‘I wish as a little kid, I wasn’t exposed to some things’: Panhandle reacts to new TikTok safety features

Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 9:40 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - As the Federal Government moves to ban TikTok, new safety features are about to be added to the app.

Every minor’s account will default to a one-hour daily screen time limit.

If that limit is reached, teens will be asked to enter a passcode if they want to continue swiping through videos on the app.

For those under 13, a parent will need to enter a passcode to allow for 30 extra minutes of screen time.

Some parents believe children will find ways around these restrictions such as, figuring out the passcode or changing their birthday.

“This is no guarantee that it is automatically going to decrease the amount of time that teenagers spend on TikTok,” said Jacqueline Flynt, licensed professional counselor.

However she says this starts a conversation.

“What is a healthy amount of time that you’re going to spend on TikTok, especially when you consider that most of the teenagers who have TikTok also have Instagram, Facebook, all of this other stuff that they spend time on,” said Flynt.

When scrolling on apps for too long, Flynt says it can have negative effects on the brain such as, higher rates of depression and anxiety or body image issues.

15-year-old, Ava Foust, who uses TikTok has felt those effects first hand.

“You can compare yourself to other people’s bodies and how they look and I definitely do that, it’s just really hard because you feel like you never have enough by looking at what everybody else has,” said Foust.

Some believe children should not be on the app at all.

“I don’t think that little kids should be exposed to all the things that they are seeing now, I wish as a little kid, I wasn’t exposed to some things,” said Foust.

Some also believe the app should be taken down completely for reasons ranging from user privacy to inappropriate content.