TikTok Time Limit: All Talk, No show

To counter the growing screen time of younger users on the app, TikTok recently announced one of the most extreme initiatives taken by a social media company. TikTok set forth their time limit feature introduced to teenagers and families March 1, 2023. For the foreseeable future, 18-year-old users and younger will be prompted with 60-minute limit screens, requiring users to enter their passcode in order to keep scrolling, whereas users 13 and under will need the passcode created by parents to continue watching past 60 minutes. What does this mean for non-users who hear this? To those who don’t use TikTok, the time limit appears as an important precaution for users. To people who do not frequent the app, the time limit seems like it could only be seen as a beneficial feature. But don’t be fooled too quickly. What does the time limit actually mean for teen users? Essentially, nothing. TikTok, with two thirds of American teenagers using the app, according to the New York Times, has captured hundreds of millions of users’ attention within the span of four years. As far as social media goes, TikTok has been one of the most successful at providing entertainment as well as communities to share culture and interests, which can be beautiful to bear witness to. People dedicate themselves to TikTok because the app adheres to users and their fascinations due to their personalized algorithm. The business contributors of TikTok are rather intelligent. They know very well that if true, strict time limits were incorporated into the app, immense business would be lost. The company knows that people would be frustrated and stop using the app, ultimately losing profit. The time limit will be ultimately ineffective. Those who are aware of their screen time have already set time limits before TikTok instated an app-wide limit. Those who contribute many hours a week to TikTok can simply keep doing so, just by typing in their password, which takes less than a few seconds of their time. Even if the company’s intentions are in what ConnectSafely President & CEO Larry Magid describes as helping users in “developing healthy online habits,” down to its core, the app is designed to be as addictive and endless as possible.