March 10, 2023

Empowering Students to Strike a Balance with TikTok’s New Screen Time Limit Feature

Have you ever wondered how much time you really spend scrolling on social media? Or, on the flip side, would you prefer not to know how much time you spend online because it may be more than you like? This is a challenge that students face every day. But there is good news: TikTok is making moves to help its users strike a balance with its app. 

New Screen Time Limits for Students

TikTok, one of students’ favorite apps for creating and sharing short videos, has recently announced a new feature that will allow students to be more aware of the time they spend on the app. These new features are helping teens manage their screen time and be more intentional about their daily TikTok usage.

Now, TikTok users under the age of 18 will have a 60-minute daily limit by default. They can continue using the app if they enter a passcode, but the company says that forces users to “make an active decision to extend that time.” Plus, if students opt out of the 60-minute time limit and go over 100 minutes, they will be prompted to set a daily limit. They will also now receive a weekly recap of their screen time sent to their TikTok inbox. This is just another step that TikTok is taking to ensure students are aware of the time they’re spending on the app. 

TikTok has had a “screen time” tool for a while now. They have given students the ability to set their preferred daily time limit on the app, regardless of age, for the last couple of years. However, this new feature will send a reminder to students when they’ve used the app for over the hour daily limit, regardless of whether they have it set up in their settings or not. This will encourage students to strike a balance with their devices to help them reach their goals.

Students under the age of 13 will also have a 60-minute daily limit, but only a parent or guardian can enter the passcode that extends their daily usage for an extra 30 minutes. 

Why a 60 Minute Time Limit?

TikTok consulted experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital to determine the optimal amount of screen time for students. Although there is not a universal consensus on the exact amount of time they should spend with screens per day or the impact of screen time, the experts and TikTok’s team have determined the 60-minute time limit will serve students best. 

TSI’s Take

As educators, we can equip our students with the skills they need to be well-rounded in their development and growth. And in the 21st century, this means supporting them in their use of technology and social media. Guiding students to make informed decisions about their online activity is important. We want our students to have fun, connect with others, and stay healthy—all while striking a balance between their digital and in-person activities.

You can empower your students to strike a balance when it comes to their online and offline lives by empowering them to: 

  1. Take a break from social media when they notice it getting in the way of their daily life.
  2. Prioritize homework, chores, and other essential things before using their device for fun.
  3. Balance the time they spend on devices to reach their goals.

Always stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest trends online by subscribing to our newsletter where we talk about trending tech and social media news weekly! In the meantime, check out our Instagram and TikTok @thesocialinst for tips and highlights on all the well-being, social media, and tech trends impacting students.

The Social Institute (TSI) is the leader in understanding student experiences and creator of #WinAtSocial, a gamified, online learning platform that equips students, educators, and families to navigate social experiences — online and offline — in healthy ways. Our unique, student-respected approach incorporates topics like social media, technology use, and current events that have a significant impact on student well-being. Lessons teach life skills for the modern day to inspire high-character decisions that support the health, happiness, and future success of students, while capturing data that provides insights to school leaders to inform school policy and communications, and enable high-impact teaching and a healthy learning environment. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities.