100 minutes of scrolling? TikTok warns against long-term use

With new features, TikTok wants to give users more insight into their use of the app. TikTok has been under fire for a long time because of the consequences of excessive use by young people.

The social media platform announced the adjustments today. On a dashboard, users can see how much time they spend in the app, when they use the app most, and how often.

The app now introduces the ability to set a time limit each time TikTok is used. So far, only a daily limit could be set.

For teens between the ages of 13 and 17, there will be additional features that limit screen time. They will soon see an update of their app usage every week. They also get extra screen time reminders when they‘ve spent more than 100 minutes in the app in a single day. The new options will be implemented in the coming weeks.

Not being able to temper yourself

In March of this year, eight US states launched a study into the potentially harmful effects of TikTok on young people. The study also looks at the company’s role in perpetuating potentially harmful app use.

Liesbeth Hop, a specialist in media use by young people, says he also likes to be on TikTok. โ€œThere‘s a lot to see, it’s often funny. Ideal to take a look when you have nothing to do. Only I am able to say: now it‘s too much.โ€

That’s different with young people, says Hop. โ€œChildren between the ages of seven and 18 years are not able to dampen their social media use independently.โ€

Hop doubts that TikTok‘s new functionalities will work. โ€œI think it will have little effect, at most, that they will be startled once when they see how long they’ve been in the app, but that‘s not enough.โ€

TikTok is also of no benefit if the use of the app decreases, says Hop. โ€œThey’re afraid of regulation, of course, but it‘s like a candy manufacturer saying that candy isn’t good. Get those funny critters off the packaging. In the end, that has little effect.โ€

To reach young people, knowledge transfer is not enough. โ€œYou have to make young people think what it feels like if they can only play or TikTok for half an hour. Does that idea make them sad, make them feel bad, or do they get angry? Then you can talk about that,โ€ says the media expert.

That is why there is hope for the future, says Hop. โ€œA much more conscious generation is coming now that understands how apps work better. My generation had no idea how to deal with this, we were collective guinea pigs. We are just now asking difficult questions. The next generations will benefit from that.โ€