This feature will help you curb your TikTok obsession

The first step is admitting you have a problem and that is not a step I am willing to take.

by Roisin Lanigan
21 February 2020, 12:26pm


I don’t know about you, but when Apple brought in that feature that let you limit the amount of time you spent on apps like Instagram and Twitter, it was both a blessing and a curse. If you too had long been in denial about how many hours a day you wasted getting into fights with egg-avatar strangers over the Iowa caucuses and watching mind-numbing videos of fitness influencers eating smoothies out of wooden bowls, then this was probably a rude awakening. Luckily, we could all convince each other we were doing a “social media cleanse uwu” by spending all our time on TikTok instead.

But, my friends, that is not solving the problem of phone dependency. It’s just exchanging one thing for the other. And now TikTok is taking matters into its own hands to limit the amount of time we spend trying out e-girl dances and watching role play videos where someone is your ASMR boyfriend.

This week the video-sharing app introduced new tools which limit scroll time, along with features to keep young teens safe on the platform. “Family Safety Mode” is a rollout of a number of “digital wellbeing” features, which allows users to limit who can send them messages, restrict the content they see and block direct messaging completely, along with the ability to control screen time.

As the name suggests, these new tools are marketed to parents worried about how long their kids are spending on TikTok, but let’s be honest they’re useful for us all. For screen time management in particular the app has partnered with some of the most followed creators on TikTok to create in-app prompts which “remind our community to be aware of the time they spend on TikTok and to encourage them to consider taking some time out”. Basically, it’s another version of that pass-agg Netflix notification which asks you if you really want to watch another episode of Love is Blind, to which the answer is always “Yes, don’t judge me”.

“We want people to have fun on TikTok, but it's also important for our community to look after their wellbeing,” the app said in a statement. “Which means having a healthy relationship with online apps and services.”

Thanks, I hate it.

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