TikTok (previously Music.ly) is
a free social media app which is hugely popular at the moment – with an
impressive 100 million+ users.
You can watch, create and share videos often to soundtracks of popular music, on your phone.
Kids love it as you can
connect with friends (and new people/strangers!) through likes, comments,
shares and even duets. You can upload your own videos, art and things that
interest you and search for interests like football tricks and dance moves!
Like all social media
platforms, you really should be 13+ for TikTok.
Though it’s worth noting that Commonsense media give it a rating of 16+ for mature content.
(Apologies in advance for
going over any basics many parents are already doing)
TOP 5 TIPS
- Set it up with your child on your own account. If they
already have an account check it’s set to ‘Private’ or ‘Friends’. Set up is public by default so this is key.
- Let your child know you’ll be checking it regularly
and generally keeping an eye on it, just as you would with anything they do
- Have the conversation about clothing. TikTok ‘stars’
like young Jacob Sartorius, while he appears to be a likeable kid, like many
others he use’s methods learned from pop stars and celebs to gain followers –
being half-dressed, lip syncing rap and pop song swear words, sexual words and suggestive dancing etc. It
works. He’s averaging around 500K to a Million views per video. You may not
want your child copying this behaviour.
- TikTok wont let you search ‘sex’ or ‘porn’ but there’s
a lot of suggestive dancing. Also bypassing the ‘clean’ area of TikTok for
U13’s is easy. Kids just enter a false birth date.
- You can also spend on TikTok. By downloading virtual
coins to your wallet. Check your bank details are secured so your child can’t
use them without your permission.
- Use TikTok’s Digital Wellbeing feature to restrict inappropriate content and limit amount of time spent on it. Self-regulation on devices is near impossible at this age, so this tool is really useful.
Finally Parents Authorities warn of TikTok ‘outlet challenge’ causing fires. According to an article on CNN ‘The video on the social media platform involves using part of a phone charger, a wall outlet and a penny to cause sparks, electrical system damage and possibly fire, said Massachusetts Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey’
Take care online,
Wayne Denner is a speaker, author and expert on Online Reputation and Wellbeing. Wayne helps young people protect and improve their digital presence. Visit waynedenner.com for more information.