The Adults of Tik Tok Want to Educate and Entertain You

The hot new video sharing app isn’t just teenagers producing memes and miming along to their favorite pop songs

Molly Horan
Published in
4 min readSep 18, 2019


Image: Chris Stokel-Walker

Among the teens creating TikTok videos about the undeniable, bone level differences between freshmen and sophomores, you can find Jenny and Mike Krupa, both 88-years-old, explaining the perks of being octogenarians.

Though the senior citizens’ account (@its_j_dog) is run and scripted by their 19-year-old grandson Skylar (“I knew people really enjoyed watching elderly individuals on social media,” he says), the couple is far from the only people over 21 on this platform often thought of as a strictly Gen Z space. Users in their late 20s, 30s, and beyond are using TikTok just like the kids do, to explain their lives with the help of memeable music clips. But while teens use the app to reenact their lives spent in high school halls, older users see the platform as a place to explain and explore their jobs.

Adults — possibly even old enough that they wouldn’t think to use “adulting” to describe their jobs or their content — are creating videos that bring their fans into the world of medicine (doctors, nurses, and plenty of paramedics are showing off their stethoscopes), firefighting, teaching, and even zoology. While their videos often poke fun at the more mundane (or absurd) details of their days just like their teenage counterparts, some have used the platform to create more educational content.

In recent videos on her channel, 29-year-old family medical resident @Dr.Leslie has shared statistics about suicide (along with the number for the national hotline) and showcased the “pretty gnarly” chest X-ray of someone suffering from a new disease connected to vaping. Her TikTok channel started as an outlet to capture “the chaotic life of a resident physician.” But a video chock-full of medical facts became her first viral success.