Es gibt einen Weg in die Freiheit|
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Thursday, February 11th, 2021
|Everybody Hates Millennials: Gen Z and the TikTok Generation Wars But what really makes TikTok unique—and what makes it especially appealing during a pandemic—is the feeling of intimacy and immediacy between users. Unlike platforms that trade only in words and still images, TikTok shares a steady parade of faces and voices during what has been perhaps the loneliest year of the past century. Though we can’t have the same physical proximity to one another in a pandemic, TikTok provides an uncanny feeling of closeness and camaraderie, like a FaceTime call shared with millions of strangers.
This intimacy may also be the reason for Gen Z’s generational allegiance. Where millennials were cloaked in mostly faceless anonymity online (on LiveJournal, Tumblr, Twitter) or highly curated photography (Facebook, Instagram), Gen Z’s digital life is dominated by the near-constant production of images and videos of themselves (Snapchat, TikTok), creating a very different relationship between them, their peers, and the rest of the world.
There is a darker side to TikTok as well: impossibly fit and beautiful influencers; the same fixation on thinness and white, Eurocentric beauty ideals that exists on every other app; and trends that spawn harmful ideas about food and that promote and normalize plastic surgery. Combined with the algorithm, one’s own specific insecurities can feel magnified. I tried not to take it personally when “midsized girl” content and montages of rhinoplasty procedures began to appear on my feed. Perhaps, if I had been younger, the effect would have been different. Current Mood: awake