TikTok has taken the world by storm and is especially popular among teenagers and young adults. While the app can be fun and entertaining, there is mounting evidence that TikTok is having a negative impact on our teens’ mental health.
In this blog post, I will discuss the dangers of TikTok and what you can do to protect your teens.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a short-form, video-sharing app that allows users to create and share 15-second videos, on any topic. The app has been downloaded over two billion times and is available in 150 markets. It is particularly popular among Gen Zers and millennials. In the United States, TikTok was the most downloaded iPhone app of 2019.
While TikTok can be a fun and entertaining way to spend time, there is evidence that it is harming teens’ mental health. A study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics found that TikTok use was associated with increased levels of anxiety and depression in teenagers. The study’s authors concluded that “TikTok should be used with caution, particularly in adolescents.”
Another study, this one published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, found that TikTok use was associated with a decrease in self-esteem and body satisfaction. The study’s authors concluded that “TikTok use may lead to negative body image and self-esteem in young adults.”
Tips For Protecting Your Child’s Mental Health on TikTok
Set Up Privacy Settings
Make sure you set up privacy settings on your child’s TikTok account. You can do this by going to the “Privacy and Safety” section in the app and turning on features such as “Private Account” and “Restricted Mode”. This will limit who can see your child’s content and prevent them from viewing inappropriate videos.
Monitor Your Child’s Activity
It’s important to monitor your child’s activity on TikTok. Check what types of videos they’re watching, who they’re following, and who is following them. If you notice any concerning behavior or inappropriate content, talk to your child about it.
Teach Your Child About Online Safety
Educate your child about online safety and the dangers of sharing personal information online. Encourage them to keep their personal information private, including their full name, address, phone number, school name, etc.
Use a Family Account
Consider setting up a family account on TikTok so that you can monitor your child’s activity more closely. This will also allow you to control what types of videos they’re allowed to watch.
Limit Screen Time
Set limits on how much time your child can spend on TikTok each day. Encourage them to engage in other activities such as reading, playing outside or spending time with friends.
Talk About Cyberbullying
Discuss cyberbullying with your child and make sure they know what it is and how to handle it if they experience it or witness someone else experiencing it.
Report Inappropriate Content
Encourage your child to report any inappropriate content they come across while using TikTok. You can do this by clicking the “Report” button next to the video.
Stay involved in your child’s social media use by talking openly about their experiences online and checking in regularly about their interactions with others.
By following these tips, you can help protect your kids from the harmful effects of TikTok and other social media apps.
Final Thoughts About The Impact of TikTok on Mental Health
In conclusion, while TikTok can be a fun and entertaining app for children and teenagers, it’s important to take steps to protect them while using it. By following these tips and staying vigilant about their child’s online behaviour, parents can help keep their kids safe in the digital world.