TikTok sets 60 minute screen time limit for teens
Over the past few years, TikTok has exploded in popularity, with children reportedly spending an average of 91 minutes on the platform. This has raised concerns among parents, who fear that excessive screen time may harm their children’s mental health and well-being. To address these concerns, TikTok has recently introduced new features aimed at reducing teenagers’ screen time and providing parents with more control over their children’s activities on the app.
Under this change, users under 18 years will have a daily screen time limit of 60 minutes. In case the user wants to extend the screen time limit, they will have to enter a passcode, thus “requiring them to make an active decision to extend that time,” says TikTok. Additionally, if a teenager disables the screen time limit, the company will prompt them to set a limit if they spend over 100 minutes on the app. TikTok will also send younger users an inbox notification each week recapping their screen time.
Although TikTok consulted with experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital and reviewed academic research to determine the limits, there is no universally accepted standard for how much screen time is excessive. Therefore with these changes, the company hopes to provide teenagers with the extra support they need “as they start to explore the online world independently.”
Besides the screen limit, TikTok is introducing a new Family Pairing feature aimed at giving parents the ability to monitor their child’s activity on TikTok. Under the new parental controls, parents can apply custom limits that adjust based on the day of the week or school holiday. They also get access to TikTok’s screen time dashboard, which summarizes a child’s app usage and provides a breakdown of how much time they spent during the day and night, and mute app notifications on their children’s accounts based on a schedule they set. Additionally, the company is also developing content controls, which allow parents to filter out specific videos based on certain hashtags or words.
Apart from the Family pairing feature, TikTok plans to roll out some of these changes to all users, allowing them to schedule mute notifications and set customized screen time limits for each day of the week. These changes will provide users with more control over their app usage and help them manage their time more effectively.