TikTok Imposes Usage Time Limit for Teenagers
The company TikTok announced that children under 18 will receive an alert when they exceed one hour of usage time on the platform. At that point, teens will be able to continue on the app only if they enter a code. This is a measure established with the aim of improving the welfare of younger users and their families.
It’s common knowledge that the digital world has consequences on the mental health of children and adolescents. While it’s not appropriate to categorize social networks ( Instagram , Twitch, or TikTok) as negative in and of themselves, we all know that their irresponsible use can considerably affect people’s overall health.
How do teenagers use TikTok?
TikTok is a popular application among children and teenagers in which short videos can be viewed and created. In addition, music, special effects, and other creative elements can be included to make content more attractive. This represents an interesting and valued space for the world of music, dance, humor, and other types of art.
Mental health consequences
As with any other social network, TikTok carries certain positive and negative consequences that affect users’ lives.
- Creativity: The platform encourages creativity in its users, as it invites them to explore new ideas and experiment freely.
- Diversity and global perspective: It’s a platform that broadens the view of the world and encourages respect for diversity.
- Social connection: Teenagers can interact with other young people with the same tastes and interests, which can help develop social skills.
- General well-being: By consuming the right style of content, users can find a respectful and entertaining space that makes them feel at ease.
- Excesses: Many teenagers abuse the use of TikTok, which can lead to a negative impact on mental health and even lead to addiction.
- Self-esteem problems: The image retouching and filters characteristic of social networks can lead to major problems in the self-image and self-esteem of users.
- Social pressure and negative influence: Minors may feel pressured to follow popular trends and challenges that are disseminated on TikTok. As a result, they may engage in dangerous behaviors and even put their lives at risk.
- Exposure: Being part of the digital world, certain personal data becomes public. This platform has been criticized for its privacy and data security policies.
New features for teenagers on TikTok
From an objective perspective, we have to say that TikTok isn’t bad in and of itself. Rather, it’s the type of use given to it that will determine its connotation. In this regard, setting certain limits is essential. That’s why the company announced a series of functions that support families in regulating usage among children and adolescents.
Usage time limits
The application of Chinese origin has warned about its possible impact on the mental health of teenagers, so it has taken a conclusive measure: Minors will have limited use of screen time. The restriction will be automatically set after 60 minutes per day.
However, kids will be able to rehabilitate TikTok by entering a certain code that they can access if they follow a few simple steps. This means that in case teens choose to continue browsing, they’ll have to make an active decision to extend the time. Therefore, they’ll be forced to premeditate before carrying out their decision.
On-screen time summaries
In TikTok, there’s a feature called Family Pairing. This allows parents and guardians to link their children’s accounts with their own and keep track of all their activities.
Registered accounts will receive summaries of screen time, the number of times the app was opened, and a breakdown of total time spent during the day and night. The company has made this decision in order to provide relevant information to families to help them guide their children.
The company will introduce a new setting that enables caregivers to mute notifications from their children’s TikTok accounts. Users between the ages of 13 and 15 will stop receiving push notifications after 9 pm, while teens between 16 and 17 will have their notifications disabled after 10 pm.
A collective challenge
The online world has become part of most people’s daily lives. To reduce the negative consequences that social networks have on the mental health of the youngest users, it’s essential that we make a real and collective commitment.
It’s not about excessively and indiscriminately monitoring our children’s movements on TikTok, much less banning their use. Rather, it’s a matter of being willing to collaborate in the development of healthy online habits, such as limited usage time.It might interest you...
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- Keenan, C. (2023). Nuevas funciones para adolescentes y familias en TikTok. News Room, TikTok. Seguridad.