“CHECK YOUR FACTS, FETUS”: #GENZ VS. #MILLENNIALS AND THE ROLE OF TIKTOK IN THE GENERATIONING PROCESS
Keywords:TikTok, memes, humor, discourse analysis, generational identity
AbstractAt first glance, the “generational war” between Gen Z and Millennials appears to be merely the latest iteration of an emerging generational cohort demarcating their taste cultures, subjectivities, and values. However, these seemingly trivial and playful debates over who “belongs” on TikTok and who is the “real” social media generation provide a fruitful inquiry into examining the generationing process. This paper examines the ways that self-proclaimed members of Gen Z and Millennials dyadically use TikTok to co-construct their respective generational consciousness by asking: What role do the platform logics, affordances, memetics, and creative vernaculars of TikTok play in the generationing process, specifically the collective construction of generational borders between Millennials and Gen Z? I conduct a qualitative discursive analysis of the ways Gen Z and Millennials create dialogical TikTok memes, challenges, and trends to co-construct their respective generational identities. The analysis focuses on the assemblage of the narrative, visual, and audio content of memes alongside the platform logic and affordances that make such memetic participation feasible. Such an analysis reveals how Gen Z and Millennials are using TikTok to publicly negotiate the borders of their respective generational identities and thus allows for a closer examination of the role of TikTok in the generationing process. Specifically, I demonstrate how the memetic discourse functions as a way for Gen Z to solidify what they perceive as their more progressive values while forcing Millennials to come to terms with the paradoxes of their own problematic values, subjectivities, and positionalities.
How to Cite
Vickery, J. (2023). “CHECK YOUR FACTS, FETUS”: #GENZ VS. #MILLENNIALS AND THE ROLE OF TIKTOK IN THE GENERATIONING PROCESS. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2022. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2022i0.13103