What is the Latest ‘Core Core’ TikTok Trend and how is it Affecting Gen Z?

Cillian Murphy

Image credit: May Gauthier on Unsplash

With the rise of TikTok over the last 6-7 years, the app has generated enormous amounts of trending content, accelerating the speed in which trends arise to an unimaginable level. TikTok has changed the face of social media in ways we’re unable to fathom still. With every trend, there’s a start and an end, but as Core Core has gained popularity, it puts even the idea of online trends into perspective for a lot of our youth.

The trend consists of a compilation of videos based on the direction in which our world is heading, real-life videos showing the distressing effects of capitalism, industrialism, climate change, a global homelessness crisis, and a cost-of-living crisis, accompanied by some despairing music. The trend is described as “core core” due to its revealing nature of putting all other trends into perspective; “the core of all other cores,” some would say. A worrying trend that seems to distress a lot of online users, sending them into an existential spiral, worrying about the fate of humanity.

The trend seems to defy all conventional trend patterns, a trend that can’t be marketed or profited from, a trend that calls out the greedy nature of “viral products” or “viral songs” and focuses on human nature. One user describes the trend as “going against all that pretty shiny content we’re overwhelmed by every day. It’s so much more real, so much more imperfect, just like people.” The trend seems to spur as a result of the current climate crisis and a growing belief that capitalism is near its final stage, known as imperialism, a term to describe the horrifying fallout of a capitalist society where individuals and natural resources are over exploited to benefit the pockets of the rich and powerful. Sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it? In a world where exploitation of natural resources and the exploitation of the working class are the daily topics of public outrage, it’s no surprise that online users have manifested this trend into existence. A trend that defies distracting trends and addresses the future of our harmful habits.

Although the trend creates positive and powerful conversations on what makes life meaningful and revolts against the capitalist idea that money and over-consumption of goods leads to happiness, the trend is also causing a lot of distressing thoughts amongst our youth. With the help of TikTok, Gen Z is arguably the most intelligent generation of humankind the world has ever seen, due to the enormous amounts of information we receive daily, pretty serious and worrying information for that matter.

With this over-consumption of information and the reality of growing up in an extremely networked society comes the burden of being overly concerned with our world’s harmful habits, in a time where children are supposed to be concerned with what happens at the playground, they’re witnessing online videos addressing the harrowing realities of humankind’s disastrous effects on the planet. What started as an artistic movement intended to get people more engaged with political movements has unfortunately become a reason for depression and universal panic amongst Gen Z individuals heavily engaged with TikTok.

The trend is a testament to the real extent Gen Z feels the worlds issues, so much that it negatively affects the generations mental health to a serious extent. Within recent years Nihilism has become a growing belief and reasoning for depression amongst Gen Z. Nihilism is the belief that life is merely meaningless and our existence is insignificant in the grand scheme of the Universe. A sad reality for a lot of young people at the starting point of their lives, but its hard not to see why these beliefs are a growing issue for Gen Z and potentially future generations, our world has become so interconnected and networked that we can see the issues of individuals halfway across the world in an instant, we feel the worlds issues like we feel our own.

In a nutshell this trend shouldn’t be vilified for distressing our youth but rather praised for starting an open conversation on our harmful routines, the trend scrutinises capitalist ideas of industrialism and consumerism and clarifies that life meaning isn’t found in consumer goods but rather human connection and helping others.

Cillian Murphy