The current generation is obsessed with smartphones and TikTok app. For those who are unaware, TikTok (formerly known as Musical.ly) is an app that allows the users to create and share short videos with friends, family and subsequently the entire world.
This app is especially popular with young people who can get creative here. It has been rated 12+ in both Apple Store and Google Play Store.
To sum it all, TikTok is a social media just like Facebook, Instagram, and many more and just like any other social media app; it also has a dark side. Maybe adults understand what they need to stay away. But, the children are not accustomed to the ways of the world.
So we have come up with some ways to keep your children safe on TikTok.
Keep a close watch for inappropriate content
TikTok has had over a billion downloads until now. There are users of all ages and social backgrounds on this platform. Although the creators of this app claim it to be a purely lip-syncing app but truth be told, it is all about how creative you can get. Therefore, children could come across swearing, scantily clad adults or even semi-nudity in these videos.
Parents can filter out spam, offensive comments, and specific keywords and block accounts. But most of the time the filter does not catch everything because of so many creative use of spellings there to bypass the filter.
Beware of bullying on the platform
Bullying on TikTok can happen in two forms. Sometimes people mock videos they found to be too “cringe-worthy”. Bullying, in another form, is done through the users. This involves posting unwanted and harmful comments on the videos. Parents should monitor the social media account and make sure that it does not happen to their children.
Keep a close eye on kids who want to become celebrities
Some kids are not just interested in making videos on TikTok with their friends but also try to get lots of likes and followers. This can lead to risky and bad decisions. They might try to be too creative and hurt themselves in the process of making the video. This does not only apply to kids but to the adults as well. So far, there have been 52 deaths and 27 major injuries reported from all over the world. These people took making videos a little too seriously. Parents should be alert so that the children don’t try crazy things just for a little recognition.
Limit people who can access your child’s videos
When someone first opens a TikTok account, the account is set to “Public” by default. If children are using the app, then it is advisable to change the account settings to “private”. This way, parents can keep track of the people who can see the videos of their child. Currently, one can never know who is an online predator or a paedophile. So it is better to be safe than sorry.
Monitor their screen time
TikTok, like every other social media app, is addictive and can make people keep scrolling for hours until the battery dies. But parents need to keep the screen time in check so that the child does not get addicted. The app lets you limit screen time from 40 minutes to two hours.
Check it out yourselves
TikTok may be famous for the kids of this generation. But that should not stop you from trying it yourself. You might be able to keep a better eye on your child if you stay involved. Making videos can make for some great bonding time together.
Teach your children to stay safe online
Most of the settings can be changed only with a few quick clicks, and it is very easy. Children can find other ways to access the content you may otherwise not let them watch. They can easily make another account with a different name and access it without your knowledge. None of the parental controls is a hundred per cent fool-proof, and a child will eventually find ways to bypass the system.
That is why, as responsible parents, you need to explain the ramifications of their actions. The dangers and risks of social media sites are serious. If these risks are not explained properly to children, it can make them fall prey to depression and self-harm. They need to understand that fame is not everything, and whatever they put out online will always stay there.
But this should not discourage parents from letting their children use TikTok. In a world that runs on technology, you can never expect a child to grow like that. So teach them the right thing.