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TeenTikTok Age Restriction: New Screentime Limit For Teens

TikTok Age Restriction: New Screentime Limit For Teens

If you have a TikTok-obsessed kid, here’s some good news: the famous clock app announced it will be implementing a new screentime limit for all users under the age of 18. And because the app isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, nor is everyone’s obsession with it, this is definitely a good thing for young fans of TikTok.

The time limit will be reduced to one hour. When the 60-minute limit is reached, teen users (you must be 13 to sign up for your own account, though obviously many kids and parents have skirted around that requirement) will be prompted to enter a passcode to continue watching videos on the social media app, “requiring them to make an active decision” to keep scrolling, the company said.

At that point, teens will be able to opt out of the app if they want to, but will also be prompted to set a limit if they spend “more than 100 minutes on TikTok in a day.” Users under 13 will also have a 60-minute daily limit, and a parent or guardian can enter a passcode that extends their daily usage for another half hour.

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“We believe digital experiences should bring joy and play a positive role in how people express themselves, discover ideas, and connect,” said Cormac Keenan, TikTok’s head of trust and safety.

There has been much discourse about social media use among young users during the last few years. Experts say the popularity of social media apps like TikTok and Snapchat has contributed to a mental health crisis among teens and youth. Teen girls especially are in crisis, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just last month. Research has also shown that if young people reduce their screen time, they will feel better about themselves.

A study from the Pew Research Center last August found 67% of American teenagers used TikTok, with 16% of all teens saying they used it “constantly.” Legislators have been discussing putting social media regulations in place due to the safety and security of children who are on the platform.

Related: Why the Wren Eleanor controversy makes parents so uncomfortable

TikTok also said it settled on the 60-minute default limit after consulting academic research and experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital, though Keenan added that “there’s no collectively-endorsed position on the ‘right’ amount of screen time or even the impact of screen time more broadly.”

Here are the additional regulations the app is putting forth as part of Family Pairing:

“When teens need support, parents or caregivers are often the first people they can turn to, making them one of our most important partners. As we continue to innovate on how we empower families, we’re adding three new features to Family Pairing:

  • Custom daily screen time limits: Caregivers will be able to use Family Pairing to customize the daily screen time limit for their teen – including choosing different time limits depending on the day of the week – giving families more choices to match screen time to school schedules, holiday breaks, or family travel.
  • Screen time dashboard: We’re bringing our screen time dashboard to Family Pairing, which provides summaries of time on the app, the number of times TikTok was opened, and a breakdown of total time spent during the day and night. From our recent research, we know screen time is one of the topics parents most frequently discuss with their teens, and we want to support caregivers with relevant information to help them guide their teens.
  • Mute notifications: Notifications help us stay connected, but there are times when it’s important to be uninterrupted. We’re introducing a new setting that enables 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.”

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