Online commenting, often considered as a culture of the millennials, has been resonating recently among the middle-aged. They embraced this new culture as they started to spend more time online due to the spread of COVID-19.
But they tend to adopt different play tactics that are often more serious and active unlike the millennials who enjoy puns. Their comments often involve keywords related to health and more punctuation marks. Some use “hao” to finish their sentences, which is often used in romance comics, or use diphthongs wrongly because they are not used to mobile keypads. Many are not spaced correctly.
They often comment on videos related to trot songs, stocks, economy, and babies. A YouTube channel, with more than a million subscribers that is dedicated to economy, has got 900 comments on its video about bankruptcy in old age. Many commenters say they are in their 50s or 60s.
Another characteristic of their comments is that they often want to extend their online communication to the offline world and cheer for each other. An example of this would be a comment on a channel specialized for economy that goes, “I could treat you a warm meal if I knew you. Hang in there everyone!” “It’s exciting when my comment get a like or a reply because they make me feel like I’m understood,” said Ms. Yoon (53), adding that she started watching many economy channels on YouTube last year as she spends more time at home due to the pandemic.
“The younger generation recycles old styles of writing in their comments for fun, and the older generation is joining the culture as they are used to those old-style comments and also want to be more trendy, which is spreading the online commenting culture to all generations,” said Kim Heon-sik, a culture critic.