Concerns about social media’s impact on mental health aren’t new, but the increasing popularity of video platform TikTok — especially among younger users — has continued to raise red flags in recent years, even prompting psychological studies that have identified “TikTok addiction” and its symptoms.
But TikTok has decided to do something about it, at least to an extent. Today, the social media company announced that it would introduce a tool to allow people to control how much time they spend on TikTok during a single session by providing the option for regular screen time breaks. Users can set timed prompts to remind themselves when to take a break.
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The new feature follows TikTok’s existing daily screen time limits, which help people set parameters for their daily app usage, and its parental screen time controls, both of which have been available since 2020.
TikTok has also rolled out a new screen time dashboard that gives users a glimpse into how much time they’re spending on the platform, including summaries of daily time spent on the app, the number of times they’ve opened the app, and a snapshot of daytime and nighttime activity. An optional weekly notification to review this dashboard is also available.
Additionally, TikTok has published a new digital wellbeing guide within its Safety Center; it encourages users to consider how they’re spending time online and set healthy boundaries. And when TikTok users between ages 13 and 17 use the app for more than 100 minutes in a single day, they’ll be reminded of the screen time limit tool the next time they open the app.
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TikTok offers more screen time tools than competitors such as Instagram and YouTube, and more regulation, both self-directed and governmental, is expected in the market soon.