There’s some good news for parents in the world of social media. TikTok will soon set a time limit for children using the social media platform, the company announced last week.
A Social Media Time Limit for Teens
Every account belonging to a user younger than 18 will automatically be set to a 60-minute daily screen time limit. The company said the limit will begin in “the coming weeks.”
If the 60-minute limit is reached, teens will be prompted to enter a passcode if they want to continue watching. While this sounds like a loophole, TikTok said the strategy will require kids to think about whether or not they really want to continue watching.
The social media giant said it consulted the current academic research and experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital in choosing the limit.
“We believe digital experiences should bring joy and play a positive role in how people express themselves, discover ideas and connect,” Cormac Keenan, head of trust and safety at TikTok, said.
TikTok said it’s also prompting teens to set a daily screen time limit if they opt out of the 60-minute default and spend more than 100 minutes on the platform in a day. This builds on a prompt the company rolled out last year to encourage teens to enable screen time management. Teens will also get weekly inbox notifications with a recap of their screen time.
The new feature arrives as childhood experts continue to shed light on social media’s adverse effects on kids. These include cyberbullying, rumor spreading, unrealistic views of other people’s lives and more. In fact, a 2019 study of more than 12,000 13-16 year olds found that using social media more than three times a day predicted poor mental health and well being in teens, according to the Mayo Clinic.
A Social Media Time Limit for Teens and other Features Being Added for Families
The company is adding additional features to its Family Pairing tool. This feature allows parents and teens to customize their safety settings based on individual needs.
“We’re improving our screen time tool with more custom options, introducing new default settings for teen accounts, and expanding family pairing with more parental controls,” Keenan said.
Three features being added to TikTok’s Family Pairing include:
- Custom daily screen time limits: Parents will be able to use Family Pairing to customize the daily screen time limit for their teen.
- Screen time dashboard: This will provide summaries of time on the app and the number of times TikTok was opened. It will also include a breakdown of total time spent during the day and night.
- Mute notifications: A new setting will enable parents to set a schedule to mute notifications for their teen. Accounts aged 13-15 already do not receive push notifications from 9pm. And accounts aged 16-17 have push notifications disabled from 10pm.
Wanna read more stuff like this? Get our newsletters packed with ideas, events, and information for parents in Staten Island.