YouTube is TikTok for Old People. According to Who?*

You can find a lot of things on YouTube. I use it a lot for home repairs, swapping out a thermostat, installing a garbage disposal, getting rid of whatever bad cookie unfortunate thing I did to get that weird default browser. My seemingly innocuous comment about YouTube prompted someone to tell me, “YouTube is TikTok for old people.” According to who? What is the definition of old?

Seriously? You have to love this, old is defined and it is 30+. There is a lot debate, or rather varying definitions of old. 

A new study by U.S. Trust has found that perceptions of the onset of old age vary widely among different generations. Millennials, for example, say that you are old once you turn 59. Gen Xers, on the other hand, hold a slightly more generous view, saying that old age begins at 65. When it comes to boomers and the silent generation, both agree that you’re not really old until you hit age 73.

The Age at Which You Are Officially Old

Why is the definition of old so variable? Perhaps because as time goes on, the differences between people of the same age are more variable? AARP has a disrupt aging campaign and produced he following clip.

Susan Jacoby, the author of Never Say Die, suggested a definition of old age that addresses this elegantly. She told me that, in her 20s, she made lifelong friends, some of them 10 or 15 years older than she was, while working at The Washington Post. Now that she’s 74, she comes across obituaries for those old friends. “What I think of as old is an age when you start seeing people you know in the obituary column,” she told me. “I think of middle age as a time when you’re not afraid to look at the obituaries, because you assume that the people who have died you’re not going to know.” Even if her definition doesn’t help us figure out how to refer to others, it is poignant, personalized, and flexible—and will likely age well.

When Does Someone Become ‘Old’?

My definition of old? An age at which you do not change your behavior beliefs based on an opinion about the use of social media. This week consider, what is your definition of old.

*Is it who or whom. I’m old enough to be concerned :-)…and the photo is from 7 years ago, I may not exactly be old, but I am older.


  1. That AARP advertisement was great Sheila!
    Though, I did find myself bothered by the question. “What is old?” And thinking, why does it matter so much!

    I thought the advertisement was a really brilliant way to perhaps inspire thinking more deeply about why what other people think is old impacts how we feel? I wondered, how many of us felt relieved when our age was not the one declared, or conversely, felt bad when we were in fact, an age considered old!

    The question made me think of the quote, ‘comparison is the thief of joy.’ We could be so much happier if we defined old for ourselves. I have been practicing releasing my attachment with America’s seeming scorn for aging. Every where you look, we are constantly reminded that we have a shelve life. A use by date. A date beyond which we are no longer seen as valuable. A thought that in itself, makes no sense when you think about the actual value inherent in someone who has experienced life, a subject matter expert of you will! Having been raised in a society that glorifies youth precisely because you are inexperienced and therefore available to be influenced more easily, I’m learning to embrace and lean into getting old. I’ve decided that getting old is a privilege, it is my good fortune. I have decided to embrace it with a heart full of joy and gratitude.

    I am always slightly taken aback when someone says, “you look good for you age!” It is not out of vanity, truly! I mean, what does that actually mean? What if, this is what 54, 64, 74 is supposed to look like? Just a thought!

    Liked by 1 person

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