Mental Health, Tech, Trends

Gen Z critiquing their past self is TikTok’s latest trend

“Maybe the internet raised us.”

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Jul 26, 2022

As millennials, we grew up with the slow and gradual introduction of the internet to our lives. We all remember when we had to use a dial-up system connected to our landline in order to browse the then rudimentary worldwide web. But what about Gen Z? The generation that grew up on Instagram and Snapchat? They have fundamentally different understandings of our world and how it operates.


This brings me to a new trend that has emerged on TikTok, where teenagers are posting things they “genuinely” posted on Snap when they were preteens. There are over 79,000 videos that have been posted on the app, each using the soundtrack of a remix and medley of songs from 2015.


While the trend can be seen as funny, a way to reminisce on your younger self, there is also something both sinister and emblematic of a deeper phenomenon happening with Gen Z. Being the first generation to grow up with social media readily available, the generation is now reflecting on the effects of this upbringing.


@wahonythese are actually so funny LOL♬ original sound – Everything Music


A TikTok posted by user @rckelly99 particularly gained a lot of traction. In it, the now-young adult goes through her preteen Snapchat history, made up of fake social gatherings that are sourced from Google images, as well as photos of people she didn’t know, pretending they were her friend all to portray that she had an amazing life at the age of 13.


@rckelly99 Are you not embarrassed?? #fyp #socialmedia #snapchat ♬ original sound – Biscoffbaby


Being the first generation to be online since a very young age means that most of these young adults’ teenage years and lives have been documented thoroughly online. And while that may be less than ideal, it does mean that there is room for reflection on behaviors and the impacts of social cachets.


While millennials also experienced growing up with social media, they did not have constant access to it via their phones, and the early 2000s social media giants (Bebo, MySpace, MSN, and AIM) have all but vanished, taking with them the embarrassing memories now deeply buried somewhere in the depths of the internet. On the other hand, Snapchat conveniently feeds users’ memories from the past, much like Instagram and other platforms that have been around for more than a decade now.


This new trending is bringing about some reflection in the younger generation, and that may not be such a bad thing after all.


In case you missed it, this is ​​why Gen Z is moving away from social media.


Photo via Tessie Orange-Turner