TikTok has been popular among Gen Z since the app was released worldwide in 2018. To date, there are 800 million active users, according to a statistic determined by Oberlo, and 41% of TikTok users are between the ages of 16 and 24. Plus, we know from our own recent interviews with “Quaranteens” that the high school set has been particularly active on this app during social isolation as of late.
But with all that added screen time (our recent survey revealed teens are now spending up to 10 hours a day on their phones alone), parents are worried about their children being on the app 24/7. Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick even deleted their 10-year-old son Mason’s TikTok (Kardashian said he’s “too young”). However, parents will be glad to hear that this oh-so downloadable app is launching a parental control tool in the coming weeks — and it’s about time.
The tool, called “Family Pairing,” allows parents to pair their own account with their child’s. From there, they can control their child’s settings from their own phone. Parents can basically set restrictions on their kid’s accounts, in much the same way you would on a TV or computer to prevent them from seeing inappropriate content.
The only catch is: Kids have to grant their parents permission to link their accounts. “To set it up, parents need to scan a QR code inside the digital wellbeing section of their kid’s account,” The Verge explains. Still, kids can disable the feature at any time. “Though there are some roadblocks: parents will receive a notification, and they’ll have a chance to re-link the account in case it was disconnected by accident.”
So, what exactly can parents restrict? Well, perhaps most important, they can control how much time their child spends on the app. They can also limit inappropriate content from appearing as well as restrict who can send messages to their child’s account (the latter has already been something in the works for TikTok app-wide, and as of April 30 accounts will no longer be able to send people under 16 direct messages).
Of course, in the 10 days before the new feature comes out, parents can still play their part in by setting a screen-time limit on their children’s accounts and disabling inappropriate content in “restricted mode.” Family Pairing, though, will certainly make it more streamlined — and hopefully let parents spend less time stressing and more time getting “work” done at home. That or, you know, quarantine baking.
If you want to implement less screen time for kids, check out these toys.