TikTokthe famous Chinese video platform, will set a limit of 60 minute daily screen time to each user account under 18 years. This decision, which will begin to be applied in the coming weeks, is part of a time when criticism of its “addictive” power They are increasing.
The amount of time young people spend in the red social has become a matter of concern for mental health professionals, parents of users, governments and the same technological platform, which seek to stop this increase in consumption of short videos.
Although there is no consensus on the “right” amount of time that users can use watching videos or their impact in general, the platform consulted researchers and experts from the Digital Wellness Lab del Boston Children’s Hospital to decide the time limits to be set for adolescents.
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The new features announced by the social network try to “improve the tool of screen time management with more personalized options, introducing new default settings for adolescent accounts and expanding the ‘Family Synchronization’ program with more parental controls”, as detailed in a statement Cormac KeenanTikTok’s director of trust and safety.
The new TikTok restrictions
In the coming weeks, all accounts belonging to a user under the age of 18 will automatically be set up on a 60 minute screen time limit. When viewing time is reached, youth will be asked to enter a access code to continue watching, which will require them to make an active decision to extend that time.
For their part, the children under 13 years Not only will they have a 1-hour limit, but they must ask their parents or guardians to enter the access code, which will enable them only 30 additional minutes of display time.
even added a “Family Synchronization” of the accounts, where parents will be able to “define a maximum daily viewing time for their child”, depending on the days of the week. But, as in other Internet pages, young people can lie about their age or disable this option.
The function also arrives “Screen Time Dashboard”which provides summaries of the minutes teens have spent on the app, as well as the number of times they’ve opened TikTok and a breakdown of total time spent throughout the day and night.
Finally, the social network adds “Silence notifications” that allows parents to establish a schedule so that minors at home do not receive alerts.
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Other security measures
These functionalities are based on other initiatives that the application has been proposing to encourage young people to manage your screen time and help parents to be able to carry a greater control.
Some of TikTok’s existing security features for teen accounts include being set as private by default for those between 13 and 15 years.
Also, the option to send direct messages is only available for over 16 years and, to organize a “VIVO”community members should have at least 18 years old.
Another problem that concerned the parents of the users was the access of young people to content that was not suitable for their age. That is why the platform added the function of “audience control”, which allows content creators to restrict access to their videos to adults only.
The effects of an “addictive” social network
The new functionalities seek to reassure those who criticize the time spent by young people in between 4 and 18 years old watching hundreds of videos proposed by the algorithms that analyze their tastes, encouraging them to stay in app.
According to a worldwide study of Qustodioa software company specialized in measuring time on entertainment platforms and parental control on social networks, minors spent an average of one hour and 47 minutes a day consuming TikTok content during 2022.
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In this same vein, researchers from the Universidad de Zhejiangin Chinathey analyzed the behavior of the users in the application to find the reasons why they create so much addiction.
The results were published in 2021 in the journal Neuroimage and they pointed out that the secret of Tik tok is that it has a direct impact on the areas of the brain linked to pleasure.
The analysts noted that the videos shown by the platform algorithm generates a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction in the body, specifically activating the ventral tegmental area, the part in charge of releasing the dopamine.
The study determined that the videos may imply difficulty concentrating in other activities that do not provide the release of dopamine, such as studying, performing different tasks or working.
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