The TikTok app is another social media platform that is hot on the scene and a lot of parents want to know, is TikTok safe? I wanted to share my experience with my teens and offer my best tips.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a lip-synching and dancing video app using popular music, as well as some vintage tunes and commentary (just talking) as well. At it’s core, it’s SO MUCH FUN! Think karaoke meets dance dance revolution in a social media sharing app. It started in China, and in 2018 was the 4th most downloaded app. Lots of silly videos that will make you smile, and just like Instagram, there is suggestive inappropriate content as well.
Here is a short 1 minute video of my girls and I two years ago making a video, with some behind the scenes. My boys were great help in making this one summer day!
Is TikTok safe for kids?
This has got to be the number 1 question parents are asking when they hear all the rage about the TikTok app. Is TikTok safe? Just like anything with our phones or social media, we need to GET ON THE APP and find out how it all works. I can tell you my thoughts, show you the tips I’ve learned, but all in all, if your kids are on ANY app, you need to be also. Start an account. Follow your child’s friends.
I love instagram, and I find it equal in the danger category.
It is fun and connecting.
You can stumble upon inappropriate things.
Kids can seek out inappropriate things.
There can be FOMO when you see friends join forces to make TikToks.
How to Safely get started on TikTok
Teach your child how to use it, and start with only using it with you as I suggest in my Teens and Social media free guide. It’s technically not classified as social media, but still has to comply with COPPA (Children’s online privacy protection rule) and underage data collection.
TikTok safety tips:
- You must be 13 to have an account
- Start with a private setting
- Instruct kids to not to search “for you” or “discover”
- Beware of explicit lyrics, search for CLEAN
- No names in account name
- Start with you by their side navigating
“For You” or “Discover”
Be mindful that just like Instagram, this is the search and suggestions options. “For You” is determined by what you follow and search, and at first will be anything, but after the algorithm figures out what you like and follow, it will share content similar. In “discover” kids can search anything.
Bottom line: walk your kids through it and how to use it. YOU learn how to use it. Have your kids use it on your device when you are with them.
You don’t have to be fearful and completely shut it down if your kids are interested in playing on the TikTok app, play with them. Use it with them.
Don’t forget to: CREATE FUN MEMORIES WITH YOUR KIDS MAKING VIDEOS!!!