I never thought I’d be writing an article about TikTok as a 22-year-old, but here I am.
TikTok offers an incredibly raw and honest view into the struggles that plague Generation Z—alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness, relationship or familial problems and more.
Generation Z has fully embraced meme culture as its definitive form of humor. Still, Gen X also is more likely than any other generation to report mental health problems, according to the American Psychological Association.
How else are young adults raised with the internet supposed to vent sadness and frustrations than on the devices we’ve grown so attached to?
It’s easy to find a video of someone struggling with depression making a seemingly lighthearted joke about their use of bad coping mechanisms, or they’ll admit feeling like they’re in a constant state of isolation and laugh about it.
The video will have some 50 million likes.
At the same time, TikTok’s “For You” page, which shows a series of recommend videos based on an algorithm, will sometimes feature someone (often obviously recovering from an emotional state) sharing the good news that they’ve eaten today, or they’ve finally been able to brush their hair, or they’ve gained the courage to go to therapy, or they’ve moved on from a toxic or abusive relationship.
Some therapists and counselors have even gained millions of followers sharing tips for handling depression, anxiety, problems with communication, and self-care.
These videos will also have some 50 million likes.
Putting massive data security issues aside, this openness on a Vine spinoff paints an interesting picture of Gen Z and how we handle life.
We satirize and make jokes about our deepest and darkest secrets, and we’re brutally honest about incredibly dark issues in a way we often can’t attain in real life.
There’s something to be said about the normalization of this—if a joke about depression gets 120 million likes, that shows me that others are also struggling out there, and we’re all trying terribly.
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