#LearnOnTikTok: Financial Advice on Social Media

Like many people my age (40), I consider myself to be generally tech savvy but not necessarily on top of all of the things “the kids” are doing online. I see a lot of value in social media and utilize some of it, but I’m not an early adopter of new platforms. I limit my use. So, I haven’t bothered to get on the TikTok trend. Will #LearnOnTikTok make me change my mind?

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a social media sharing platform that’s been around since 2012. It’s recently taken off in a big way. Or at least it seems that way, with friends suddenly sending my TikTok videos like crazy. It’s similar in concept to Instagram and Twitter, but it’s niche is short-format videos. So, you upload a short format video and share it with your followers. Of course, as with any app or social media platform, there are a variety of features and much more you can do it with it once you’re on there, but that’s the gist of it.

What is #LearnOnTikTok?

In May 2020, TikTok announced a new initiative called #LearnOnTikTok. They’ve partnered with 800 experts inn a variety of fields to encourage learning through the platform. This was in response to COVID-19, giving children bored at home a new way to learn. TikTok has primarily been for teens and young adults to date. This could be an effective way to reach them. TikTok committed $50 million in funding for this initiative.

#LearnOnTikTok: Personal Finance

Children can now learn a variety of different things through #LearnOnTikTok. Of course, what’s most interesting to me is how they can learn about personal finance. CNN did an article about Dr. Brad Klontz who shares personal finance advice on the platform. He was introduced to TikTok by his kids and was appalled to see that there was money advice on there but it was all ineffective, incomplete, or just plain incorrect. He was inspired to start sharing better content.

Kids certainly need to learn about money. Most high schools still don’t teach basic personal finance lessons. Kids are increasingly comfortable learning through screens, particularly now that COVID-19 has forced an increase in at-home online learning. TikTok is a tool that they may find fun, through which they can learn about this particularly important part of life.

Klontz’s personal area of expertise is about the psychology and emotions of money. Of course, there are other creators providing more direct personal finance advice about saving money, investing, funding college, and so forth. As this initiative takes off, kids might have a lot of opportunity to #LearnOnTikTok.

What Role Do Adults Play in #LearnOnTikTok?

The people who are creating the content for #LearnOnTikTok are mostly adults who are experts in their fields. But is that the only role that adults have to play on TikTok? More and more adults are signing up and exploring the site for fun. Is is just another place for all of us to watch funny video clips and get a break from daily life? Or could #LearnOnTikTok expand to educate adults about money as well?

So far, I still haven’t gotten too far on the TikTok train. But this #LearnOnTikTok initiative has me poking around. I’m curious about where it might go, particularly in regards to personal finance (as well as mental health, my other personal passion).

Are you on TikTok? What are your thoughts?

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