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TikTok Guide for Parents (2024): What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

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February 22, 2023

This TikTok course will help parents, students, & educators learn

  • Why kids like TikTok
  • Key words and phrases students use when talking about TikTok
  • How to have fun, get a laugh, learn a new tip or trick on TikTok--but set limits and practice sticking to them
  • How a hidden feature of TikTok might expose all of your videos to strangers, even if you think only your friends see them

Become a member or log in to view this whole video lesson

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Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.
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Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

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Educator Webinar Attendee

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This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

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Full Replay - Navigating TikTok (For Students, Parents, & Educators)

May 9, 2024

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

TikTok, a social media app dedicated to short-form videos, allows users to watch and create videos that are 15 to 60 seconds long. It is wildly popular among U.S. teens and young adults who enjoy watching and creating their own videos. The built-in video creation tools make it easy for users to add filters, songs, effects, and sound bites without any additional apps.

Students go to TikTok for comic relief, to escape from stress, learn “life hacks,” connect with influencers/celebrities, learn trending tips and tricks, practice video-editing skills, stay current with world happenings, and even try lip syncing to popular songs. Students may run into inappropriate content while using the app, so it is important to have an open dialogue with your student so they know what to do if they get into an uncomfortable situation.

Educators and parents: Guide your students' reflection and discussion with this student worksheet. (Log in to your Google account and select File-->Make a Copy)

Top Concerns about TikTok

  • TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance and there have been concerns about how secure personal information is on the app
  • TikTok may recommend “harmful” content to young users, although TikTok does make an effort to redirect searches for subjects such as self-harm or eating disorders to suicide and crisis phone number (Source: Good Morning America)
  • The app boasts an “endless stream” of content for users to watch, which can promote addictive behavior in students
  • Social media challenges encourage students to create their own videos and sometimes include students being influenced by peer pressure to perform dangerous act(s) that can get them into legal trouble

Why do students want to be on TikTok?

  • It's a great way for students to express themselves creatively
  • TikTok connects friends and inspires creative things to try at home
  • TikTok moderators work to remove inappropriate videos in the app

Screen Time Addiction Tips for TikTok

  • TikTok is made to be addictive, so it is important to be intentional about how students are spending time on the app
  • Review screen time reports to know how much time you generally spend on your TikTok account
  • Parents and students should dialogue about a student’s responsibilities and where TikTok fits in, then decide together how much time is ok to spend on the app
  • Take advantage of Android's Digital Wellbeing and Apple's Screen Time settings or implement another screen time app to take control of screen time

Additional Information About TikTok

  • Users must set up an account to view content in the app; however, they can view content on a desktop without an account. Their friends may text them links to videos they can watch through the web browser on their phone
  • Like many social platforms, users can like, comment, save, and share posts
  • Students will talk about their favorite videos or popular videos with their friends at school and may view them on their friends’ phones, even if they aren't allowed to use the device during school hours
  • Students can create a second account using a different phone number or email address than their original account
  • The app offers Direct Messages. This feature is automatically disabled for users under the age of 16

What is TikTok rated?

Apple App iOS app Store Rating: 12+

Google Play Store Rating: T (Teen)

App Developer website: TikTok (based in China, owned by ByteDance)

Terms of Use

Privacy Policy

Common TikTok phrases/terms parents should know

  • FYP (#fyp): For Your Page—creators use this hashtag to increase views and brand visibility with the hopes of making it into other users’ FYP
  • IB: Inspired By—Usually used with an @ to tag the original creator
  • DC: Dance Credit—The user is giving credit to the original creator of the dance
  • POV: Point of View—A creator may tell the viewers how to watch the video
  • OOMF: One Of My Followers
  • Heather: Is usually meant to describe someone as gorgeous or desirable
  • Green screen: A backdrop that allows TikTok effects, photos, or images to appear
  • Accountant: Slang code word for being a sex worker or OnlyFans creator
  • P(star emoji): Porn Star
  • Simp: Insult to someone who goes out of their way to do things for someone they like and hope to start dating but ends up in the "friend" zone

2023 Community of Standards update

  • TikTok does say they remove content that they believe violates their Community Guidelines, but inappropriate videos still get posted on other platforms and are often seen thousands of times before they are removed
  • Drugs, controlled substances, alcohol, and tobacco are technically not allowed, but are very prevalent
  • Accounts for users under 16 cannot use direct messaging, host livestreams, and their content cannot appear in other users’ For You feed (but students often misrepresent their age when signing up)
  • Grooming behaviors are when an adult tries to build a relationship with a student to gain their trust. TikTok says they look for these types of interactions between adult accounts and minor accounts, BUT most predators work under minor aliases as part of their grooming tactic

Why should parents & educators care?

