The Rise of TikTok: How Gen Z is Using the App to Stay Informed

In the last five years, TikTok has exploded into a social media phenomenon. With the ongoing and continued rise of all social media in general, it is easier than ever to stay informed about what’s happening in the world. TikTok has emerged as the preeminent channel to catch informative, fun, and quirky videos, covering a gamut of topics. There are plenty of ways to stay up-to-date on current events, obtain career advice, be dazzled with vast and hilarious content. I’m not ready to showcase my dance skills just yet, but who wouldn’t want to join in the fun?

As with anything, there are pros and cons. On the one hand, it’s imperative to stay informed, learn, meet others. On the other hand, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by too much information. I find myself often I am drowning in content; it’s hard to sift through the sea of knowledge, to know which sources are valid. Which ones to trust and which ones to ignore?

The short-form video app has quickly become the go-to source for career advice and information for Gen Zers, as well as others. It’s fair to say that it can be essentially addictive and intentionally designed that way. With the platform’s creative and engaging content and quick turnaround, it’s an optimal way to get a brief snapshot of what’s trending, learn career and resume advice tips, and of course be entertained by the many talents of ordinary people we haven’t yet met.

Why is TikTok becoming a popular source of information for Gen Z

TikTok now gets more visits than Google. It is structured and inherently different from the other social media channels in that it allows you to view videos from people you don’t necessarily follow, but you might like to. The artificial intelligence is incredibly powerful. How does it work? By gauging where users spend a majority of their time, and then feeding similar videos to them. Anyone can find an audience and develop a following. With its short videos and unique content, it can be a perfect way to stay entertained and up to date. Undoubtedly a cultural sensation! Watching crazy stunts, people singing songs, performing outlandish pranks, but also learning. Overall, it’s a great way to stay informed be entertained, replacing the long-gone days of riding bikes, playing Dungeons and Dragons, reading endless comic books, or going to an arcade.

TikTok’s value could very well be how it can provide Gen Z with a reprieve from the other channels, an escape from helicopter parents, allowing them to showcase their personalities, discover new music, new information, and find timely news. Adults are also on TikTok! Parents are either coerced into dancing with their kids, or there to promote and advertise their businesses. Monitoring one’s time invested in a never-ending stream of videos, however, is imperative.

TikTok has become the career counselor of choice for Gen Z. Exploding in popularity. 76% are under 40, and 27% are part of the Gen Z demographic. Content about corporate life is readily available, and organizations have amassed thousands of followers, allowing them to showcase their company culture and product offerings.

It’s also a great way to gain an understanding of different points of view. With its mix of news and entertainment videos, you can assess a variety of perspectives, get advice on resumes, interview tips, career strategies, and current events.

How to use TikTok to stay informed

The survey says TikTok will only continue to grow. As Gen Z moves into the workforce, they prioritize work-life balance and seek environments that are empathetic and diverse. However, it’s important to balance time invested in the platform, with in person networking and developing soft skills for ongoing career success.

What if you’re not ready to dance? Effective in person or zoom networking helps build soft skills and develops confidence at virtually any stage of your career; but especially for those just starting out. Soft skills will only increase in demand regardless of job function. The need for these interpersonal social skills has accelerated due to our virtual and hybrid work world. A vetted network builds relationships, can assist in finding a mentor in your career of interest, and bridges the gap between employers’ expectations and the Gen Z mindset.

Be alert on your time and time management, and not allowing TikTok to become a 10-hour time-sink. Balance is key! Set boundaries in everything you set out to do, and it’s especially important as you start out in your career. Be careful and mindful of who is influencing you, and the potential perils of TikTok.

Peer networking is powerful. There are endless videos on ‘how’ to network, how to ask for informational interviews, embrace ‘be comfortable being uncomfortable’. You can access these 24/7. However, when it comes time to developing a solid network yourself, it can sometimes be daunting. With the support of the Erudites global community, we provide a vetted group of professionals across the globe from a diverse range of industries.

Have you leveraged TikTok yet, and how do you incorporate into networking? Please reach out, we look forward to meeting you!