Is TikTok Appropriate for 10 Year Olds? Short Answer…No
It is not surprising that TikTok became the sixth (or the fifth, depending on who you ask) most popular social media platform. Its offerings of captivating dance routines and entertaining memes has brought it to the forefront of the short-form video-sharing apps. TikTok is the pinnacle of the concept of “just one more video.” The format makes it easy to get lost in all the scrolling.
Considering the implications and questionable influences of the nature of content available on TikTok, many parents find themselves pondering, “Is TikTok appropriate for 10-year-olds?” This article will help you decide.
Is TikTok Safe for 10-Year-Old Kids?
Is TikTok appropriate for 10-year-olds? The short answer is “No,” but the answer is also not as straightforward as you would expect
The full answer to this question lies in technology. Interactive media websites continue to be popular because they are a simple way to communicate with everyone and anyone on the internet. Herein lies the problem and the root of justified fears for parents of all children, no matter what their age.
To start with, TikTok strictly prohibits anyone under the age of thirteen from using its video-sharing app. However, kids are more tech-savvy than ever before, and TikTok’s verification checks leave a bit to be desired. It’s easy to enter a fake date of birth and get complete access to the app. Alternatively, some parents might give their children access to their phones and accounts willingly, not knowing how it can affect them.
When using any interactive media website, there is always the risk of encountering predators of all kinds, unfitting material, intimidation, security violations, cyber-attacks, organized crime, political activists, and even national governments. This extends to both children and adults, but children are far more easily influenced. So take heed and be wary of what you might find.
Guide to Protecting Your Child From the Dangers of TikTok
Luckily, it’s not all doom and gloom. If you scratch a bit below the surface, you can easily learn how to filter out content that isn’t doing you or your child any good. Here is a digital guide that shows where most pitfalls lie and help you decide the best path to take for your child in their TikTok activities.
Can You Bypass TikTok’s Age Restrictions?
TikTok has become one of the most popular apps among a wide range of avid short-form video enthusiasts of all ages. However, 28% of its users are below the age of legal majority – 18 years old.
The platform is made for users that are over the age of 13 years old. Nevertheless, this does not stop children under this age from joining and sharing in the app’s activities. TikTok has conditions of use that state that users must be thirteen years old or older in order to have access to the complete application. By entering a false birth date, it is possible to work around this requirement.
If users do enter a date of birth that makes them younger than 13 from the U.S., then TikTok shuts off most of the app functions and heavily curates content. In some countries, TikTok bans the account outright.
Popular Trends on TikTok May Be Misleading
TikTok is renowned for its lively community of content creators who are constantly generating an excess of topical challenges, lip-syncs, and dance routines. These trends can be fun and creative outlets for kids, keeping them entertained and involved.
However, caution is advised as not all of these activities are apt for children. Some venture into mature and possibly inappropriate material.
Some TikTok videos are also edited to achieve the desired effect. For example, you might see a cooking hack that seems perfectly reasonable and easy. In reality, however, the trick doesn’t work or, worse, can lead to injuries.
Scroll through the content your child is watching online. If you see anything suspicious, you can report it and block the account so it won’t show up on the feed.
Inappropriate Content Has Many Dangers
Despite having algorithms and moderation in place to filter content, inappropriate material can inadvertently pass through the controls undetected. Examples of explicit language or adult content are not what you want children to see and can seriously affect their impressionable minds.
Cyberbullying on TikTok
The world of social media is conformed of social interaction; hence, the presence of cyberbullying is always a danger. Young children may become targeted with hurtful comments or aggressive behavior, giving rise to possible future psychological problems.
Educate your child on healthy communication patterns and prevent them from taking part in comments that can be harmful to anyone.
The Impact of TikTok on 10-Year-Olds
At the age of 10, children are in a crucial stage of their development, gaining a deeper understanding of the world and honing their social skills. Considering the ever-present flow of content and captivating trends on TikTok, it’s crucial to recognize the potential impact it can have on their behavior, perspectives, and self-confidence.
While some TikTok videos might be perfectly fine, other content can be completely inappropriate. It can contain explicit language or stunts that are not meant to be repeated by the audience.
Parental Guidance and Content Supervision Options
For the well-being of your children, it is highly recommended that you implement Parental Guidance and Content Supervision when your kids are using the TikTok platform. The following are some of the options already implemented by TikTok or what you can do to make the platform a safer place:
- TikTok accounts owned by users aged 13 to 15 are inherently private. Furthermore, only users aged 16 or older can engage in direct messaging.
- Not long ago, TikTok launched an automatic daily screen time cap of 60 minutes for users below 18. This measure requires teenagers to input a passcode to continue using the app beyond the set limit.
- The same screen time restriction applies to users under 13. However, a parent or guardian must set or input an existing passcode to extend usage by an extra half-hour.
- TikTok’s “Family Pairing,” earlier known as “Family Safety Mode,” is a feature initiated in 2020. It lets parents and caregivers connect their accounts to those of their teenagers.
- Parents, caregivers, and teenagers have the liberty to set unique daily screen time restrictions, access a screen time summary, and silence alerts at varying times.
- Currently, users aged 13 to 15 don’t get push notifications past 9 pm, whereas those aged 16 to 17 stop receiving them an hour later.
- Users younger than 16 face restrictions on commenting on or downloading videos. Moreover, they can’t use this content with other TikToks under the Duet and Stitch functions.
- TikTok states that it “actively” prompts younger users to adjust their privacy settings upon uploading videos.
- One feature prevents the display of results for potentially harmful challenges and scams. Instead, it provides an in-app guide outlining a four-step approach to dealing with online challenges.
- There’s also an option to automatically filter out videos containing unwanted words or hashtags from the “For You” or “Following” feeds.
- TikTok is developing a system to categorize content according to theme-based maturity. This would block content with “blatantly mature” themes from reaching users under 18.
Additionally, there are safety reminders during live streams suggesting new keywords that users might consider adding to their filter list.
Use Digital Wellbeing Features on TikTok
TikTok provides the “Digital Wellbeing” tools for all accounts that have established daily screen time limits and restricted certain videos using the Restricted Mode feature. These tools aim to restrict content that might not be suitable for certain viewers. Go to ”Settings and Privacy” and “Digital Wellbeing” to access the tools.
TikTok offers numerous features which are designed to promote a safer digital environment for young people. Amongst these can be found the Digital Wellbeing setting, with this setting parents can limit screen time and restrict inappropriate content.
Discover Safe and Engaging Alternative for Children
TikTok is not recommended for those under 13. However, you have an extensive range of options to protect and monitor your children’s online experiences. From opting for a limited version of the app to actively monitoring the content they consume, there are better social media alternatives available for 10-year-olds.
Have you come across any safer digital playgrounds for your little ones? Were you satisfied with the digital environment safety you encountered there? Let us know in the comments section below.