TikTok encourages teens to avoid overusing its app
A user shows his TikTok profile.
A user shows his TikTok profile.UNSPLASH

The content platform TikTok has announced this Thursday new tools to help users manage the time they spend on the application and take breaks. In the same way that Instagram already allows you to set rest reminders, TikTok will also incorporate a function in the coming weeks to encourage users to leave the application for a while. Despite being aimed, above all, at teenagers, the configuration of these tools will continue to be the responsibility of the user, even if he is a minor. Of course, since 2020 the platform has offered the option of family synchronization, which allows parents and guardians to link their accounts with those of minors, establish time limits on appsrestrict content and see what videos they have liked or set the privacy level of your profile.

Platform users will be able to program breaks for every 10, 20 or 30 minutes of continuous use, or customize them, so that a warning will appear on the screen. If the tool is designed like Instagram’s, the user could continue to consult the platform after reading the notice. Normally, this type of functionality offered by social networks is of a dissuasive nature, but there are external applications more designed to be managed by parents, which do allow the blocking of an application after the previously established time of use.

Another measure of those announced and that is also aimed at younger users is that “when a user between the ages of 13 and 17 uses the application for more than 100 minutes in a single day, TikTok will send them a notice reminding them of the tool. screen time limit the next time you open the application ”, according to the company. Although the user can ignore it if she wishes.

In addition, they will also be provided with data on the time they spend on the platform, with summaries of the daily time spent on the app, the number of times they opened it, a breakdown of day and night usage, and the option to receive weekly notifications to review. the control panel where all that is collected.

Model what break reminders will look like.
Model what break reminders will look like.TIKTOK (Europa Press)

As explained by the platform of Chinese origin, the results of an investigation (with which the company has collaborated and which has been carried out in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy) underline the importance of the ability to act to younger users: “When teens feel in control of their online behaviors and habits, it plays a positive role in their well-being. To achieve this, the adolescents (surveyed) asked for more data about their use and active alerts, such as pop-ups and warning times. They also want flexible tools that can be adapted to different circumstances, for example allowing more screen time on a rainy Saturday afternoon in summer than the night before an exam.

Some of the young people they spoke with for the study defended this need to feel in control over the time they spend on a social network, but others said that, after deactivating the reminders, they forgot about them; one of the possible results of this type of self-management.

“Supporting youth wellness is an industry-wide challenge, and we hope that others will also benefit from the release of these results,” said Jordan Furlong, product manager, Digital Wellness at TikTok. Along with these tools, the company has also presented a guide on digital well-being, which adds to the rest of the manuals and recommendations that they have been developing up to now (and that can be found in their help center).

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