Social media has completely taken over the world. If it's not Facebook, it's Instagram. And if it's not Instagram, it's Twitter. The possibilities of social media are endless, but so are the totally pointless traits that modern-day technology holds. Tik Tok - the video-making app that allows users to create short videos that very quickly go viral - is one of them. And the latest Tik Tok star to go viral might be it's most wholesome yet...

Technology and social media truly define the younger generation.

It’s pretty unlikely that you’ll see a teenager walking down the street without a smartphone in their hand, desperately scrolling through their many social media apps.

It's not just teenagers who are obsessed with social media...

The majority of us adults are too, with us posting every inch of our lives on these apps and communicating with others through them solely.

A lot of social media apps provide many purposes...

People can actually earn a living through social media, such as selling things on Instagram or starting a business through Twitter.

But there are some apps that aren't so productive...

And Tik Tok is one of them!

A lot of people are struggling to understand exactly what Tik Tok is...

Basically, it is an iOS and Android app made for creating and sharing short lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos.

It went viral pretty quick ...

It was the world’s fourth most downloaded app in 2018, beating Instagram and Snapchat – which is a pretty big achievement!

It has been argued that Tik Tok is better than Vine...

Who remembers Vine? Launched in 2012, Vine was a short-form video hosting service that allowed users to share 6-second-long looping video clips.

Tik Tok videos look a little something like this...

And it has to be said, the majority of them are rather entertaining.

Animals and Tik Tok are the best combination.

More and more people jumped on board the Tik Tok bandwagon and started getting their beloved pets involved.

The rise of superstars...

People began getting more and more creative, including autotuning this kitty’s annoyed yowls.

Some are just plain weird...

It’s a mystery as to what goes through people’s heads when these types of Tik Tok videos are made…

It can now be established that Tik Tok is just a space for weird videos.

But some people still cannot get their heads around it!

And the latest Tik Tok star to go viral?

Well, he might just be the most wholesome star ever. This is Stephen Austin – or, as Tik Tok knows him, Old Man Steve.

He's eighty-one years old.

And lacking any children or grandchildren, he took to social media to cure his loneliness…

And he's quickly become a viral internet sensation.

His “cookery” videos (which tend to feature more snacks and convenience foods) gets tens of thousands of views, and Austin has amassed quite the following.

Sometimes he gets into the millions.

Which isn’t bad for an octogenarian who isn’t particularly internet-savvy.

"As I have no children or grandkids, this has been such a joy to me and it makes me feel not so alone and loved."

“Most of the comments say they love me and I’m the best thing on TikTok. I feel very blessed,” he explained.

"I'm self-taught as far as doing my video work on the camera and lighting and such and understanding how to do TikTok."

“If I don’t understand something I Google it or see if a video on YouTube has a subject on it.”

Watching his vids, it's easy to see why he's gained such a cult following!

What a total cutie. But for a Tik Tok story that’s not nearly so wholesome, scroll on…

In 1918, the world was brought to its knees.

101 years before the current pandemic, the notorious Spanish flu ripped across the world, infecting and killing millions of people.

It became the most severe pandemic in modern history.

The origins of this deadly strain of influenza are still uncertain but, much like coronavirus, it was notoriously quick to spread across the globe.

An estimated 500 million fell ill to the virus.

And roughly one-fifth of those died, with some indigenous communities even being pushed to the brink of full extinction.

It was a dark, dark time for the world.

And, here in the United States, we were hit particularly hard, with around 675,000 deaths been recorded in our country alone.

Age played a huge role in survival chances.

The 1918 pandemic was unusual in that it killed many healthy twenty to forty-year-olds, including millions of World War I soldiers. In contrast, people who die of the flu are usually under 5 years old or over seventy-five.

Both medical research and resources were limited back in 1918...

So the virus was quick to rampage out of control, with prevention efforts being limited to non-pharmaceutical interventions such as quarantine, good personal hygiene, and limitations of public gatherings… It all sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it?

And now, fast forward to 2020, a new pandemic has brought the world to a standstill.

Since December 2019, the coronavirus has been spreading across the world like wildfire and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

Much like the Spanish flu, the pandemic has caused a global panic.

According to statistics, over a million people have now been infected with the virus, and a further 53,292 have died.

The majority of people around the world have been left confined to their homes...

And, unlike the 1918 pandemic, it is this time the elderly who are most vulnerable to the virus.

Older people are in one of the higher-risk demographics...

And the majority of deaths so far have been people over the age of sixty.

All people over the age of seventy have been told to self-isolate...

And even though this is in their best interest, self-isolation isn’t all fun and games.

A lot of elderly people have been isolated from their loved ones and carers.

Which is certainly not ideal for those who struggle to care for themselves and do their day-to-day tasks.

And not only is this self-isolation difficult for the vulnerable...

It is difficult for a person’s mental health.

Many elderly people have been left unable to see their families and grandchildren...

And it is truly beginning to take its toll.

However, there is one elderly man staying positive amid this pandemic...

Second World War veteran, Bill Lapschies, from Oregon, lived through the Spanish flu pandemic, the Great Depression and his time in the US Army during the Second World War… So he certainly isn’t going to let this one get him down.

Twenty-five days ago, Bill first presented symptoms of the virus...

But it has now been nineteen days since he last had a fever, meaning he could well be the oldest person to ever recover.  

And, shortly after making a remarkable recovery from coronavirus, Bill celebrated his 104th birthday.

Socially distanced family, friends, and television crews came together to gather outside the Allworth Veterans’ Home in order to wish Bill a very happy birthday.

It is a true achievement for the veteran.

And, when asked by his granddaughter just how he had survived the virus, he simply replied: “I don’t know. It just went away. Sit out here and you can get rid of anything.”

Staff at the carehome are overjoyed with Bill's recovery...

And, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting, Dr. Rob Richardson, who oversees the care at the home, explained how differently this could have turned out. “This could have easily gone another way. There’s not a lot of interventions that can be done.”

You can watch a clip from Bill's celebrations here.

For more on the pandemic, keep scrolling to hear what a Holocaust survivor had to say on the matter…
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