In February Experience Camps decided it was time to finally make the leap onto TikTok. Maybe you’re thinking, “cool!” or “finally!”…or perhaps, “I kind of know what TikTok is but not totally.” So, first: TikTok is a social media platform for creating, sharing and discovering videos. Its popularity stems from how easy it is to view short, digestible content. For those who know it as a platform to see people doing kooky dance challenges, it’s now much more. Below, Jesse Moss, our Senior Manager of Marketing & Creative Services, shares more about how we’re using it to have real conversations.
What’s the big deal about Experience Camps going on TikTok?
We’re all about meeting our community where they are–and our community is on TikTok. We got excited that our campers are on there, but also that the platform gives us the potential to reach millions of other grieving kids. We also want to talk to the people who support grieving kids, helping to educate them around grief and teach them how to show up for grievers.
To all our fellow grievers out there. grieftok wordle grief
Can you give an example?
We recently posted a video about “what not to say when someone’s grieving” and we had great and candid responses, and also questions. I think it’s important for us to be there to answer the questions. Society doesn’t teach people how to show up for others after someone in their life dies. I’m proud that we get to help move the needle.
What do you hope young people will get out of Experience Camps TikToks?
I hope everyone that sees our TikToks will:
- feel less alone.
- learn something new/change a behavior.
- have a moment of levity in their grief.
Icing on the cake is if they end up coming to camp, volunteer at camp, or get involved in some other way with us!
Are you learning anything from grieving young people since being on the platform?
Yes! It’s so clear that young people want a space to connect about their grief. Sometimes a young person isn’t ready to share much about their person that died, but they’ll leave a comment saying, “My dad died.” That’s a beautiful moment for us. The online space, which definitely has its faults, presents an amazing opportunity for kids to talk about grief. When they’re at school, they’re not necessarily getting that. If anything, we’ve heard from our campers that sometimes they’ll even get bullied for talking about grief. So, we’re providing an online space where they can find people who have experienced what they have–people who get it.
And can you say more about what you mean by “levity”?
There’s a lot of grief humor on TikTok. While grief is a serious and sensitive subject, many people cope and connect through grief jokes and laughter. Grief is such a heavy topic, and humor can be healing, bond people, and provide even just a moment of lightness from all of the crushing burdens of grief.
Reply to @hannaheschneider Why we can find better words than, “I’m sorry for your loss.” #grieftok
How can caregivers and educators use your account to engage in conversations with grieving young people?
Listen, learn, and ask questions. We want to help the world become more grief smart, and by following us, you’ll be on your way. We share tips on how to best communicate with young people, but also how to just sit in the muck with them. Try showing one of our TikToks to your child and ask, “Do you relate to this video? Can you tell me why or why not?” Once they answer, do your best not to judge their response. The point is for young people to explore their feelings and express what’s going on inside; there’s no right or wrong answers.
How can people engage with your TikTok?
First, follow us! Then join in on any of our conversations. Leave a comment, duet a video, stitch a video, or send us a message if you want to get involved! If you don’t know any of these TikTok terms yet, no problem. Start with the easiest action: Make an account and come join us!
Jesse Moss is our Senior Manager of Marketing & Creative Services. Prior to this position at Experience Camps, Jesse was our National Program Manager. We quickly learned that her superpower is connecting people to our mission, and she now helps build external partnerships and creates media assets for us. She worked as a social-media marketer for Warner Bros. Television, an Associate Producer for E! Network, and Digital Communications Strategies for the National Endowment for the Humanities.