  • It’s easy for students to come across mature content or triggering content that could promote negative self esteem, self-harm, or eating disorders; such content can also cause a cyberbullying problem that can move offline
  • Accounts for students aged 13-15 are automatically set to private, and duet and stitch are disabled for users under age 16
  • Users cannot change their age on TikTok without talking to customer support; however, they can enter their age incorrectly when they initially set up their account
  • Students can find ways to prevent content from getting flagged and to bypass TikTok’s content filters by using creative hashtags and purposely misspelling words

Examples of TikTok dangers from the news

TikTok has more than a billion users. That includes about 150 million Americans. Under China’s authoritarian state, the government has sweeping control over tech companies and their data. U.S. officials are worried that China will use TikTok to promote its interests and gather Americans’ personal information. - The New York Times
The (TikTok) algorithm recognizes vulnerability and, instead of seeing it as something it should be careful around, it sees it as a potential point of addiction – of helping to maximize time on the platform for that child by serving them up content that might trigger some of the pre-existing concerns. - The Guardian
Ava Majury downloaded TikTok when she was 13…Ava noticed that one fan was trying to get her attention in comments on TikTok. He messaged her in Snapchat and on Instagram, and turned up in online games she played with her brothers… The fan was an 18 year old man who arrived with a shotgun at Ava’s family home. - The New York Times

Settings and Privacy Recommendations for TikTok

How to set your TikTok account to private

  • Select “Profile” then press the three lines in the top right corner
  • Click on "Settings and privacy" in your settings
  • Select “Privacy” and  slide “Private account” over until it turns blue

How to set your liked videos to private

  • Click on "Privacy" in your settings
  • Tap “ Liked videos”
  • Select “Only you”

How to turn off Stitch and Duet

Stitch and Duet are functions that allow user content to be reposted and shared by other users and can potentially be a source of cyberbullying. It is disabled for users under 16. Older users may still want to disable this setting.

  • Click on "Privacy" in your settings
  • Find “Duet” and “Stitch”
  • Select “Only me” on each of them

How to Limit Who Can Send Messages and Comment on TikTok Videos

  • Click on "Privacy" in your settings and then select “Comments”
  • Click the slider next to “Filter all comments” so that it turns blue
  • Click on “Comments” and select “Followers that you follow back.”  This will ensure students do not receive direct messages from strangers

Family Pairing

TikTok Family Pairing
  • Family Pairing through TikTok allows families to work together to set screen time limits and monitor what the teen can see
  • Family Pairing does require the adult to have an account on their own device, but even if you don’t use it every day, we always recommend parents being on the same apps as their kids 

From the parent’s TikTok account, Family Pairing can be used to help the student with:

  • Screen Time Management
  • Restricted Mode, which limits inappropriate content
  • Limits what content can be seen
  • When Restricted Mode is on the user cannot log out to then log into another account
  • Search

Go to Settings and privacy:

1: Scroll down and tap "Family Pairing”

2: Select the "Teen" option

3: Open TikTok on the parent’s phone and go to the Family Pairing screen in "Settings & Privacy"

4: Select "Parent"

5: Use your teen’s device to scan the QR code on the parent’s device or send an invite link to a phone number, email, or social media platform

Family Pairing Recommendations

  • Privacy and safety
  • Private account:Keep your account private until you are ready
  • Who can send direct messages to your teen: Our recommendation is “Friends” or “No one”
  • Who can view your teen’s liked videos: Our recommendation is “Only your teen”
  • Who can comment on your teen’s videos: Our recommendation is “Friends” or “No one”

