“You’re never too old to learn new stuff!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
So I’m on TikTok now.
I posted a short Tiktok moments ago, that I quickly filmed yesterday in anticipation of this post. How’s that for time travel?
Futurist Jim Carroll Daily Inspiration: “You’re never too old to learn new stuff!”
I don’t know what I am doing yet, but I’m willing to learn.
Here’s what I know.
First, it’s mostly the younger generation on TikTok – I’m 63 and don’t fit the demographic. But something is going on, and I need to understand it. So I’m there – you can’t understand the future if you aren’t part of the future.
Second, my kids will probably be horrified at this news. They told me years ago that I was not allowed to go on Snapchat, another social media network that exploded in popularity many years ago, also aimed at the younger demographic. Perhaps they might have been worried that I would use the Snapchat filter technology to post something like this, a rather unbecoming image of me retouched by magical technology.
Or that maybe I would take a photo of myself and turn it into something like this.
That wouldn’t do. It would concern them and cause them stress. So I won’t tell them about my Snapchat account.
Third, I do read enough to be aware that there is a massive shift underway in information discovery that is happening on TikTok. Someone posted the other day that this next generation now uses the search function in Tiktok much like older generations use Google or Bing. That seems to be an important trend, and I follow trends, so it’s better to understand it by being part of it rather than watching from afar.
Fourth, there is a massive shift underway in how social networks are used. Facebook has, by and large, become a place for old people – people like me. It’s mostly been abandoned for regular use by anyone under the age of 40. Twitter has become a place that you go if you want news, or want to raise your blood pressure through the instant anger it will generate within you at the sorry state of our world. Instagram remains popular but is somewhat in turmoil as it shifts its algorithm to video in response to the rise of TikTok. LinkedIn is popular but blessedly, remains a business/professional-focused network. Tiktok? It’s taking over the world – anything happening with social media these days is on its platform. I need to know what is going on.
Fifth, Google is sufficiently worried about TikTok that they just announced a major revenue sharing agreement for creators on their Google Short platform, which is their tool to try to dislodge TikTok. Will it happen? Who knows – but I’ve started posting Google Shorts starting yesterday as well.
Sixth, Tiktok is about content. I have content – lots of it! I’ve been writing my Daily Inspiration for 6 years now, not missing a workday. it’s become my passion – it’s my thing. People like the inspiration, the stories, and the trends behind the posts, and I’m eager to share them with a wider audience. So starting yesterday, I’ll record a short little segment each day with that content about my Daily Inspiration. I’ve also got tons of videos that I can repurpose and re-edit – stories about trends, the future, innovation, and more. My limited tests so far tell me that I can reach an audience – people are watching them.
Seventh, the audience that books me today for corporate leadership keynotes is definitely not on TikTok – most of my events are with senior executives of global Fortune 1000 companies – but some might be! Things change, audiences grow, industries evolve and the world gets disrupted. Something is underway and I want to figure it out. Who knows – maybe someday someone will see my posts and realize I’m the right futurist to come in and talk to them about what comes next.
Eighth, adding TikTok to my list expands the reach of my Daily Inspiration, which is quite important to me. So far, each morning, I publish my morning thoughts on LinkedIn (as a post), LinkedIn (as a newsletter), Instagram, my personal Facebook page, my corporate Facebook page, Twitter, Flickr, my blog, and out to a mailing list. That makes 9 locations, and TikTok let’s make it to 10. YouTube Shorts lets me do a Spinal Tap thing, going to 11. Nigel would like it.
Ninth, attention spans are collapsing, and TikTok is very much a part of that trend. Anything being done on the platform is 60 seconds or less – stories are conveyed, points are made, and issues are raised, all in 60 seconds or less. If brevity is the name of the game, I need to shorten my story. Heck, that was issue #10 on my 19 Trends for 2019 – “Shorten your Story” – so I need to be concise:
Tenth, there is an explosion of creativity on TikTok – it’s a new form of expression. I don’t understand it yet, and for me, a hole in my knowledge is a hole in my reality. I’m always trying to chase my creativity down new avenues, and this lets me explore a new world.
Eleven? Spinal Tap? My list needs to go 11! TikTok is causing massive controversy with the issues surrounding it involving privacy, foreign governments, and more. What better way to understand it than to be actually a part of the hive!
So, I’m on TikTok now.
So what are the results so far? It’s mildly astonishing – I’m actually getting LOTS of views (for me, at least). And I even have a follower! One! Sign up – give me two! Maybe I’ll make it to 11 by the end of the day!
That said, I don’t have high expectations of where this will take me. i am rather uncool on a massive creatively cool platform. But you are never too old to challenge your potential cool factor.
So here’s an old guy, now hanging out on Tiktok. Follow me!
Trust me, I need followers!
You’ll find me at: https://www.tiktok.com/@futuristjimcarroll