I think we can all agree that it’s easy to lose a track of time when scrolling through TikTok or Instagram. But in the latest attempt to seem like they care about wellbeing, TikTok has introduced some new features that will help you stop scrolling before you lose the entire afternoon staring at the screen.
From now on, TikTok will have additional time control features. Among the existing options, there are now a screen time dashboard and a “well-being guide” for teen users. Both are aimed to help people manage how much time they spend scrolling, and there are also prompts to take a break if you overdo it.
So far, TikTok has allowed you to set screen time management under “digital wellbeing.” It notifies you after 40, 60, 90, or 120 minutes and you need to enter a passcode to keep scrolling. Apparently, it’s easy to bypass this “security system,” but at least it allows you to realize that you’ve been scrolling for too long and reconsider if you want to go on.
With the new feature, TikTok lets you set reminders for any amount of time you choose – 10 minutes, 20 minutes; more, or less. Another novelty is the dashboard which will give you an insight into your stats. It will tell you will how much time you spend in the app, when you tend to use it most, and how often you open it.
TikTok is also putting some focus on its teen users. It will remind those between the ages of 13 and 17 about the screen-time tools if they use the app for more than 100 minutes in a single day. Finally, both teens and older users can now find a “Well-Being Guide” on TikTok’s website, where they can read or share mental health stories and find useful mental health guidelines.
The social media giant first introduced the “digital wellbeing” tools in 2019. Not surprisingly, Instagram followed with the “take a break” feature for teens in 2021. And when they updated it this year – they quietly extended the minimum time limit.
This move from TikTok comes after accusations that the platform and its competitors don’t do enough to protect the children. After all, it’s true – we’ve heard of some serious cases of social media addiction. They were often intertwined with other mental health issues, and some of them sadly even ended tragically. But it’s important to remember that social media companies don’t care about us or our kids – it’s us who need to be aware of the dangers and educate the young ones to prevent negative consequences.