TikTok launch new screen time tools

05 Jul 2022 UK SIC

This article was originally posted on Childnet

TikTok is a social networking app that users of age 13 and above use to share short videos of a huge array of topics, as well as like and comment on other users’ uploads.

With TikTok’s “For You” home page catering to users’ individual interests and suggesting new videos as you scroll, it can be easy to be surprised by the time after you stop scrolling.

Now, the social media app has released some new Digital Wellbeing settings designed to make users aware of how much time they are spending on the app.

If you think that the app is especially popular with your pupils, or that your child is spending more time on the app, talking to them about TikTok’s new safety features would be a great way to spark a conversation about online safety.

What is included in TikTok’s new update?

TikTok’s Digital Wellbeing page includes tools designed to help users keep on top of how much they are using the app. These include:

To access these features, simply:

Go to profile of the account > tap the three horizontal bars on the top right > tap “Settings and privacy” > scroll down and tap Digital Wellbeing.

Will TikTok’s safety update help young people stay safe online?

Parents, carers, and education professionals can use TikTok’s update to spark a conversation with young people about screen time and Digital Wellbeing.

The app has made it clear that the new update places responsibility in the user’s hands.

“Having a positive relationship with digital devices and apps isn’t just about measuring screen time, it’s also about feeling in control of how we use technology and ensuring that the time we spend online contributes positively to our sense of well-being.”

Users aged 13-17 will be reminded of the new screen time tools when they use the app for more than 100 minutes in one single day. This setting cannot be turned off until they reach 18.

How else can I ensure my child is safe on TikTok?

Family Pairing is a useful in-app setting which can help contribute towards safe TikTok browsing. Enabling this links your account to your child’s and will grant you access to their privacy settings, which cannot be changed without your password. Have a look at TikTok’s walkthrough video on using Family Pairing.

As always, settings within apps are not a replacement for having conversations about safe internet use. It is important to keep these conversations going so that you get a better understanding of what your child is doing online, and so that they feel that they can come speak to you if anything worries them online.

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