Teaching old dogs new… tiks?

instagram: @old.dog.new.tiks (https://www.instagram.com/old.dog.new.tiks/)

(can not figure out for the life of me how to connect the link to my webpage)

During this whole covid-19 pandemic, I’ve been stuck in New Jersey with 10 other family members or various ages. The oldest member being 64 and the youngest 16, I’d say I’m right in the middle at 23 years old.

As the days slowly went buy, I watched my younger cousins spend hours watching and making tik toks. My Mom, Aunt, etc. would log off of their at homemade office and go straight to Facebook. Sometimes they would check the screens of our phones to see what we could possible be holding our attention for hours. but they didn’t have too much interest in our GenZ trends.

Then I got the idea: Can I teach my older family members how to use tik tok? Can I get them hooked on the app just as much as my generation is? I needed to test it out. So I did.

My victims for this little experiment were my aunt (47), my uncle (46), my mom (42), and my grandmother (61). Out of the four of them only only one was actually excited to participate. The other three actually needed some convincing. After a few days of constantly asking for their participation, they eventually agreed to participate.

In order to do get optimal results, I tried to tailor the kind of trends each person did to their personality.

First up was my grandmother, Pastor Barbara Capps (63). I gave her filter challenges, “never have I ever”, pranks, and reaction. I wanted to give her the most wholesome and easiest challenges. Out of the four trends enjoyed the reaction one better, but she did not take any special interest in the app afterwards. Instead she questioned why my generation feels the need to record us doing things and posting it for millions of people to see. Honestly, I didn’t have an answer. I never asked myself why I felt the need to post with the hopes of going viral, but I still do. The idea of seeking and getting sudden attention from complete strangers was a concept that she could not fathom. She also didn’t see the point of watching videos of complete strangers either. Its safe to say that she’ll most likely be sticking to Facebook.

Second up was my aunt, Evelyn Capps (47). Before I even mentioned doing the experiment, she was already joking with us about trying to learn the dances, so I knew she would be excited for me to actually teach her some moves. I started her off with the easiest dance trend I could find. It took her a few tries to get the routine, but when she got it down she was extremely excited. After learning the second routine, she wanted to go for something more difficult. I could tell she was very into the dancing side of tik tok. We spent almost an hour learning and practicing the dances. After the first 20 minutes, we both had beads of sweat dripping down our foreheads. She did not want to stop recording. Even after we were finished she still did the houses around the house for the next few days. She was definitely a sucessful converstion.

My Mother, (42) was the least excited to participate. I don’t know if it was because I caught her after a “long day” of work or if she just wasn’t into tik toking. The world will never know. The first trend I tried with her failed. She just wasn’t giving the proper energy or excitement that the tik tok needed to be good. So I won’t even go into detail about it. The second trend, however, she did enjoy. For this trend, a parent stands behind their blindfolded children and points to whoever fits the description being said on the tik tok sound. I have two sisters but only of them was there to participate. When I watched the finished product I was surprised to see that my mom not only participated but she also found a picture of my sister that was missing and pointed to it when my sister applied more to the statements. I was genuinely surprised. She actually got into the challenge. I know for a fact that she won’t download the app anytime soon, but she did enjoy her self.

I saved the most difficult trend for my uncle, Dinonn Capps (45). He was very indifferent to the making tik toks but he wasn’t opposed to trying it out. He has a background in editing and media so I knew he would have fun doing the more techniqually advanced challenge. When I first showed him how to do it, he was automatically excited and wanted to try it out. It took a couple tries but when we got the transitions to look smooth he was really proud of his work. After his “session” I overheard him and his wife (my aunt) arguing over who made the best tik toks. A clear sign of a successful tik tok conversion.

At the end of the whole experiment, I was only able to get one adult to actually download the app. My aunt took interest in the app after the experiment and watched tik toks from time to time. If anything I was able to share a little piece of my world with my family. and bring them up to times. Now, hopefully, they won’t give me funny looks when they catching dancing in front of my phone.

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