Oct 8, 2019

Gen Zers are expressing their frustration with school shootings on TikTok

Generation Zers are posting viral videos using TikTok's #darkhumor tag as a way to come together and cope with the increasing realities of school shootings.

Why it matters: More than 228,000 students have experienced a school shooting since the massacre at Columbine High School in 1999, per the Washington Post.

  • In the posts, some are acting out shooter scenarios to music.
  • Others are poking fun at shooter drills while they are actually happening in their classrooms.
  • One user posted that she was on lockdown for 3 hours in her gymnasium at her high school in California. In two subsequent videos afterward she explained that it was their 5th lockdown in 2 years regarding shooting threats. Thousands of users flooded her comments in support and shared their own experiences.

Flashback: Last month, adults were shaken up after anti-gun violence nonprofit Sandy Hook Promise aired a back-to-school PSA video detailing graphic images of students in a active shooter scenario.

The bottom line: Young people are not only expressing their frustrations and helplessness over school shootings through walk-outs or marches, but also utilizing small videos and comment threads as a different form of communal expression.

Go deeper: TikTok is China's next big weapon

Go deeper