Crash course in navigating TikTok for adults

Home screen

  • When in the “Home” section, videos will autoplay and repeat (until you scroll to the next video)
  • Tap the center of the screen to pause a video
  • Swipe up/down to change videos
  • Swipe left to view the profile for the video you are watching
  • Double tap the center of the screen or tap the heart to like a video

Friends Tab

  • “Friends” personalized feed dedicated to your friends’ videos
  • It contains TikTok videos from other users on TikTok who both follow you, and you follow back

Check and set up security alerts

1: Click on “Security” &  Select “Security alerts”

2: Select “Manage devices”

3: Select 2-step verification

Branding your TikTok profile

1: Start by branding your profile to put your best foot forward. Click on “profile” then “Edit Profile” to get started

‍2: Profile Photo: Use a clear smiling photo of yourself (the same photo across all of your accounts)

3: Name: Use the name you will use on your college admissions (or what you go by most often)

4: Username: Use something very similar to the name people will Google when they learn about you

5: Bio: Write 1-2 lines about yourself and possibly what school you attend (when you are ready for colleges to find you)

6: Connect your Instagram and YouTube: Optional adding links to your social profiles

Additional Resources

Positive Impact of Social Media & Screen Time (What Students, Parents, & Educators Need to Know)

Making Screen Time Fun While Reducing the Negative Impact

Instagram App Guide (2024): What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

Social Media Challenges: What Students, Parents & Educators Need to Know

Conclusion

TikTok is an extremely popular app among students. Parents can work with their students to find ways to use the app safely and in a way that fits with their family values. It is important to engage in a dialogue about appropriate ways to use TikTok, current social media challenges, and what to do in the event that students come across content that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Full Replay - Navigating TikTok (For Students, Parents, & Educators)

Why TikTok is Your New Resume (For Students & Parents)

May 9, 2024

Questions to prompt discussion with students:

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

Elementary School Students (dialogue starters):

Getting Smart with TikTok

  • What are some hobbies or interests you might want to learn more about on TikTok?

Planning for Your Future

  • How can you start thinking now about things you might one day post on TikTok to share with colleges and employers your special interests and talents? 

Avoiding Predators

  • What would you do if someone you don’t know tried to communicate with you on TikTok? 

Middle School Students (dialogue starters):

Making the Most of It

  • What are some positive choices versus not-so-positive choices when watching videos on TikTok? 

TikTok and Brain Fog

  • How can TikTok undermine your ability to focus? 

Avoiding Strangers on TikTok

  • Why do you think it can be dangerously easy for predators to engage students in conversations or get them to share pictures of themselves?

High School Students (dialogue starters): 

A Student’s Story

  • This video features a college student who built an online resume by sharing her story and accomplishments on TikTok. What specific things can you take away from her video? 

Making a Good Impression

  • What do you think college admissions officers or future employers would want to learn about you on TikTok? 

TikTok Turn-Offs

  • Conversely, what kinds of content might make them think twice before considering a prospective student/employee?

Additional Resources

Positive Impact of Social Media & Screen Time (What Students, Parents, & Educators Need to Know)

Making Screen Time Fun While Reducing the Negative Impact

Instagram App Guide (2024): What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

Social Media Challenges: What Students, Parents & Educators Need to Know

Conclusion

TikTok is an extremely popular app among students. Parents can work with their students to find ways to use the app safely and in a way that fits with their family values. It is important to engage in a dialogue about appropriate ways to use TikTok, current social media challenges, and what to do in the event that students come across content that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Why TikTok is Your New Resume (For Students & Parents)

How to Balance Screen Time on TikTok (For Students & Parents)

May 9, 2024

Questions to prompt discussion with students:

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

Elementary School Students (dialogue starters):

TikTok and You

  • If you have access to TikTok, what do you mainly use it for? 

TikTok Time Warp

  • What are the risks of spending too much time on the app?

Finding a Purpose

  • How could you use it in a more focused way than just for entertainment? 

Middle School Students (dialogue starters):

TikTok Tunnel Vision

  • What might be the problem with using TikTok only for escape / mindless entertainment? 

Where Does the Time Go?

