Technology offers a lot of room for development and growth. Through countless social media platforms, children get the opportunity to communicate with others whenever they want.
One of those apps is the infamous TikTok. You’ve probably heard about this platform. Created in 2016, TikTok is one of the biggest and most popular apps among children.
And often, you can read that TikTok does more harm than good to children. So, as a parent, you want to ask yourself, “Should my children use TikTok?”, “When should my child start using TikTok?”, or “Can my 10-year-old child use TikTok?”
Is TikTok Safe for Kids?
Data shows that most U.S. TikTok users (32.5%) are between the ages of 10 and 19. If you read up about TikTok on the Internet, you can find a lot of bad reviews about the app.
Are these real, or are they just myths? Let’s find out!
TikTok Safety Features
In the following paragraphs, we’ll go over how TikTok handles your children’s safety and personal information.
TikTok collects all the information we give them. But why does TikTok need it? According to the company policy, the answer is rather simple.
If you use the app, you know there is a ‘For You’ page on it. Well, TikTok uses your information to make that page more comfortable according to your preferences.
Also, marketing plays a huge role in the app. By using your information, TikTok shows you ads according to your liking.
If you take into mind all the social media platforms, TikTok probably has the most diverse content. So, it’s not that rare for your children to stumble upon content that doesn’t fit their age.
So, TikTok has taken that into account and added a Restricted Mode feature in the app. By enabling this mode, most inappropriate content gets filtered out.
You can find this option by following this path:
Profile->Menu->Setting & Privacy->Content Preferences-> Restricted Mode.
Blocking and Reporting
Even if Restricted Mode doesn’t help, TikTok offers the block and report options. Make your children know that blocking inappropriate users and reporting explicit posts is a must.
That way, your children can eliminate most of the negative content that they find.
Risks That Come Along With the Usage of TikTok
In real life, bigger cities and places are more dangerous. The same is with social media. According to reports, TikTok was the most downloaded app in 2021 that nowadays has a large number of 1 billion monthly users.
So, with a community as large as that, it’s only logical there are risks your children are exposed to while using it. We’ll quickly go over them in the following paragraphs.
Statistics show us that 70% of children have seen inappropriate and explicit content, such as nudity. This type of content is also present on TikTok.
Your children being exposed to this kind of content can cause several negative effects on their mental growth. Teach children to report this type of content and report the users that post it.
Online predators are probably the most dangerous risks on the Internet, and TikTok has plenty. Studies show that 20% of children have stumbled upon an online predator while using digital devices.
Predators often act friendly and polite at first or even hide behind fake accounts to manipulate your children.
The results of your child being attacked by an online predator are devastating. Predators can psychologically traumatize your children or even convince them to meet in real life.
The digital world only opened up more space for bullies to thrive. Children can find online bullies on TikTok too.
According to Cyberbullying Research Center, about 46% of children have encountered digital bullies in 2021.
That’s almost half of all children! So, make your children know to be careful when talking to people online and report bullies.
When children use technology, their brain releases dopamine, the happy hormone. So, that means they get addicted to devices easily.
According to Common Sense, about half of all children are addicted to their devices. The battle with addiction is hard and might even need the help of professional therapists.
So, make sure to set limits for tech usage and educate your children to practice healthy tech habits.
TikTok has established several rules regarding children using the platform. One of them states that children under the age of 13 shouldn’t use the platform.
But we all know that often younger children lie about their age and use the app, even when they’re not allowed.
And although it is much needed, TikTok doesn’t offer a direct way to verify your age. So, it’s our job as parents to enforce TikTok’s rules and not let young children use the app without our permission.
Tips for Parents and Guardians
Firstly, when your child wants to create a TikTok account, you must sit down with him/her and discuss all the risks regarding the platform.
Having a strong and trustful relationship with your children can save you from a lot of problems before they even happen.
Moreover, you can always monitor your children’s social media presence manually or by using parental control apps. Creating a healthy digital environment offers your children a peaceful and carefree online experience.
Ever since its release, TikTok stormed the youth generations and quickly rose as one of the most popular and influential social media platforms.
Because of the large number of users, TikTok also offers tons of inappropriate content and dangers for your children.
But let’s answer the original question, should your 10-year-old use TikTok? According to app rules, it shouldn’t, and I strongly advise you to follow that rule. We, as parents, must be careful when letting our children use TikTok.
Be present, check on your children’s online activities, and intervene if needed. After all, we must take good care of our children’s safety.
Is there a child version of TikTok?
Unfortunately, there isn’t. But turning on Restricted Mode and blocking inappropriate users can create a safe environment for your children on TikTok.
How do I make TikTok safe for my child?
Turn on Restricted Mode, block and report inappropriate content, and monitor your children’s social media presence.
At what age should my kids have TikTok?
According to TikTok rules, a child should be at least 13 to use the app. So, you can think of allowing your children to use TikTok when they’re about 14.
But still, be careful because TikTok is regarded as one of the most dangerous platforms on the Internet.
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