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New TikTok feature allows users to set screen time reminders

Self-regulating our social media consumption has proved to be difficult. Now, app designers are incorporating time-sensitive features to prevent us from getting lost in endless scrolling loops.

Tapping into social media has become as ingrained into our daily habits as checking text messages, e-mails, and news notifications.

But unlike apps used for practical reasons like talking to friends and getting work done, the black hole of inifite content available on social media can result in spending significant amounts of time online unintentionally.

TikTok has arguably surpassed Instagram with its ability to pull users in for hours, with its screen hugging design and infinite scroll capability. Though it may not be the desired goal, it’s easy to dive in and before you know it, a couple of hours have flown by.

The good news is, TikTok has just introduced another feature to help you monitor scrolling habits. Users can now set a pop-up reminder to appear once their desired amount of time spent in-app has been reached for the day.

Credit: TikTok

The new feature has been compared to Netflix’s ‘are you still there?’ prompt, which draws viewers’ attention to how long they’ve been sat in one spot, staring at a screen.

So whether you’re trying to minimise screen time before bed, cut down on social media in general, or only watch a few clips each day – you can set the app to remind you that your 10-30 minute fill is up.

It is the latest in a series of time-focused features already available on TikTok, such as a dashboard report page that indicates how many times users have opened the app and how long they’ve spent scrolling.

Since Gen-Z spends most of their waking hours looking at screens and over half of feel bad about their social media and screen time dependency, these kinds of features can help users become aware of how their time is being eaten up by blue light.

Credit: Unsplash

As the lines between the digital and real world become increasingly blurred, ditching social media altogether isn’t likely. Much of what happens online influences the real life – from culture, to memes, phraseology, fashion, music, and more.

With platform interfaces continuously updated with new opportunities to share, connect, and engage, it’s not like Gen-Z – or other generations for that matter – will be logging out permanently anytime soon.

So it’s great to see app designers acknowledging that while their formats create a seamless and enjoyable user experience, they also have a responsibility to stop us from falling into detrimental, addictive digital habits.

As users become more concerns with how screen time affects their ability to get important things done, it wouldn’t be surprising to see other platforms adopting time-sensitive features in the future too.

 

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