  • If you’re on TikTok, how can you keep track of the time you spend on it? 

Finding Balance

  • How can you be mindful of balancing entertaining videos with useful/informative content where you’re focused on learning something new?

High School Students (dialogue starters):

TikTok’s Business Model

  • How does TikTok benefit if you or your friends spend excessive time on the app?

Avoiding the Algorithm

  • How can the “Discover” tab lead people down a rabbit hole of mindless TikTok consumption? 

Time Tracking

  • How can you be aware of how much time you spend on TikTok and other social media apps?

Additional Resources

Positive Impact of Social Media & Screen Time (What Students, Parents, & Educators Need to Know)

Making Screen Time Fun While Reducing the Negative Impact

Instagram App Guide (2024): What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

Social Media Challenges: What Students, Parents & Educators Need to Know

Conclusion

TikTok is an extremely popular app among students. Parents can work with their students to find ways to use the app safely and in a way that fits with their family values. It is important to engage in a dialogue about appropriate ways to use TikTok, current social media challenges, and what to do in the event that students come across content that makes them feel uncomfortable.

How to Balance Screen Time on TikTok (For Students & Parents)

What the Experts Say About TikTok (For Parents & Educators)

May 9, 2024

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

Key Takeaways: 

  • Asking your student to teach you about  TikTok can supercharge dialogue about the app—a great way to engage with your student about their interests and discuss what they’re watching or posting
  • TikTok can be used by predators to try and connect with and exploit students
  • TikTok “challenges” can draw in students who want to get in on the fun, but many of these are dangerous or harmful
  • TikTok is designed to be addictive, potentially causing  kids to lose sleep, neglect other priorities, or suffer from emotional-health issues

Dialogue Starters:

Parents of Elementary School Students (to ask students)

Tell Me About It

  • Have you ever seen TikTok, and what interests you about it? 

Parents of Middle School Students (to ask students)

Keeping an Open Dialogue

  • What kinds of things do you like to watch on TikTok?

Parents of High School Students (to ask students)

Healthy Boundaries

  • What are you doing to make sure you don’t spend so much time on social media it gets in the way of school, sports, or seeing your friends?

Additional Resources

Positive Impact of Social Media & Screen Time (What Students, Parents, & Educators Need to Know)

Making Screen Time Fun While Reducing the Negative Impact

Instagram App Guide (2024): What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

Social Media Challenges: What Students, Parents & Educators Need to Know

Conclusion

TikTok is an extremely popular app among students. Parents can work with their students to find ways to use the app safely and in a way that fits with their family values. It is important to engage in a dialogue about appropriate ways to use TikTok, current social media challenges, and what to do in the event that students come across content that makes them feel uncomfortable.

What the Experts Say About TikTok (For Parents & Educators)

Titania Jordan from Bark Discusses TikTok (For Parents & Educators)

May 9, 2024

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

Key Takeaways:

  • TikTok and other video-based apps feature algorithms designed to keep kids on the app for as long as possible, which is key to their profitability
  • TikTok contains content that can be very dangerous and can lead to body-image issues, violence, bullying, and self-harm 
  • Time limits can help reduce the potential harm of TikTok
  • There are products available to help parents supervise how kids use TikTok
  • Plugging into TikTok as a family can help keep students safe and guide them toward positive content

Dialogue Starters: 

Parents of Elementary School Students (to ask students)

Describe a Fun Video

  • What kinds of videos do you think you would enjoy on TikTok? 

Parents of Middle School Students (to ask students)

Identifying Harmful Content

  • How would you be able to tell the difference between TikTok videos that are interesting and fun to watch and videos that show people talking about or doing harmful things? 

Parents of High School Students (to ask students)

What to Watch Out For

  • What kinds of content on TikTok do you think might be unhealthy  because of the content or actions they promote? 

