The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Teen Time: Tik Tok

Has the concept of time been lost to your teen and social media usage? Is it Tik Tok that is stealing precious moments with your son?  We know that teen Social Media usage has increased and Tik Tok is a current app of choice. If you're afraid you've lost your boy to his 'significant others' in the Social Media space, there is hope. While your teen is Tik Tok'ing hours away, forgoing the traditional game of Cranium with the family, parents could be upskilling on Tik Tok and endeavour to bridge that ever-widening Social Media generational gap.

What is Tik Tok

Tik Tok is a performance and video-sharing social network that mostly features teens lip-synching to famous songs but also includes some original song writing and singing. Users can build up a following among friends or share posts publicly. Gaining followers and fans feels important. Teens may want a public profile to get exposure and approval, and many are highly motivated to get as many followers and likes for their videos as possible.

What parents need to know

Songs and videos contain lots of questionable content. Think Countdown or Rage. Since this platform features popular music and includes a mix of teen and adult users, inappropriate language and content may be present.

There can be creepy comments and feedback. Though most comments are kind and supportive, some comments may be directed to the performer's body or have body image references. Like all social media it can be an avenue for bullying, so it is best to have these discussions with your teen.

What parents can do

You can provide a buffer between kids and iffy content by watching or making videos together with your teen. Time to Talk Tik Tok! Your teen will be surprised that you are interested in Tik Tok and you'll be surprised when he engages in the conversation with you.

Offer to hold the camera or turn it around to do a selfie duet. You can post it or save it as "private" so only you can see. The app also lets you share videos by email, text, or other social media where you can better control who sees it, so kids can perform for friends and relatives instead of a wider network of people.

This weekend I'll be dusting off my disco outfit and trying out some dance moves with my teen. Maybe it will reduce her appetite for Tik Tok and create more time to study.

The reality is it is a case of balance and something you need to discuss with your son. As a college, it is our role to help you navigate through this complex environment but the ultimate decision to use any form of social media is with the family.

For more information go to the common sense media's ultimate guide to Tik Tok

Mrs Adelle Wilkes

ILT Integrator