GenZ are the new arbiters of online authenticity

Filming authentic content in a kitchen

The first few times I went viral on TikTok are clearly marked in my memory.

There’s a single quality that ties that group of hyper-successful videos together. 

Looking back, there’s a clear commonality that you will find in most viral posts. It’s a way of creating social media videos that is heavily rewarded in 2023.

The background: if we go back a few years, Instagram in the mid 2010s was the home of performative authenticity. It was polished, perfect, aesthetics. If you were being ‘real’ on Instagram, you still had pastel inspirational quotes to support it.

Since then, we’ve had a decade to tune our bullshit detectors. Nobody wants pretend ‘real’, we want real real. We want “fuck! I’ve had the most awesome discovery!” or snotty ugly crying. We want bad lighting, poor camera angles and hurried content filmed in the bathroom. We’re done with pastel memes.

Because the single biggest factor which your audience and algorithms reward, especially on TikTok, is genuine energy for what you’re doing.

All of my early viral videos came from inspired energy to share something. I picked up my phone and recorded it, no script, no planning, no research. It was unbounded, authentic energy for food policy.

People felt that and responded with love.

This is the culture that I love on TikTok. If you force yourself to try and impress people, we can tell, and your view count will nosedive. GenZ are the new arbiters of online authenticity and they don’t like anyone who is faking it.

You can be happy, sad, buzzing, angry, fierce, meek, loud or soft. Whether you’re fast-spoken or slow and gentle, it doesn’t matter. Show what you authentically feel in that moment, capture it, and people will respond.

We can feel neediness through the screen. We can sense when someone is desperate for views. Our emotional radars are finely tuned to sense when someone is telling a genuine story or wants to help people.

Bring your topic to life with genuine energy and people will love you for it!

Learn more by downloading my free ebook and joining one of my masterclass webinars!

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