Worried about your kids using TikTok? Child psychologist urges parents to keep tabs on what they’re watching – CBS New York
NEW YORK (CBSNew York) – The TikTok video streaming site has evolved to cover all aspects of life, from trendy recipes and, of course, trendy challengers.
TikTok has become so popular that the company claims to have 1 billion users every month.
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The Pew Research Center claims that half of American adults under the age of 30 use TikTok, but this popularity has attracted millions of children who many say are too young for its content.
TikTok launched in 2016 and has gone from sharing dance videos to just about anything you can imagine.
The app requires users to be at least 13 years old, but it’s a tough rule to enforce, and the company admits it has deleted millions of accounts of people believed to be under that age.
CBS Morning’s Nate Burleson spoke to her 11-year-old daughter, Mia, about TikTok, where she admitted she was addicted to it.
Burleson asked how often she uses the app.
“Do you want the truth? Mia asked.
âYes,â Burleson said.
âUm, about over eight hours a day, probably,â Mia said.
“Eight hours a day? Burleson said.
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âYes. When you can’t find anything on it, you’ll always want to look for things that will make you happy,â Mia said.
Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal programmed dozens of bots registered as 13 to 15 years old to see what videos the app’s algorithm would show them. The result: hundreds of videos on drug use, eating disorders, and porn site recommendations.
Michael Beckerman of TikTok says the app is entertainment and brings joy. He appeared on CBS Mornings.
âLike all entertainment, you want to watch in moderation, and we’re putting tools in place – ‘take a break’ videos, screen time management, and tools for parents, like family matchmaking to make sure. that they can have conversations and do what is right for their families and their teens, âhe said.
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Cindy Hsu of CBS2 spoke with child psychologist Dr Jennifer Hartstein, who says too many of certain videos can impact a child’s mental health.
âIt could feed some of their anxiety or it could increase their depression or their eating disorders or whatever, so we really have to be careful what the kids are watching,â she said.
She says ask your kids what they’re watching and check their smartphones to see how long they’re on and what they’re doing. If that’s too much, use the parental functions and controls on the device.
Hartstein says, remember, you are in control, so follow your gut.
Social media can create a sense of community, but there has to be a healthy balance.
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Keep in mind that our children watch everything we do as adults, including the time we spend on our own devices.