TikTok is introducing a daily screen limit of 60 minutes for users under 18 years old. The change, which will be implemented soon, is aimed at helping young people to manage their time on the social media platform.
Cormac Keenan, the head of trust and safety at TikTok, wrote in an announcement that users will still be able to continue using the app beyond the 60-minute limit by entering a passcode that prompts them to actively extend their usage. The move comes amid growing concerns about the amount of time that young people spend on screens, particularly on social media platforms.
Study by Common Sense Media
A study from the nonprofit research organisation Common Sense media showed that media use among tweens and teens increased 17% from 2019 to 2021. TikTok will also send each teen account a weekly recap of their screen time and introduce new features to its “Family Pairing,” allowing parents and caregivers to set daily screen time limits and mute notifications.
Beyond families and teens, TikTok has also taken steps to address concerns around misinformation and harmful content on its platform. In February 2021, the company announced new measures to combat misinformation related to COVID-19 vaccines, including the removal of content that spreads false information or conspiracies about vaccines. TikTok has also introduced features to combat cyberbullying and provide resources for mental health support.
Increase in negative mental health issues
However, despite these efforts, concerns around TikTok’s impact on young users persist. In addition to the Common Sense Media study mentioned in the article, other studies have linked excessive social media use to negative mental health outcomes such as depression and anxiety in teens.
The new screen time limits and other safety features introduced by TikTok are a step towards addressing these concerns, but experts caution that parents and caregivers should still take an active role in monitoring their children’s social media use and educating them on safe online behaviour.
Also read – Children, Parents and Social Media. A Different Progressive Take.