Additional Resources

Positive Impact of Social Media & Screen Time (What Students, Parents, & Educators Need to Know)

Making Screen Time Fun While Reducing the Negative Impact

Instagram App Guide (2024): What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

Social Media Challenges: What Students, Parents & Educators Need to Know

Conclusion

TikTok is an extremely popular app among students. Parents can work with their students to find ways to use the app safely and in a way that fits with their family values. It is important to engage in a dialogue about appropriate ways to use TikTok, current social media challenges, and what to do in the event that students come across content that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Titania Jordan from Bark Discusses TikTok (For Parents & Educators)

Navigating TikTok Safety and Security (For Parents & Educators)

May 9, 2024

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

Key Takeaways:

  • Students should always have their TikTok account set to private and set limits on who can contact them through the app
  • Experts say it’s easy for students to come across mature or triggering content that could promote self-harm, eating disorders, or risky behaviors
  • Students never know for sure who might access content they create, so caution should be used when posting videos
  • Family Pairing through TikTok allows families to work together to set limits and monitor what the teen can see
  • Apple and Android have parental controls that can set time limits for TikTok and other apps

Dialogue Starters:

Parents of Elementary School Students (to ask students)

Reporting Inappropriate Content

  • When you’re old enough to have a TikTok account, how would you handle a situation where you accidentally found inappropriate content or comments? 

Parents of Middle School Students (to ask students)

Knowing What’s Out There

  • What are some examples of dangerous behaviors or suggestions you or your friends have encountered on TikTok?

Parents of High School Students (to ask students)

Being Careful What You Share

  • If you decide to create your own TikTok videos, what would you want to consider before posting them? 

Additional Resources

Positive Impact of Social Media & Screen Time (What Students, Parents, & Educators Need to Know)

Making Screen Time Fun While Reducing the Negative Impact

Instagram App Guide (2024): What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

Social Media Challenges: What Students, Parents & Educators Need to Know

Conclusion

TikTok is an extremely popular app among students. Parents can work with their students to find ways to use the app safely and in a way that fits with their family values. It is important to engage in a dialogue about appropriate ways to use TikTok, current social media challenges, and what to do in the event that students come across content that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Navigating TikTok Safety and Security (For Parents & Educators)

TikTok Guide for Parents (2024): What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

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Share Your Demo Pass With School District Leaders

TikTok, a social media app dedicated to short-form videos, allows users to watch and create videos that are 15 to 60 seconds long. It is wildly popular among U.S. teens and young adults who enjoy watching and creating their own videos. The built-in video creation tools make it easy for users to add filters, songs, effects, and sound bites without any additional apps.

Students go to TikTok for comic relief, to escape from stress, learn “life hacks,” connect with influencers/celebrities, learn trending tips and tricks, practice video-editing skills, and stay current with world happenings. Students may run into inappropriate content while using the app, so it is important to have an open dialogue with your student so they know what to do if they get into an uncomfortable situation.

Educators and parents: Guide your students' reflection and discussion with this student worksheet. (Log in to your Google account and select File-->Make a Copy)

Top Concerns about TikTok

  • TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance and there have been concerns about how secure personal information is on the app
  • TikTok may recommend “harmful” content to young users, although TikTok does make an effort to redirect searches for subjects such as self-harm or eating disorders to suicide and crisis phone lines (Source: Good Morning America)
  • The app boasts an “endless stream” of content for users to watch, which can promote addictive behavior in students
  • Social media challenges encourage students to create their own videos and sometimes include dangerous act(s) that can get students into legal trouble

What students wish parents knew about TikTok? (video)

Why do students want to be on TikTok?

  • It's a great way for students to express themselves creatively
  • TikTok connects friends and inspires creative things to try at home
  • TikTok moderators work to remove inappropriate videos in the app

Why TikTok is your new resume and a place for students to learn new skills  (video)

(Click on the three lines or a blue dot in the video progress bar to skip to a chapter)

How to balance screen time on TikTok so it becomes a positive instead of a negative (video)

(This student-friendly video can be shown in the classroom or at home)

Screen Time Addiction Tips for TikTok

  • TikTok is made to be addictive, so it is important to be intentional about how students are spending time on the app
  • Review  screen time reports to know how much time you generally spend on your TikTok account
  • Parents and students should dialogue about a student’s responsibilities and where TikTok fits in, then decide together how much time is ok to spend on the app 
  • Take advantage of Android's Digital Wellbeing and Apple's Screen Time settings or implement another screen time app to take control of screen time

What the experts say about TikTok  (video)

Titania Jordan from Bark Discusses TikTok  (video)

Navigating TikTok safety and security for parents and teachers (video)

Additional Information About TikTok

  • Users must set up an account to view content in the app; however, they can view content on a desktop without an account. Their friends may text them links to videos they can watch through the web browser on their phone
  • Like many social media platforms, users can  like, comment, save, and share posts
  • Students will talk about their favorite videos or popular videos with their friends at school and may view them on their friends’ phones, even if they aren't allowed to use the device during school hours
  • The app offers Direct Messages. This feature is automatically disabled for users under the age of 16

What is TikTok rated?

Apple App iOS app Store Rating: 12+

Google Play Rating: T (Teen)

App Developer website: TikTok (based in China, owned by ByteDance)

Terms of Use

Privacy Policy

Common TikTok phrases/terms parents should know

  • FYP (#fyp): For Your Page—creators use this hashtag to increase views and brand visibility with the hopes of making it into other users’ FYP
  • IB: Inspired By—Usually used with an @ to tag the original creator
  • DC: Dance Credit—The user is giving credit to the original creator of the dance
  • POV: Point of View—A creator may tell the viewers how to watch the video
  • OOMF: One Of My Followers
  • Heather: Is usually meant to describe someone as gorgeous or desirable
  • Green screen: A backdrop that allows TikTok effects, photos, or images to appear
  • Accountant: Slang code word for being a sex worker or OnlyFans creator
  • P(star emoji): Porn Star
  • Simp: Insult to someone who goes out of their way to do things for someone they like and hope to start dating but ends up in the "friend" zone

2023 Community of Standards Update

  • TikTok does say they remove content that they believe violates their Community Guidelines, but inappropriate videos still get posted on other platforms and are often seen thousands of times before they are removed
  • Drugs, controlled substances, alcohol, and tobacco are technically not allowed, but are very prevalent
  • Accounts for users under 16 cannot use direct messaging, host livestreams, and their content cannot appear in other users’ For You feed (but students often misrepresent their age when signing up)
  • Grooming behaviors are when an adult tries to build a relationship with a student to gain their trust. TikTok says they look for these types of interactions between adult accounts and minor accounts, BUT most predators work under minor aliases as part of their grooming tactic

Why should parents & educators care?

  • It’s easy for students to come across mature content or triggering content that could promote self-harm or eating disorders; such content can also cause a cyberbullying problem that can move offline
  • Accounts for students aged 13-15 are automatically set to private, and duet and stitch are disabled for users under age 16
  • Users cannot change their age on TikTok without talking to customer support; however, they can enter their age incorrectly when they initially set up their account
  • Students can find ways to prevent content from getting flagged and to bypass TikTok’s content filters by using creative hashtags and purposely misspelling words

Examples of TikTok dangers from the news

“TikTok has more than a billion users. That includes about 150 million Americans. Under China’s authoritarian state, the government has sweeping control over tech companies and their data. U.S. officials are worried that China will use TikTok to promote its interests and gather Americans’ personal information.” (Source: The New York Times)

“The (TikTok) algorithm recognises vulnerability and, instead of seeing it as something it should be careful around, it sees it as a potential point of addiction – of helping to maximize time on the platform for that child by serving them up content that might trigger some of the pre-existing concerns.” (Source: The Guardian)

The New York Times A Child's TikTok Stardom opens doors.  Then a gunman arrives
"Ava Majury downloaded TikTok when she was 13…Ava noticed that one fan was trying to get her attention in comments on TikTok. He messaged her in Snapchat and on Instagram, and turned up in online games she played with her brothers… The fan was an 18 year old man who  arrived with a shotgun at Ava’s family home." - The New York Times

Videos promoting drinking and alcohol are prevalent despite community guidelines:

Settings and Privacy Recommendations for TikTok

How to set your TikTok account to private

  • Select “Profile” then press the three lines in the top right corner
  • Click on "Settings and privacy" in your settings
  • Select “Privacy” and  slide “Private account” over until it turns blue

