Key Takeaways:

  • TikTok is a social media platform that allows users to share short videos and connect with others in their community.
  • Older adults can easily join TikTok by downloading the app, creating an account, and uploading their own videos or engaging with existing content.
  • To stay safe while using TikTok, users should avoid sharing personal information and get permission before posting photos of others.

n today's digital age, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of social media platforms out there. But if there's one platform that has been making waves, particularly among the younger generation, it's TikTok. If you're an older adult curious about TikTok, read on to uncover the basics of this popular app.

So, what is TikTok?

At its core, TikTok is a free, social media application designed for creating and sharing short videos. These videos can range from 15 seconds to 3 minutes long. Picture it as a blend of YouTube's video content and Instagram's brevity, with an added sprinkle of catchy music and filters.

Why Should Older Adults Consider Using TikTok?

  1. Diverse Content: Despite the stereotypes, TikTok isn't just dance videos and pranks. There's a wide range of content available, from DIY crafts, gardening tips, historical anecdotes, to cooking tutorials. You're bound to find a niche you enjoy.
  2. Learning New Skills: Ever wanted a quick recipe, knitting trick, or gardening hack? There's likely a TikTok for that.
  3. Connect with Family: As many younger family members use TikTok, it can be a fun way to bond with grandchildren or younger relatives. They might even teach you a trend or two!
  4. Mental Stimulation: Navigating a new app and understanding its features can be a good cognitive exercise, helping keep your brain active.

Key Features of TikTok:

TikTok has a user-friendly interface, but as with any new technology, it can seem overwhelming initially.

Here is a break down of the key features of TikTok:

For You Page (FYP):

The For You Page, often abbreviated as FYP, is the main landing page when you open TikTok. It's an endless stream of videos that are recommended to you based on a combination of factors. These factors include your interactions (such as likes, shares, and comments), video information (like the type of content, hashtags, and sounds used), and account and device information.

The more you use TikTok, the better the algorithm becomes at curating content tailored to your preferences. It's a dynamic space that consistently introduces you to new content creators and trending videos, ensuring that there's always something fresh to watch.


The Discover feature acts as TikTok's search and explore section. Here, you can find trending hashtags, popular music snippets, and challenges that are currently making waves in the TikTok community. By clicking on a particular hashtag or challenge, you can view a compilation of videos associated with it.

It's an excellent way for newcomers to get a sense of what's popular on the platform at any given moment and might even inspire you to participate in a challenge or trend yourself!


Your TikTok profile is essentially your digital home on the platform. If you choose to create and post videos, this is where they will be displayed for your followers and any other TikTok user (unless your account is private).

Additionally, your profile showcases your profile picture, bio, and the number of followers, followings, and likes you've amassed. Even if you're more of a viewer than a creator, this is where you can access your liked videos, making it easy to revisit content you've enjoyed in the past. It also houses settings that allow you to customize your TikTok experience, including privacy controls.


The Create feature is your gateway to becoming a content creator on TikTok. By tapping on the plus icon, usually located at the bottom center of the app, you're launched into the video recording interface. Here, you can film videos in real-time or upload pre-recorded ones from your device. TikTok offers a plethora of editing tools, including filters, speed controls, music overlays, and special effects.

Whether you want to craft a carefully edited masterpiece or simply capture a spontaneous moment, the Create function provides all the tools you'll need to bring your vision to life on the platform.

Safety First:

Like any other online platform, TikTok comes with its concerns. Ensure your account is set to private if you only want approved followers to view your content. Be wary of sharing personal information and be cautious of links or prompts asking for data or financial details.

Engaging with Content:

On TikTok, you can interact with videos you like. If you enjoy a video, tap the heart icon. Want to say something about it? Leave a comment below the video. And if you find someone whose videos you always like, you can follow them. That way, you'll see more of their new videos.

Participate or Simply Observe:

TikTok is flexible. You can make your own videos or just watch others. There's so much to see, from cooking tips to funny stories. But if you ever want to try making a video about something you love, give it a shot. You might find it fun, and others might love watching it!

Getting Started on TikTok:

  1. Download: Available for free on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
  2. Sign Up: You can create an account using your email, phone number, or another social media account.
  3. Personalize: TikTok will prompt you to select some interests to help curate your initial For You Page.
  4. Dive In: Start exploring! Scroll through videos, search for topics you're interested in, and maybe even try your hand at creating a video.

Learn More about Getting Started on TikTok

TikTok is a dynamic platform that offers a mix of entertainment, education, and creativity. For older adults looking to stay updated with current trends, learn new things, or simply have a bit of fun, TikTok can be a refreshing addition to your digital life. Dive in with an open mind, and you might just find yourself pleasantly surprised by what you discover!

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Aug 21, 2023

Classes by:

Vicki Soll

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