Well that's why now every video starts the same way

Half of my screen time was spent watching in-depth makeup routines, oddly satisfying ASMR, and even school lunch packing tutorials. (I'm single and have no kids.) But nothing compares to my true love: story time, which makes me feel like I'm meddling in other people's gossip without any consequences. How do I know story time is worth stopping my scroll? It starts with a shake of the camera, a smear of lip gloss, or the familiar phrase “Okay, so”—the latter of which currently fills my five-year plan.

Something in the first few seconds of a video needs to pique your interest enough to keep watching, and for Gen Z, interest in the first eight seconds is the sweet spot. Today, some creators use the filler phrase "Okay, so" when opening a clip to grab their audience's attention. In most cases, this may be a subconscious move, although it can certainly engage the audience. But this isn't the first time profiles of ordinary content creators have circulated online.

Calculated “honesty”

Before the subliminal “Okay, so” became noticeable on TikTok, more premeditated introductions were used to engage viewers.

The Gen Z vibe is beloved by its namesake demographic, and audiences have begun to realize this deliberate strategy. To this end, users hit record before putting their phone down, making it seem like whatever they're about to share is so important that they don't even have time to prop it up first.


Likewise, "Lip Gloss Strategy" is another viral video introduction that involves applying lip products while speaking to the camera in order to create visual interest for the audience before anything particularly valuable is shown or said. Registered psychologist Dr. Michee Leno previously told Bustle that when creators wear lip gloss, it signals to viewers that the content they're watching is safe and familiar, a virtual version of hanging out with friends while putting on makeup. Mirror. This relevancy and familiarity is what keeps users paying attention. Using a typical phrase like "Okay, so" may have the same effect.

subconscious strategies

Of course, this sentence is not original to TikTok. Linguistics expert Adam Aleksic, who goes by @etymologynerd on TikTok and studies the intersection between language and social media, explains that “well, so” is a discourse marker, similar to “no, because,” “I mean Yes” and “Okay, okay…” all suggest to the listener that an idea will follow. The words themselves sing to the audience and it’s time to hear what is about to be said.

What these seemingly subliminal video intros have in common—besides how they make viewers stop scrolling—is that they easily stand in opposition to the “millennial pause,” as it was identified in 2021, Thereafter he was branded with the terrible mark of "cheugy". ”. The brief pause at the beginning of the video is an easy way to identify Millennials. This unexpected pause is likely due to members of this generation feeling a bit embarrassed about participating in new areas as they speak candidly into the front-facing camera (rather than Crafted from the desktop~aN aWaY mEs$aGe~).


Now, those Gen Z users who dominate online spaces like TikTok, as well as Millennials who were once ostracized for their outdated moves, will do almost anything to fill the silence — whether they do it on purpose (smear Dior Lip Oil) or unintentionally ("Okay, so"). For Gen Z, candid content is king, but that doesn’t stop their inevitable online life cycle.

According to the New York Times, 2023 is the year Millennials stop using the internet. As Gen Z ages, a group known for being trendsetters and tastemakers finds itself falling out of the loop, while Gen Alpha memes grow in popularity. In desperation—whether intentional or not—Gen Z users are doing whatever they can to get people to stick around and watch their content.

Once you first notice lip gloss application, camera shake, or "ok, so" in a video, you'll start seeing it everywhere. As things become ubiquitous online, they inevitably become cliche and maybe even cringe-worthy. Gen Z could be next.