected delights in the form of innovative Gen Z memes taking over the platform. Users not only enjoy these trends but also have the chance to stumble upon unique content they might never encounter elsewhere. Recent TikTok memes have included videos set to timeless songs like “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone and “Mr. Sandman” by the Chordettes. While you might not be familiar with the latest Billie Eilish track, hearing your child hum a classic big band number from the 1950s, thanks to TikTok memes, could bring a genuine smile to your face.

Embracing Authenticity: The True Essence of TikTok Memes

In the realm of social media, where many perceive every activity as a carefully orchestrated performance, TikTok memes offer a refreshing departure from the norm. Take a brief scroll, and you’ll encounter not only impeccably executed viral dance trends by the effortlessly talented but also individuals at the opposite end of the spectrum—embracing imperfections, authenticity, and honesty.

TikTok memes, often revolving around popular songs, challenges, and skits, provide a platform for users to express themselves in a refreshingly genuine and relatable manner. Unlike the pressure for picture-perfection on Instagram, TikTok becomes a sanctuary where authenticity reigns, and self-deprecation is embraced. Users can share videos about failing a math test, struggling with cooking skills, or navigating the complexities of dating. What sets TikTok apart is that these moments, instead of being somber, are infused with humor and relatability, incorporating music, movie dialogue, and snippets from other TikToks. This infusion of humor becomes a powerful tool, fostering a sense of connection among kids who identify with each other’s struggles, a revolutionary shift in the landscape of social media engagement for this generation.

Unveiling Narratives Through TikTok Memes

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Navigating the immersive world of the TikTok generation, with its continuous stream of short-burst videos, can be initially perplexing. These brief yet impactful creations, often embodying Gen Z memes, encompass a spectrum from dance challenges and lip-syncs to entertaining skits. Once you grasp the recurring patterns, the real delight unfolds, marking the point where TikTok’s synergy with meme culture takes center stage. Users collectively riff on a single meme format, contributing their unique versions to the ever-expanding pool of content.

The results are consistently hilarious, prompting unexpected laughter during my train rides home more often than I’d like to admit. As you become familiar with a specific format, the excitement of discovering fresh variations becomes contagious. You become an active participant in the ongoing joke, all through these concise, self-crafted TikTok memes and videos that not only showcase creativity and intrigue but also deliver a hefty dose of humor.