‘The grandpa you by no means had.’ Younger followers embrace 84-year-old TikTok creator from Richland Hills

‘The grandpa you never had.’ Young fans embrace 84-year-old TikTok creator from Richland Hills

Watch Previous Man Steve movie a TikTok — and hearken to the enjoyment he receives from creating content material. (Matthew Sgroi | Fort Price Report)

Richland Hills resident Steve Austin pulled his iPhone 12 Professional out of his proper pants pocket, swiped to the digicam app and hit document. 

After briefly addressing his viewers, Austin popped a recent Okay-Cup into his new Keurig machine, closed the lid to a click on, and pressed the brew button.

This straightforward video of him brewing his morning espresso could be considered over 300,000 occasions and favored over 50,000 occasions.

On TikTok, a social media platform that permits customers to create and share short-form movies and clips, the 84 yr outdated often known as “Previous Man Steve” – is a star. A minimum of, that’s what his account’s 1.7 million followers inform you.

The newfound standing, and love, doesn’t go to his head. 

“Being acknowledged is, form of, cool, I suppose,” Austin mentioned. 

Older creators breaking out on TikTok

Followers depart messages of admiration and well-wishes on Previous Man Steve’s TikToks. Giselle Fernandez, a 22-year-old from Tampa, Florida, constantly implores him to “Have an incredible day!” Amy Alondra, 18, from Houston leaves feedback saying, “You’re the cutest outdated man alive!!” 

TikTok is now a booming trade. Almost 50 million customers are on the app, and it’s climbing on a regular basis. 

But, for an up-and-coming trade like TikTok, demographics of the creator economic system are skewed a few methods. Creators usually tend to be younger, with 63% in Gen Z, and 52% are males, in accordance with the World Internet Index. 

Older creators, although, are starting to grow to be well-liked. Among the extra notable older TikTokers embrace Brunch with Babs, The Previous Gays, and Cooking with Lynja. 

Austin is using this wave of recognition, and instructions an enthusiastic following together with his genuine type. Watch any Previous Man Steve video, and it’s evident, Austin radiates positivity. 

‘A shock — and delight’

Austin’s content material was an immediate hit for fan and follower Alondra, the Houston girl. 

“He feels just like the grandpa you by no means had,” Alondra mentioned. 

Austin has heard this earlier than. 

“In fact, my followers had been all younger folks, and so they began referring to me as grandpa,” Austin mentioned. “They needed me to be their grandpa, or I reminded them of their grandpa.”

Although he isn’t a grandfather himself, nor does Austin have any children, he thinks of his personal followers as household. He says his precise household, his sister and nephew, don’t get too jealous.

Austin’s easy, self-produced movies of him simply saying, “Whats up,” or sharing grandfatherly knowledge, resonate with followers who want a “consolation watch,” as Alondra calls it. 

Her “For You Web page” is inundated with common movies of younger folks dancing or performing skits. Austin’s movies are a pleasant change of tempo. 

“It’s a shock — and delight — at any time when I see a brand new Previous Man Steve video pop up on my web page,” Alondra mentioned.

Austin showcases his standing quo-defying content material in a very genuine approach, contrasting societal preconceptions about know-how and older folks, in accordance with his followers.

“I didn’t anticipate a lot from it as a result of I figured, properly, it’s a teenager’s medium,” Austin mentioned. “They dance round and gals do make-up, and all that form of stuff. It simply wasn’t my factor, so I simply began doing silly stuff and began getting a following.”

Austin sometimes dances, however he depends on weekly segments, like “Cooking with Previous Man Steve” and “Magic Saturdays with Previous Man Steve.” This method has introduced Austin to the place he’s now. 

‘I simply get pleasure from it’

He nonetheless finds pleasure in each video — 1.7 million followers later.

“Doing my movies is probably the most fulfilling factor for me,” Austin mentioned. “It has gotten somewhat bit more durable as I’ve gotten older, however I simply get pleasure from it.”

Austin lives in Richland Hills, a suburb on Airport Freeway, about 10 miles northwest of downtown Fort Price. He’s retired, after working as a musical theater supervisor for greater than 30 years.  

But as Austin alluded to, being an older creator does have its cons. Even his age has made him a goal for scammers and hackers. 

His preliminary account, “omsteve,” which had amassed 1.7 million followers, was hacked in February. Austin continues to be locked out of his unique account. 

He was pressured to make a second account to proceed posting content material. Austin aptly named it “realomsteve.” His new account has 1,277 followers.

“The truth that I received hacked and misplaced my account actually, actually upset me,” Austin mentioned.

“It not solely upset me, it made me bodily ailing. I used to be in mattress a couple of days over that.”

Austin nonetheless doesn’t know who focused him and nonetheless laments the state of affairs. 

“That’s my factor — that’s what I do — and it was taken away from me,” Austin mentioned. “It was an expertise. However not a pleasing one.”

Austin says that TikTok has been made conscious of the problem, and is supposedly working to repair it. 

When he does lastly regain entry to the account, Previous Man Steve has nothing deliberate for future content material. That’s simply not his type.

“I don’t actually plan,” Austin mentioned. “I’m simply being me.” 

Matthew Sgroi is a reporting fellow for the Fort Price Report. Contact him at matthew.sgroi@fortworthreport.org. On the Fort Price Report, information choices are made independently of our board members and monetary supporters. Learn extra about our editorial independence coverage right here.

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