A Mum or dad’s Information to TikTok

Discovering somebody who hasn’t heard of TikTok in 2022 can be fairly the achievement. As one of the widespread social media platforms of the second, it’s not solely being utilized by our tweens, teenagers and even grownups to attach but in addition as an important approach to inform vital tales amidst a backdrop of pure disasters and even battle.  

As dad and mom, we all know we have to sustain with the newest social media platforms however let’s be actual – we don’t at all times have sufficient time. So, I’m going to do the exhausting give you the results you want. Right here’s my overview of TikTok – what it’s, the dangers, and most significantly, how one can assist your youngsters (or your self) keep protected whereas utilizing it. You’re welcome!! 

What Really Is Tik Tok? 

Tik Tok is a social media platform that may be downloaded on any smartphone by way of an app. When you’ve signed as much as the app and develop into a consumer, you’ll be able to create after which share quick movies of 15 seconds in size on any subject. 

The app began life as Musical.ly, an excellent widespread video streaming app that additionally allowed customers to make humorous 15-second movies, lots of which focussed on lip-syncing. By mid-2017, the app had over 200 million registered customers.  In 2018, the app was taken over by Chinese language firm ByteDance and all of its customers (and their content material) had been moved to TikTok. 

How Standard is Tik Tok? 

In accordance with Hootsuite, TikTok is the 6th most used social media platform on this planet. As of late September 2021, TikTok had over a billion month-to-month customers and as of August final yr, it overtook Fb to develop into the world’s most downloaded app. Fb does, nevertheless, have extra month-to-month customers, reporting a large 2.74 billion customers as of August 2021 

Who Is Utilizing It? 

It seems TikTok is utilized by females (57%) greater than males (43%) nevertheless its consumer base could be very numerous and cuts throughout all age classes – sure, even us dad and mom! However manufacturers hoping to achieve youthful feminine audiences are indisputably utilizing TikTok to showcase their wares. What’s attention-grabbing is that though all of us suppose that TikTok dominates the Gen Z market, analysis reveals that it doesn’t rank because the best choice for youthful customers – actually solely 4.3% of customers title it as their favourite platform. Customers between 16 and 24 nominate Instagram as their best choice! 

How Outdated Do You Want To Be To Use TikTok? 

In contrast to different social media platforms, there isn’t any minimal age requirement when utilizing TikTok. The corporate says that it adjusts a consumer’s privateness settings based mostly on the birthday entered when organising the account. If a consumer is beneath the age of 13, they may robotically be directed into the TikTok for Youthful Customers program which has extra privateness and security protections. After all, anybody can lie about their age, however TikTok has stated publicly that it has moderators skilled to foretell when a consumer is suspected of being underage. 

What Are The Dangers of Tiktok? 

As you’d know, there are dangers related to utilizing all social media platforms and TikTok isn’t any exception. Nonetheless, for my part the vast majority of these could be managed with a mix of important considering, parental controls, and preparation – extra about these later.  

However let’s go worst-case state of affairs for one second. Listed here are the potential dangers that your youngster might encounter: 

  • Contact from on-line predators 
  • Inappropriate content material: sexualized, violent, racist  
  • Doubtlessly damaging conversations round psychological well being 
  • Nervousness from doubtlessly poor response to their movies 

How To Handle The Dangers On Tiktok? 

Sadly, it isn’t doable to maintain our tweens and youths in a bubble – I do know, so disappointing! So, one of the best and solely possibility is to arrange them for challenges on-line and arm them with instruments to navigate the difficult stuff. Right here’s my recommendation on how one can finest assist them handle TikTok:  

1. Obtain The App & Begin a Dialog 

Information is energy, my pals. So, obtain the app and have a play so that you higher perceive it. Then, why not ask your skilled in-house ‘TikTokers’ to point out you the way it works. Use this as a possibility to ask them what they do once they see one thing that considerations them, or how they’d handle approaches from individuals they don’t know. Why not weave in reminders in regards to the significance of on-line privateness and the permanence of their digital footprint? Commit to creating these conversations common.  

2. Foster A Vital Considering Mindset 

Serving to your youngsters develop into important thinkers is, doubtless, the most effective methods of serving to them put together for all times’s challenges – each on-line and offline. With the ability to rigorously query concepts and assumptions slightly than accepting them at face worth is your youngsters’ golden ticket! So, if they’re approached by pleasant (however ill-intentioned) strangers on-line or despatched a hyperlink to an excellent compelling supply on-line, they may have the ‘smarts’ to understand that every one will not be because it appears and to hit delete! 

3. Use TikTok’s Parental Controls Or Assist Them Set Up Privateness & Security Settings  

If the horse has already bolted and your tween or teen has been utilizing TikTok for some time, then introducing boundaries may be difficult however don’t hand over! TikTok has a Household Pairing characteristic which permits dad and mom to hyperlink their TikTok account to their teen’s account to allow them to management the settings remotely. This may be a superb possibility in case your youngster is youthful or simply beginning out on TikTok. This offers dad and mom the facility to activate Restricted Mode, display screen deadlines, and in addition flip off the direct message possibility.  

Leverage Tiktok’s Privateness Controls 

In case your youngster has been utilizing TikTok for a while and also you wish to pull issues again, then why not work with them to arrange their privateness and security options. I discover youngsters at all times reply finest whenever you clarify why you might be doing one thing so guarantee them you might be simply wanting to maintain them protected. TikTok has a protracted record of options you’ll be able to allow that may make your offspring’s expertise that a lot safer. From turning off downloads, filtering feedback to introducing display screen deadlines, there’s a nice vary of the way of creating the TikTok expertise a lot much less dangerous. Try the complete record from TikTok right here. 

So, subsequent time you hear your youngsters reference TikTok, don’t instantly really feel a pang of guilt that you just don’t actually know what they’re speaking about. You’ve obtained this! Obtain the app, have a look round, learn this publish a couple of extra instances, and also you’ll be fantastic! And keep in mind, our youngsters don’t anticipate us to be consultants immediately, and even in any respect. They only must know that we’re all for all elements of their life and respect simply how vital their digital life is to them. 

You’ve obtained this!! 

Take care all 

Alex xx