Beck is a junior. Her main hobby is digital art but she also enjoys video editing and animating. She has a lizard named Cas after Castiel from Supernatural....
Are Tik Tok Time Limits Coming?
March 23, 2023
Tik Tok, an originally Chinese-based social platform run by the company ByteDance, began to take the world by storm in 2017. It’s a short video-sharing app where people engage in everything from dancing trends to political arguments. Anything you can think of, you can find it on Tik Tok.
These days, the question that keeps coming up again and again about TikTok has to do with its negative affects on so many lives, especially those of teenagers.
Teenagers and young adults are most affected by social media, according to Mayo Clinic. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat…you name it, you can find a teenager who uses at least one of these platforms daily. But in today’s climate, it’s Tik Tok that dominates them all. According to the Pew Research Center, 67% of teens use Tik Tok regularly.
The problem comes down to internet addiction. By people spending so much time on social media and the internet, they can lose sight of what’s really important as they get pulled into this addictive app. Overuse of TikTok can cause insomnia, vision problems, and weight changes, according to the Addiction Center. And that’s just the physical problems. Too much Tik Tok use can cause people to disconnect from their real lives, become depressed and anxious, and sometimes even have withdrawals from not being online.
Tik Tok’s algorithm is what makes it such a potential danger to young people. It keeps you coming back for more by keeping the videos short and the topic relevant to you personally. By seeing what you like, save, comment on, and even just watch, TikTok personalizes the videos so that you keep watching, sometimes for hours on end.
In China, where Tik Tok’s parent company is located, there have been talks of curbing internet addiction. Laws have been passed limiting the amount of time that minors can play video games, so students are limited to only 40 minutes a day, and even then, what the Chinese version of Tik Tok presents to their teens is far more wholesome and educational than what is presented on the American version.
In response to complaints in the United States Congress, the American version of Tik Tok recently announced that there is now a 60-minute time limit for minors on Tik Tok. I asked some students what they thought the new limits.
“I think they should have the time limit on there because it provides the short time to have fun and provide relaxation. But it allows for the rest of the day to have interaction with other people and be more present and not sucked into your phone,” said FCHS junior Sage Gibson.
Still, even that new limit is not a hard and fast one because there is a bypass; with a set password the teenager or parent can allow for another 30 minutes of screen time. In theory, a teen could bypass these limits over and over again all day long.
So will these new, so-called “limits” really accomplish anything? Honestly, I have my doubts. As long as setting time limits on Tik Tok remains optional for teens, many will continue to spend entire classes, their bus rides, their time at home, and every evening, scrolling through Tik Tok.