TikTok to introduce screen time breaks and other 'digital wellbeing tools'

By Fiona Frawley

June 9, 2022 at 3:46pm

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Ideal for those of us who frequently find ourselves lost in the depths of a TikTok hole, blissfully unaware that four hours have passed while we were immersed in a world of American lunch ladies, and twerking, and American lunch ladies twerking.

For those who haven't stumbled across lunch lady TikTok yet, trust me, it's where it's at.

In the meantime, TikTok have announced new tools which they say will enhance the well-being of their users, including a screen time dashboard to let people know how long they've been on the app for.

TikTok already offer screen time limits, to help users control how much time they spend scrolling, but in the coming weeks the app will introduce a tool to let people control how much time they spend on TikTok in a single sitting by enabling regular breaks.

Prompts will remind users to take a break after a certain amount of uninterrupted screen time, which they can set as they choose.

The "screen time dashboard" will also provide users with data about how much time they are spending on TikTok, with summaries of their daily time spent on the app, the number of times they opened the app, and a breakdown of daytime and night-time usage.

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In a blogpost, TikTok's product manager Jordan Furlong said the app will also be introducing weekly digital well-being prompts for younger users - When someone aged between 13 and 17 has used the app for more than 100 minutes in a single day, they'll be reminded of the screen time limit tool the next time they open the app.

A new guide - How can I reflect on my digital well-being with my family and friends? - will also be available on TikTok's safety centre, with the intention to encourage users to "reflect more holistically about how they spend their time online – whether on TikTok or elsewhere – and how it makes them feel as they set the boundaries that best suit them".

Header image via Shutterstock 

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