How to set your liked videos to private

  • Click on "Privacy" in your settings
  • Tap “Who can view your liked videos”
  • Select “Only me”

How to turn off Stitch and Duet

Stitch and Duet are functions that allow user content to be reposted and shared by other users and can potentially be a source of cyberbullying. It is disabled for users under 16. Older users may still want to disable this setting

  • Click on "Privacy" in your settings
  • Find “Duet” and “Stitch” under “Interactions”
  • Select “Only you” on each of them

How to limit who can send messages and comment on TikTok videos

  • Click on "Privacy" in your settings and then select “Comments”
  • Click the slider next to “Filtered all comments” so that it turns blue
  • Click on “Comments” and select “Followers you follow back”  This will ensure  students do not receive direct messages from strangers

Top safety settings in TikTok video

(This parent and educator video is best to be shown to adults)

Family Pairing

TikTok Family Pairing
  • Family Pairing through TikTok allows families to work together to set screen time limits and monitor what the teen can see
  • Family Pairing does require the adult to have an account on their own device, but even if you don’t use it every day, we always recommend parents being on the same apps as their kids 

From the parent’s TikTok account, Family Pairing can be used to help the student with:

  • Screen Time Management
  • Restricted Mode, which limits inappropriate content
  • Limits what content can be seen
  • When Restricted Mode is on the user cannot log out to then log into another account
  • Search

Go to Settings and privacy:

1: Scroll down and tap "Family Pairing”

2: Select the "Teen" option

3: Open TikTok on the parent’s phone and go to the Family Pairing screen in "Settings & Privacy"

4: Select "Parent"

5: Use your teen’s device to scan the QR code on the parent’s device or send an invite to link accounts

Family Pairing Recommendations

  • Privacy and safety
  • Private account:Keep your account private until you are ready
  • Who can send direct messages to your teen: Our recommendation is “Friends” or “No one”
  • Who can view your teen’s liked videos: Our recommendation is “Only your teen”
  • Who can comment on your teen’s videos: Our recommendation is “Friends” or “No one””

Crash course in Navigating TikTok for Adults

Home screen

  • When in the “Home” section, videos will autoplay and repeat (until you scroll to the next video)
  • Tap the center of the screen to pause a video
  • Swipe up/down to change videos
  • Swipe left to view the profile for the video you are watching
  • Double tap the center of the screen or tap the heart to like a video

Friends Tab

  • “Friends”  personalized feed dedicated to your friends’ videos
  • It contains TikTok videos from other users on TikTok who both follow you, and you follow back

Check and set up security alerts H3

1: Click on “Security”

2: Select “Security alerts”

3: Select “Manage devices”

4: Select 2-step verification

Branding your TikTok profile

1: Start by branding your profile to put your best foot forward. Click on “profile” then “Edit Profile” to get started

‍2: Profile Photo: Use a clear smiling photo of yourself (the same photo across all of your accounts)

3: Name: Use the name you will use on your college admissions (or what you go by most often)

4: Username: Use something very similar to the name people will Google when they learn about you

5: Bio: Write 1-2 lines about yourself and possibly what school you attend (when you are ready for colleges to find you)

6: Connect your Instagram and YouTube: Optional adding links to your social media profiles

Additional Resources

Positive Impact of Social Media & Screen Time (What Students, Parents, & Educators Need to Know)

Making Screen Time Fun While Reducing the Negative Impact

Instagram App Guide (2024): What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

Social Media Challenges: What Students, Parents & Educators Need to Know

Conclusion

TikTok is an extremely popular app among students. Parents can work with their students to find ways to use the app safely and in a way that fits with their family values. It is important to engage in a dialogue about appropriate ways to use TikTok, current social media challenges, and what to do in the event that students come across content that makes them feel uncomfortable.

More TikTok resources from SmartSocial

An example of what kids see on TikTok

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This TikTok course will help parents, students, & educators learn

  • Why kids like TikTok
  • Key words and phrases students use when talking about TikTok
  • How to have fun, get a laugh, learn a new tip or trick on TikTok--but set limits and practice sticking to them
  • How a hidden feature of TikTok might expose all of your videos to strangers, even if you think only your friends see them

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Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

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