Why is TikTok limiting screen time? Here are the changes you can expect

Is it just for teens or for *everyone*? We have the intel

Why is TikTok limiting screen time? Pictured: In this photo illustration a TikTok logo seen displayed on a smartphone
(Image credit: Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty)

It's got social media users worried: why is TikTok limiting screen time?

The video-sharing app has certainly landed itself in trouble before, and we're not just talking about viral moments like the Milk Crate Challenge or the scandalous new mascara trend

Politics and security seem to be threatening the fate of the super-popular platform in certain states, leading people to ask: "Is TikTok getting banned in the US"? Now, the app is making plans to restrict users from overindulging. Here's what's going on and how it can potentially affect your time on TikTok. 

Why is TikTok limiting screen time?

In order to "play a positive role in how people express themselves, discover ideas, and connect" TikTok announced on Wednesday, March 1 that it will be limiting screen time for all users under 18 in the coming weeks. 

All accounts that belong to a user under the age of 18 years old will be prompted to put in a passcode after watching for 60 minutes—a feature that they can opt out of if they so choose. According to the app, TikTok execs chose 60 minutes after exploring academic research and consulting experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children's Hospital. 

Additionally, teens who spend over 100 minutes on the app daily and who have opted out of the 60-minute default will be prompted to set a screen limit. Young app users will also receive weekly reports about their app use. 

New features to TikTok's Family Pairing will help parents and caregivers customize a screen-time limit if they so choose, have a look at their teen's activity on a dashboard and mute notifications after a particular time.

This all comes on the heels of security concerns and the app's connections to China. However, it appears that these changes are being implemented to support emotional health, help teens stay authentic on social media and not become all-consumed by the platform. Pew Research Center found that 67% of teens are active on TikTok, with a whopping 16% scrolling "constantly." The research also indicates that 36% of participants say they spend "too much time" on social media.

How does this affect my TikTok profile?

If you don't fall within the age range, your account won't prompt you to enter a passcode after 60 minutes of usage. However, TikTok is taking its wider audience into consideration. 

According to the report, "everyone will soon be able to set their own customized screen time limits for each day of the week and set a schedule to mute notifications," which is currently available to a certain extent for users who fall in the 13-17 age category.

For all those who are scrolling before going to sleep, TikTok will help put an end to doom scrolling for users of all ages with a sleep reminder. This will "help people more easily plan when they want to be offline at night. People can set a time, and when it's reached, a pop-up will remind them it's time to log off."

To learn more, check out the news release on the app, or check out TikTok's mental health resources for guidance. 

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.