TikTok has gained a reputation for so-called “challenges” that are often funny but other times dangerous.
But one 81-year-old man managed to gain viral fame just by posting videos of himself cooking.
Stephen Austin, 81, was feeling “lonely” and wanted to feel “loved” so he started making silly videos of him making simple recipes and called it “Cooking With Steve.”
He uploaded his videos to TikTok, showing an amazing understanding of social media for one his age, and managed to become a viral sensation.
Austin, from Dallas, makes simple meals such as pancakes and microwave food but people are really into him. At 5.2 million likes with 200,000 views per video on average, Austin really has a following.
One video showed him spreading butter and peach preserves onto a few frozen biscuits. It doesn’t look so appetizing but the clip inexplicably got 8.5 million views and 1.7 million likes.
Talking about his late-blooming social media career, Austin said: “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 even got to earn a little something out of his. One of his nephews taught him how Venmo works and some generous viewers have been sending over bits of cash.
What’s amazing is that TikTok isn’t his first foray into social media. His YouTube account has 5,000 subscribers and previously used Vine. He has an Instagram account, too.
He continued: “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.”
But Austin is no stranger to being in the limelight as his grandfather was an entertainer. It looks like he managed to pass on his showbiz genes to Austin.
Austin explains that he doesn’t plan most of his videos. Once the camera is on, he just starts talking.
But what he’s doing works, so there’s really no reason to complain.