NEW GEN Z 101: Unlock & Outlast Microtrends
Dec 20 2021
TikTok has become home to some of the biggest trends on the internet—here are six hashtags that trended on the platform this month…
Deck the halls with lots of content! A lot of hashtags have been trending on TikTok this month leading up to the holidays and winter months, from #WinterSports to #StudyWithMe, which documents those (dreaded) end of semester finals. We told you about how young people were celebrating the holidays earlier with #TikTokHolidays and #ChristmasWishList2021—but with the holidays in full swing, TikTok is really feeling the holiday cheer in December. Here are six hashtags that trended on the app this month:
#HolidayCountdown (9.1B views)
Switching from Thanksgiving mode to winter holiday mode, the Christmas countdown officially kicked off this month, and TikTokers are sharing their excitement via multiple themed-tags. #HolidayCountdown counts nearly 9B views as users welcome the holiday season by trading their fall decor for #holidaydecor, listen to #holidaymusic on repeat, and get their #holidayaesthetic on. Holiday traditions are making a comeback for some Gen Z and Millennials, and video montages sharing roundups of holiday events happening in major cities are trending as TikTokers share ideas for how to (safely) celebrate the first holiday season since the COVID-19 vaccine. Oh, and lots of videos capturing the houses and locations with the best holiday lights are also going viral. Lastly, users are saying #HappyHolidays to everyone celebrating the season by showing off their decked out holiday scapes, sharing their favorite recipes, and everything else helping them make the most of this joy-filled season.
#UnrealisticThings (237.8M views)
Our November TikTok hashtag roundup told you how young people were sharing everything on their #ChristmasWishlist2021, and #UnrealisticThings is an extension of that trend as TikTokers share, well, the unrealistic things they want for the holidays. The most-viewed video under the tag is from @ovo_nesa as she shares a video of herself with overlaid text reading, “Unrealistic things I want for Christmas this year,” jumping to the next frame that reads, “a raise” as she stares blankly at the camera. All of the #UnrealisticThings clips are set to the original “Jingle Bell Rock” song (more than 150K videos have been made using the sound) as TikTokers poke fun at their holiday wishes, whether it’s getting “better taste in men,” “their mom going to therapy,” “a working pancreas,” or “to be taken seriously.” Clearly, #UnrealisticThings is an emotional outlet for the TikTok community right now.
#2022 (4.8B Views)
We told you that young people’s New Year’s Eve plans are slowly getting back to normal—and TikTokers are trying to find ways to show their excitement (and in some cases, their anxieties) online. Using the hashtag #2022, users are sharing everything from what movies, video games, tech products, and events they’re looking forward to in 2022, and even what clothes they’re excited to wear and try. However, others are also being transparent about how nervous they are about what 2022 will bring, especially two years into the pandemic. During the COVID era, Gen Z and Millennials have been using the app as a space to express themselves, both with the things that bring them joy as well as the things that don’t. It’s clear from the #2022 hashtag, young people will continue to use the platform to show their followers how they’re feeling throughout the year.
#Unboxing (24.7B views)
Young shoppers are always doing unboxing videos to show off their new products and gadgets. But ahead of the holidays, the hashtag has been trending again on TikTok. This month, it’s especially holiday-themed as users show off their advent calendars, toys they’re getting themselves (and their little ones), and the gifts they’re treating themselves with. One of the accounts that has been using the hashtag a lot is the @pin_story_mania (who goes by “Disney Girls,” and has over 800K followers) who has been showing off their Disney-themed advent calendars every day up until Christmas, while @targetjunkie (who has over 550K followers) used the hashtag to show off the affordable gingerbread mugs she bought for the holidays. So, while unboxing videos are popular year-round, with present unwrapping and advent door opening, the content seems to be particularly relevant for the holidays.
#GoLittleRockstar (1.3B views)
The holidays aren’t the only thing that’s trending this month. Set to the song “Pope is a Rockstar” by the band SALES, TikTokers are celebrating life milestones and achievements that make them feel like “little rockstars” via the #GoLittleRockstar trend. For example, the tag’s most-viewed clip is from @quepasoyaya, sharing a photo montage of what it’s like working her dream job at the NBA as a 26-year-old, while flashing back to an image from when she was younger decked out in basketball gear (and what appears to be a Space Jam-themed ‘fit) with overlaid text reading, “Go Little Rockstar” to match the song’s lyrics. The goal of the trend is to reminisce on the things you dreamed of achieving as a kid and sharing how it has come true—like fulfilling one’s dreams of becoming a painter or how one’s childhood passions led them to their dream job. TikTokers are putting a less serious spin on the trend, too, like sharing their pets’ small-but-mighty achievements, so really anything goes, as long as it speaks to your inner rockstar.
#OKPerfect (192.9M views)
TikTok is already full of content of young people sharing their anxieties, and one trend in particular that users got into this month involves audio that originated from user @ashxoxo024, where she’s heard ordering a pumpkin loaf from Starbucks only to be told that they’re sold out of it, so she responds with “Ok, perfect.” The caption in the video reads: “When Starbucks is out of everything you want and you don’t know what you should order.” So far, the video has garnered more than 2.5 million views—and many users have re-using the audio to showcase a variety of scenarios and situations. In one video that has over 100K views, @ajfrancis410 is talking on the phone with his “manager” who’s asking him to work even after he requested days off, while @bluehasnoclue shared a video where she’s “buying” tickets for Olivia Rodrigo’s anticipated SOUR tour only to be put on the waitlist. The trend is just another example of how TikTokers are using humor to express how they’re masking the frustrations in their lives.
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