As a parent, it can be challenging to keep up with all the newest social media websites and buzz words that kids are using these days. In the last few months, you’ve probably started hearing a lot about TikTok.
Some parents think its pretty harmless and have even joined up themselves. But then there are more concerning stories about child predators using Tik Tok or how the Chinese are using it to spy on Americans. A big tech firm even went so far as to demand all its employees remove it from their phones, until they changed course a day later.
In many cases, tweens and teens are using Tik Tok for fairly innocent pursuits. It’s fun to watch other people’s silly videos and even record a few of your own.
But As a parent, you probably want to at least know the basics about TikTok and if it safe for kids? For those answers and more, here is a quick parental guide to TikTok.
What is TikTok?
If you don’t know what TikTok is, you may have heard it under the former name musical.ly. This social media platform was built for creating and sharing short music videos and musical content. As time passed, it turned into a place for singing, comedy, dancing, lip-syncing, and has now morphed into a site similar to Vine. Short videos can be shared on nearly any topic, and there are minimal restrictions as to what can be posted.
This platform is a video-sharing app that lets users share 15-second videos with viewers similar to YouTube, but with a shorter video limit. There are over 300 million users per month on TikTok alone, and though there are some people who don’t post, many still have an account to view the videos.
What Should Parents Be Concerned About on TikTok?
One of the biggest concern is that TikTok videos cover a variety of different topics and not all of it is exactly “kid friendly”. While it’s original use was for music video style content, this also means that just with any other music video, suggestive content or inappropriate content can still be viewed with little to no filter. If you use Bark, or other parental control apps then you can use these apps to help block specific hashtags and set parental controls for your child’s TikTok account.
Should my Child Have a TikTok Account?
In a world where nearly everyone is online, it’s no wonder that you may find yourself asking if your child should have a TikTok account. I wrote an entire article about why my child doesn’t have social media and what parents should know, and we even have technology contracts that we use to ensure our teens don’t spend hours on their phones every day.
However, if you are wondering if your teenager should have a TikTok account, the answer is that it’s up to you. As a parent, you need to decide for yourself! While this platform can be easily abused, it’s also a place for amazing creative content. With proper adult supervision, TikTok can be used to share creative content with your children, but you need to be aware of the risks before you sign up for an account.
Just like many YouTubers have an account to view videos, but never actually create any content, TikTok could be used the same way. Before your child starts using TikTok, go through these questions, and determine if it’s a good fit for your child first.