Parents, do you let your kids use TikTok?
From “Is it even necessary?” to “It’s All About Balance”, here are the 7 answers to the question, “Is TikTok appropriate for kids?”
- Is It Even Necessary?
- I Don’t Do Tiktok and Neither Do My Kids
- Not the Right Move
- Not for Kids Under 13
- No, It’s Not but What Social Media Is?
- No Social Media Platform is Appropriate for Kids
- It’s All About Balance
Is It Even Necessary?
Every parent has the right to restrict their children from holding and playing on phones. Especially if it is used for things that are not necessary. A study from SellCell proves that almost 40% of kids spend time taking videos and photos on their phones. These videos and pictures are mostly for their social media platforms like TikTok.
As we all know, TikTok is a social network for sharing videos. Dance and comedy video content on TikTok is 73% greater than educational content.So, I don’t think it would be beneficial for children. To have a TikTok account, we have to sign up with an email, which means it can actually be used by teenagers. Not children.Children may access TikTok as long as they are under parental supervision and it’s better if the content is age-appropriate. Instead of TikTok, there are many interactive videos that are more kids-friendly that they can consume, such as video content on YouTube for Kids.
I Don’t Do Tiktok and Neither Do My Kids
Maybe I’m old and I’ve lost my initial attraction to social media (Facebook came out when I was in college, so consider me an OG). But I don’t “get” the whole TikTok craze — and more importantly, I don’t understand how some parents are okay with letting their kids use it.
Given TikTok’s anything-goes algorithm, you NEVER know what you’re going to see next. I’ve had talks with my children (ages 9 and 7) about how anyone in the world can see what you share on social media. It was a bit sobering for them, definitely something they hadn’t thought of. I believe it could spark an early addiction to screens and the need for social validation from peers, which can be unhealthy. Kids are just too impressionable and don’t need the pressures of likes, comments, and shares to define their lives.
Not the Right Move
Social media, in general, is a dangerous world for kids. Without proper parental guidance, it could impact their innocence and vulnerability. TikTok, one of the biggest video-sharing platforms today, can be inappropriate for kids.
Despite the algorithm, children can still consume content unsuitable for their young age. Alongside this, the rules and guidelines of the platform are not that reliable. Some videos are violent and disturbing and could alter the child’s brain. Point-blank; there are different options for children to learn without risking their safety. Thus, exposing kids to TikTok that early may not be the right move for a parent.
Not for Kids Under 13
Children who have access to TikTok must be supervised by their parents especially if they are under 13. Parents must also be aware of how to restrict mature content from being accessed through the app. Even though restrictions are in place, parents should not be complacent and also monitor the content their children are being exposed to.
No, It’s Not but What Social Media Is?
TikTok, like all social media, will introduce kids to topics, ideologies, lifestyles, and controversial opinions. Your kids may use it for other purposes like silly dances, or short clips of their favorite cartoons but the algorithm and discover page is a whole different story. Any topics that you have not discussed with your children or educated them on will be found here.
My daughter is 12 and she wanted TikTok to make dances. We went on the app together and put in her information. In just two minutes, on the “For You” page, I knew TikTok was not for children. If your children are on TikTok make sure you’ve talked to them about every topic imaginable that may be controversial because they will see that on there. If you don’t want your children to learn from others, make sure they have learned from you first. There are also a lot of creepy men on there. You can view the comments to videos and we saw tons of men of all ages commenting on dancing videos of girls.
No Social Media Platform is Appropriate for Kids
Children share one thing that makes them very vulnerable to things we as adults are already vulnerable to. The fact that they are still developing. This makes them even more vulnerable to social media addiction than we are.
But unlike us, they are not fully developed, so it hinders and interferes significantly with their developmental process.For one, TikTok is very addictive. An adult spends a minimum of 3hrs on social media every day. A developing child does not need to be staring at a screen for hours on end. They are more vulnerable to addiction than we are. This is mainly because they don’t know when to stop. They can’t stop themselves.Because they are young, they can’t reason that after 2hrs of scrolling on TikTok, it is wise that they stop and do something else. This is why social media has never been appropriate for kids. It’s different for adults, they reason that it is time to get off TikTok but choose not to.
It’s All About Balance
Age appropriateness is certainly a concern. If you do allow your kids on the app then privacy settings are key, and safety protocols should be employed to protect them from inappropriate content. Parents should monitor their kids’ activity closely by setting parameters around time spent on the app and creating filters like disabling commenting. However, if appropriate safeguards are in place, there can be some benefits to this platform.
The creative nature of TikTok encourages creative expression and digital literacy skills, providing a unique way for kids to interact with friends and explore art forms like music, dancing, comedy and more. Ultimately, parents need to discuss with their children what types of content they’re comfortable consuming and engaging in and then establish clear rules associated with TikTok usage. Overall, an appropriate balance can give kids access to the best elements of it without putting them in harm’s way.
Submit Your Answer
Would you like to submit an alternate answer to the question, Parents, weigh in – Is TikTok appropriate for kids?